I've started this post several times.
I've gone back and redone it several times.
I've completely deleted the entire thing and started over several times.
Had the concept. Couldn't quite get the words. Until this morning.
So here we go.
I knew it needed to be about walking away. And I knew it had to be about state of mind and attitude. I tried my hardest to do it on not sitting at tables where there was no silverware for you. Or maybe even go ahead and sit at that table with no silverware, just eat with your hands because that meant you worked harder for whatever was at that table. None of it sounded "right" though. I tried to do it on all kinds of analogies because I am the queen of those things!
So what happened this morning to change this?
I opened my Facebook to see that the Begin Again Foundation had made a post about my sepsis survival story. My face and heart smiled. Not because I'm famous for this. Not because, hey look, I've made it to a platform where I get attention because I just like it. But because I know this foundation is doing their part is raising awareness.
But then my happy face turned sour. Because of one man's comments. "Tell the real stories". WHATTTTTTTTTT??????? The flesh part of me wanted to lash out. I wanted to comment with a "how dare you...." comment. I wanted to post a pic of my medical records that doesn't even include the nurses notes of my stays. I wanted to share the $150k hospital bill from my 2 weeks in ICU. I wanted to go into detail about the demons who haunt me at night in my dreams. About how I can't get in the ocean because it reminds me of being strapped to a hospital bed. I wanted to share how I got hit a panic attack today after my head started hurting. One so bad that it sent me to my knees on my kitchen floor screaming in pain and crying so hard I couldn't stop. One that freaked me out so bad, I had to put my family on stand by because I might need to go to the emergency room. This is the same kind of head pain I had when they admitted me to ICU with sepsis. How I'm curled up on the couch with a weighted blanket trying to calm down my anxiety now. I wanted to share how I've had the flu all week and how careful I have to be because sepsis mimics the flu almost identically and this flu is also causing sepsis. It's a double edged sword people.
Now before anyone hops over to my Facebook or the foundation's Facebook page to lash out at this guy, please read the rest of this post! My "human want" quickly subsided and I responded assertively but with a little more compassion. He's angry because he's hurt. He's angry because he's scared and more than likely confused. Ball that up and you've got a huge ball of lashing out syndrome.
He had a bad bout with sepsis which left him as a quadruple amputee and my heart hurts for that. I realized that he is so angry at his outcome. I get angry at mine too. He lost limbs...all of them. I lost sanity some days. Complex PTSD and the other medical issues I have are nothing short of demons some days. But trauma is still trauma. You cannot dismiss one persons trauma because you had a different outcome from them. I kindly extended my compassion that I was sorry he had to go through that and then kindly asked him not to dismiss anyone else's story because their outcome may not have been like his. That I was using my experience to reach out to others. And then I walked away from the post. I laid that down at God's feet. Just like that. Something, that years ago, would have infuriated me and I would have torn them a new booty-hole over it, I simply replied kindly, laid it down for God to handle him and said a small prayer for this man and his heart. I pray that he can genuinely overcome the anger and learn how to use this for the positive and educate people from it.
Then it hit me. I had just chose not to eat at a table that may or may not have had silverware. It didn't matter. This wasn't a table that I wasn't necessarily not wanted at but a table that I didn't NEED to be at. I walked away because it was not meant for me to be seated at that table. I didn't indulge in the "I will freaking show you who is real and who's not buddy" dessert (my inner Eastern TN hillbilly country girl came out). And what a great feeling that type of control is.
In my facial paralysis and my septic shock survival journeys (and many others since), I have met a lot of people who are harsh to deal with at times. And I've heard some ask "why me?". I've said it numerous times and I'll say it again that I've never really asked God that. Instead, I have the mentality of "why not me?" Why wouldn't God use me?
I can't change the past.
I can't always change the situation.
I can't always control the circumstances.
I CAN control my attitude.
I CAN pray for those who are angry for their illnesses. I CAN continue to be an advocate and spread awareness.
I CAN keep sharing my story even when some people may be tired of hearing it.
I CAN choose to WALK AWAY from a table not meant for me.
I CAN have not just a good heart...but a GOD heart.