Retrospective

There are times I find that it’s hard for me to accept how things have turned out in life, being 27 and unable to work due to chronic illnesses such as scoliosis and rheumatoid arthritis, to keep it short, has had a huge impact on who I am as a person. This definitely isn’t the life I envisioned for myself, and sometimes, like most, I feel a little sorry for myself. Before my disabilities took hold, before my daughter, my husband and I were in a relatively successful local band, and before becoming a mother, music was the only thing in life that I always knew was meant to be.

Once you’ve been within reach of your dreams and gotten a taste of what that feels like, it’s incredibly difficult when lost. At one point, I actually allowed myself to believe that all my wildest dreams could come true, that I would get every little thing I deserved for putting everything I have into being the best person that I can be. Once those thoughts take hold, everything else goes unnoticed, including the first signs that what you thought was wild success, may in fact turn into a complete and utter failure of a situation.

It took years for me to get the courage to perform on stage as a lead singer, I mean after all, my only experience had been singing in choir, and singing in the car and shower. But once I let myself show the world my talent, I never wanted it to stop – I wanted to show everyone, not just those who doubted me or worked against me, but to show people who struggle to find the self-esteem and strength to follow their dreams that it could be done, by a nobody nonetheless.

While the band has been dead for a few years now, I still haven’t finished grieving, and while I haven’t completely given up on the dream, the more time passes, it becomes increasingly difficult to manifest any sort of true motivation to pursue it anymore. As sad as that is, it’s a product of my ever persistent lack of confidence, despite the fact that I proved to myself that I’m definitely not lacking the talent to make it happen. Instead, I hate my body and pity myself and find it hard to open up about it, but it’s not something that anyone I know can truly understand.

I never knew until recently just how detrimental a role physical pain can play on your mental state, but it has eaten away so much from who I am, who I know I’m meant to be, and everything I wanted to accomplish in my life, that I completely resent myself and feel weakened not only physically, but spiritually as well. To some people, hobbies are silly and insignificant, and while music has always been so much more than that, I’ve got to allow this transition to take place and find some way to feed my creativity without relishing in the fact that I’ll may not ever be able to share it with the world in the way I always dreamed.

I’m not giving up, but it’s time to switch gears.

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17 Replies to “Retrospective”

  1. James, I LOVE that you are sharing others’ stories-and as a person who has suffered greatly (we should find joy in persecution, but it’s the hardest thing to do!) I have rewritten my story, and although I have Chronic Lyme and depression-I, like the woman in this blog, will not be a victim or suffer from victim mentality. My heart and prayers go out to you both.

    “I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All we can do is try our best to overcome the obstacles we’ve been given and live a full life despite our limitations and circumstances. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Have a mustard seed size of faith in yourself.. You will overcome any feelings you are currently dealing with. I can not promise you will get back on stage but I can promise what you are feeling now will pass. Allow yourself to feel and then allow yourself time to heal. Patience is the key to life. Be kind to yourself.

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  4. As a fellow sufferer of chronic pain who has lost many things about how I saw my life going, I completely relate to your sense of grief and loss and mental erosion. Hardship has been a great teacher for me, but that doesn’t make bad days magically good. I work a lot with Zen and radical acceptance. Fear is a strong thing, but much more often than I used to, I manage to tame it and walk forward. I hope the same for you. Sounds like you are figuring out what works for you!

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    1. I’m trying my best to get out of the hold it’s had on me, not just for myself but to show my daughter that giving up isn’t an option. It’s not always gonna be easy, as you said the bad days are rough, but I’m hoping more good days are coming my way to even things out. Thank you!

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  5. This is likely due in part to a myopic perspective Depression gave me, but I perpetually thought everything in my 20’s was limited. Like, if a certain job didn’t work out I was never going to work; not winning a writing competition meant I should stop writing.
    In truth, most of your life is ahead. You’re limited only in not having the vitality and energy and health you once had. But, there are still options like church, family gatherings, YouTube, etc. My husband just volunteered to sing a few songs for a little farmers’ market at his job.
    You can also sing for the very exclusive audience of your sweet daughter. Our children love when we sing to them.

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    1. She is pretty much my exclusive audience now lol private concerts all day long. I actually was looking into community choirs the other day, it was something I wasn’t aware of until recently and am hoping that it can at least feed my creativity.

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  6. I grieve for my former self and dreams too. It’s rough. I’ve been unable to work since my 30’s, it’s till hard to accept. I have bipolar disorder and spinal instrumentation for scoliosis. They told me that the scoliosis wouldn’t interfere with my life, that once I healed from the surgery I’d be like new. I had surgery as a child. From going to forums online, I learned I was not alone in this pain that I supposedly wasn’t going to have.

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    1. Mine wasn’t discovered until after I had my daughter and I was basically told all they can do is put me in pain management but I refused to spend the rest of my life an addict. Doctors have a whole different agenda and it doesn’t always include improving the patient’s quality of life unfortunately.

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