Late in August, I posted about waiting for a Botox treatment to work, about the suffering brought by misplaced hope, and about how emotional balance and equanimity - not healing - must be my goal.
It turns out to be a good insight: the Botox has made no difference in the migraines. Having practiced equanimity about the outcome of the treatment, I am not now crashing down through the wreckage of high hopes - hopes that the migraines will go away, that I will have more energy, that I will be able to live normally once I am not in almost constant pain. It is a good thing not to crash.
Yet to be honest, I do find myself in a bit of depression today. It's the day after Labor Day: my husband, after being off work for a week, has returned to his office; the weather is cool and rainy; people move purposefully up and down the sidewalk outside my windows. I remember how I loved this time of year. I usually felt renewed purpose and greater energy moving in with the cooler breezes. It's the time of year to go back to school, pick up work after celebrating summertime's last holiday, or help the family through changes in routine.
I admit to a tinge of feeling sorry for myself. Thank God, that does not last long. I know too many people who are also struggling: a loved one with cancer; an empty-nester feeling lost and alone in an echoing house; women living with AIDS; my homeless friends caught in addiction; a dear friend in the midst of huge upheaval; people I care about facing limb amputation, or family tragedy, or unemployment.
Equanimity balances my vision. Contemplating the wonders and richness of my life overwhelms me with thankfulness. Self-pity melts away, depression recedes for the moment.
Today is a day for gratitude.
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Carol D. Marsh
- With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree (Goucher College, August 2014), I am looking at a new phase in my life. From 1992 to 2009, I served as Founding Executive Director of Miriam's House, a residence for homeless women living with AIDS. I left this position when Chronic Migraine Disease overtook my ability to do my job. Now I hope that a writing career will both accommodate the migraines and give me a creative, productive outlet. And soon, September 4, I will launch my Inkshares author page in a bid to hit the 1,000 pre-order goal in 90 days. The book I want to publish is "Nowhere Else I Want to Be," a memoir of ten of my years at Miriam's House.