Jenny went back in the hospital last night, be thinking about her!
The problem for me with being honest is that while some people take it for what it is, and acknowledge my struggles, other people out of being very kind-hearted and nice start feeling sorry for me. This is not my intent. The truth is, whether you like it or not, feeling sorry for someone takes their power away from them. It is one thing to lend kind words or a helping hand, but quite another to think that person cannot accomplish things, that you need to do it for them. That's controlling. Don't do that.
SO how do I get my power back when I'm feeling so down? I've been looking at past experiences and seeing what they have in common. For example:
1. When I finally got out of an abusive relationship, I started FaithPets, a project with the local women's shelter that allows abuse survivors to bring their pets with them to safety, providing food and minor veterinary care.
2. Hit by an unlicensed driver on my bike - I became involved with bike advocacy through BikeLafayette and as part of the LCG MPO bicycling subcommittee.
3. A friend lost his wife and child to somebody else's road rage - my son and I are now sponsoring a child in Mexico (where his wife was from) so that this kid can benefit from the thoughts of somebody else. This has dual purpose, as it also gives my son a chance to see how other people live.
What do these things have in common? Well, obviously helping society and humanity. Honestly though, I do a lot of donating my time for free and I'm kind of burnt - if I didn't need to work that may be a different thing, but I feel like I have to do something else.
What else...all these things are where I used my skills to create something that solved a problem. Not just creating, but having a hand in controlling the outcome for something I see as useful.
When did I feel the most on top of my game? Working as a vet. I was good at it. I loved it. I even developed a highly sought-after skill (in research, it's proprietary so I can't tell you) that I had traveled around the country for to teach to other people. Racing. I liked winning - I had just started but I had quickly become addicted. It's the competition of being in comparable physical shape with those I was up against, but having the mindset to pull it off. Hard work, attention to detail, and mental toughness against good competition. It was also the only thing I did for only me, and kept balance in my life.
I probably don't know as much as I should know about power. Looking at this list, what I wrote, it is about control. Real power for me is creative - working together - not destructive, like crushing other people's souls. Though there is something to being better than someone else that hasn't tried as hard. It's about focus, and using skills that I've worked hard to develop on solving a problem.
So what to do...
1. Back to being a vet - I have amazing friends that have agreed to start letting me hang out at their clinic and start feeling out what I can and can't do. This is my first step at getting back in the game (I may still do the behavior thing, it's just different - more on that later!) I was hoping to go this week but I ran out of time, you'll have to hear about it next week!
2. Racing - Hilary, a colleague that was with me for the R'n'R half, has offered to relay a triathlon with me. Since then I have also gotten a team to relay the CajunMan at the end of the summer. I can swim - not too fast but I can! - and I love the idea of being competitive again. I wasn't going to say anything until after I did it, but this way you can hold me to it!
3. Continue healing - this one is easy, but the hard part is not being too Type A and making multiple smaller goals for myself that I can palpably attain. My therapist has worked with me on this. I may not be able to do surgery yet, but I can extend my fingers all the way now... it's the little things that I need to keep track of. I've said it before but it's something I have to keep reminding myself of.
4. Stay surrounded by people that work as hard as me. - This one is important. Luckily I already had this group built up and it continues to grow. Wulf my therapist worked on his balance for skiing while I worked on mine for walking, all the while listening to Alice In Chains and discussing scientific findings in running. Alyce my Pilates instructor is the best for really keeping balance in my life. Next weekend I'm the guest-of-honor for Q50 Ultras USA 2014, a trail run with distances of a half marathon, a full marathon, and a 50 FREAKING MILE ultramarathon. The fabulous crazy Cesar Torres is the Race Director and is quickly becoming one of my favorite people. With things like this in my life, staying around moving motivated people is covered and is key to my path of recovery.
5. Making money - I hate this is one of the things that I feel I need, but what do you do? Another person quickly becoming one of my faves is Anna Purdy - freelance writer extraordinaire - has given me some guidance on writing for profit, as a vet. I've already gotten a couple of leads, I'll keep you updated.
NO, I\m not 100% on my game yet. But just having direction that makes me excited has done wonders for me. I'm starting to feel beautiful and strong again - I know this sounds shallow but it's something that I lost when I was hit, and it feels so so good to get it back. That's the kind of thing you need to feel on your own, other people can help, but only you can be in charge of your happiness and confidence. Do whatever it takes to get it, it's worth everything.
Another way to stay around awesome people, hang out at a boxing gym. Holy Cow, Laffy, how do you NOT know about Dierdre Goagrty?? I've already started writing next week's blog, I'll tell you all about her then. Go ahead and Google her now though! And read her freaking book!