Thursday, 1 June 2017

Would You Just... Accept The Things You Cannot Change?

Another day that has been precisely no fun whatsoever. The shingles rash has grown into large, painful blisters that are beginning to ooze fluid, my vision has gone blurry and teary in my right eye, and I’ve got a headache, dizziness, and mild nausea. Plus the cocktail of different medications I’m taking has left me wiped out. I didn’t sleep last night, and I’ve been dozing on and off today, trying to watch episodes of things and read, but unable to concentrate. I’m staggering painkillers to get the most use out of them, but they don’t have much effect.

But it’s all right. It’s quite nice, in a way, to know what the problem is, to know that I’m doing everything possible to get through it. I find with my anxiety it’s easy to spend a lot of time worrying about what might happen, picturing how bad it could be -- so having found that something legitimately quite horrible has happened, it’s almost a relief to be able to simply face it, to quit worrying and instead deal with it.

And with depression as well you’re always fighting an unknown, unseen foe, chronic pain, yes, debilitating tiredness, yes, a lack of joy, a loss of hope -- but all as it were “in your head”, impossible to get your hands around, to truly understand. And because you never really know what it is, you never really know what to do to fight it.

Yet with the shingles here is something with obvious causes -- the varicella-zoster virus lying dormant in the roots of nerves -- with physical pain that is clearly understood, with medication to combat the worst of it, and with a good estimate of the duration of the suffering.

And so I am finding myself feeling remarkably Zen about the whole thing. It hurts, sure, but I’m doing everything I can about that. My face is a mess, but it will heal. I hope my eye isn’t being permanently damaged, but if there are complications then I’ll deal with them when they arrive. For now all I have to think about is eating soup, taking painkillers, letting the virus run its course.

Pretty much everything in life takes care of itself, I guess I’m saying. There’s no point worrying about anything other than what is in front of you, and even what is in front of you can only be handled to the best of your ability. Or, as those recovering alcoholics like to say:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
Courage to change the things I can, 
And wisdom to know the difference.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s Zovirax and codeine time!

Step light x

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