If one of my legs became afflicted with progressive, fatal, and incurable disease, diminishing my overall health and quality of life –and I could have the leg removed and adapt, as a healthier person or host the disease and constant pain, but get to keep both legs—with hopes of appearing more normal– I like to think , if necessary, I would cut that shit off myself, with a dull butter knife.
I never wish to have only a single leg, but– if I could stop pain and disease from compromising all parts of my body, life, and infecting my children– THAT is a no brainer.
Having two legs, like having a relationship with my mother is something I had viewed as evidence of being normal, acceptable, and healthy. This is flawed thinking and believing, rooted in concern for how things look from the outside. I care more about how things and people actually are– than appearances—no matter who is looking. I prioritize goodness over looking good. (Good, as in wholesome—not, as in pleasing or correct). I choose to save my ass over my face. Seems, there are times in life, in which we are called to choose.
When recovery not only taught me to, but insisted, that if I want to be well and whole, I must acknowledge my feelings and limits and honestly express them. In doing so, the sickness within our family was illuminated. It showcased the fact that we did not want the same type of relationship—in which each person mattered— no more and no less. My mother hinged having a relationship with me to my accepting/tolerating/ignoring/denying poor treatment and unkind words from my sister. We each made our choices. I chose mental health and wellness.
These are my thoughts today, as my first mother’s day without a living mother.
In recovery, we learn that pain is a part of life BUT that suffering is optional. As always, the special days are complicated for those of us who struggled with unhealthy family systems that led to unhealthy sense of everything.
I will end on a funny-ish note. While on vacation a few weeks ago, at a gift store we saw a cute “Get well soon” card and one of my sons asked if we can send to my sister. I use the word sickness to explain the painful and confusing things which are said and done. This has been the only succinct and blanket statement I can think of– to help them process unkindness and dishonesty. I just say, that is what unwell people do. And then we talk about healthier behaviors. We want to be well. We are learning together how to do that.
Also, I am certain my relatives would insist I am the cancery leg BECAUSE I chose to be so. Whatevs.Much Love,
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