Anyone can slay a dragon… but try waking up every morning and loving the world all over again. That’s what takes a real hero. ~ Brian Andreas
Since those close to me and I first started talking about doing a fundraiser to help with my overwhelming medical costs, I’ve talked about ‘pulling the trigger on this fundraising thing’. I hadn’t given much thought to the language I was using until a friend posted the above quote on facebook this morning. What was I aiming at? What was I planning to shoot with my trigger finger? It seems I have a dragon to slay and a beautiful, hand-engraved invitation to ‘wake up every morning loving the world all over again’.
Let me back up a bit. For those of you have followed my journey, you may recall that when I was on the ventilator I had a clear opportunity to lay my burdens down and choose the ultimate peace that I could sense filled the space behind death’s door, or to choose to climb back up that long ladder into a life that was much less certain, and potentially full of much more pain and struggle than what beckoned there at the edge of being and non-being. My memories of my journey in that unconscious state are filled with metaphorical dragon-slaying. I was fighting my darkest demons. Truth is, I’m not even sure yet what those demos were… I just know they scared me so much I was very tempted to give up just to make it stop.
When I did choose life, I came back into a world that showered me with love from the farthest edges of the globe all the way into the circle of friends and family closest to me. My very most inner circle saw me in my darkest hours. I think the darkness that still haunted me was working like a shadow cast on my nearest and dearest and it brought out some of their demons too. Some of it was physiological as I was dealing with some PTSD type flashback stuff, a bit of depression, anxiety, and was in a very fragile physical state, yet some of it was my doubts about choosing this challenging world we live in over the ultimate peace I sensed I could have had. How do you help someone in that state? Do you make them tea? Do their laundry? Do you just leave them alone and hope it goes away? What about when they’re awful to you? Do you forgive them? Do you use it as evidence for your worst thoughts about them? That may seem harsh – yet when dragons are around and the slayers exhausted and hungry, they aren’t always on their best behavior and don’t always act rationally, reasonably, or kindly. I know I didn’t. (more…)