Monday, May 18, 2015

Exhaustion, resiliency and keeping the faith

I've pondered the issue of resiliency before, and I still wonder how some folks remain resilient even after a seemingly endless run of crises and trauma in their lives.  Case in point; a very stressful job, a year long terminal illness of a parent, nearly losing the other parent in health crises twice within 8 months, all while nurturing a grieving family and showing up to previously mentioned stressful job with a smile pasted on and ready to solve every problem that crops up.  And yet I keep plugging away, one foot in front of the other.  There are lots of days that don't feel good, that tears are close to the surface, but I keep going.  How is it that I am able to keep being resilient?

I don't think of myself as particularly special, my whole family is dealing with the loss of our mom, and nearly losing our dad (AGAIN).  But I wonder, what sets us apart from others who throw in the towel at the slightest provocation?  The past week has been brutal, I'm exhausted (as are my siblings), and yet we brush away tears and keep going.

I wish I could attribute it to faith, but frankly, my faith has been shaken.  There is a belief amongst many of my faithful friends that God only gives you what you can handle.  I don't buy it.  I topped out on that in February, and yet it just keeps coming.  My heart has been wrenched into two several times over my life, and I'm done.  It's not a lack of knowing the Bible (when I was 4 I memorized more Bible verses than any other kid, even those twice my age in my Sunday school--my parents first clue that I might be a little "different" than the other 4 year olds), I know it.  I understand the teachings within, to the extent any regular person does.  I'm happy it works for others, but the tests that I've been given are making me question the veracity of the core beliefs with which I was raised.

So I question-what does faith have to do with resiliency?  Anything?  I don't know.  I'm inclined to believe that gratitude has a great deal to do with resiliency, as well as some pretty good brain chemicals and positive self-esteem.

I am incredibly grateful that my dad is still with us, despite the very scary crisis a week ago.  I can't even imagine losing him while the grief of losing my mom is so fresh and painful.  The thought is quite frankly, paralyzing.  Pretty dramatic I know.

And I question, what makes it possible to keep going to work, dealing with the stuff of everyday life and managing some grace while doing so?

I am sure that I can't possibly endure anything else for a while, that I need a break.  

In the meantime, I make plans for a return to regular exercise, a diet that will preserve my health and with any luck at all will prevent the diseases that have afflicted my parents, and to look for ways to turn off my brain.  I suspect if I master the last, the others will fall into place.

Or maybe I'll just move to a shack on the beach, and spend my days watching the water and sleeping.  That sounds like the best plan of all.

No comments: