Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace

7 Jul

Amelia Earhart said that a long time ago. I’ve always admired that woman-her pluck, her drive, her sheer willfulness to fly. She just always seemed like an incredible individual, someone you’d love to just be around, just to absorb some of her energy by osmosis.

I am not brave. I show no courage. I crave life-the simple, primitive animal will to life. It is not bravery to be a stubborn bastard and refuse to lie down and let this illness take me.

I sat in group one day and listened to women talk about not being able to get out of bed they were so depressed. When my turn came, and they asked about what I did, I said

“I just get out of bed. I don’t have a choice.”

 I have never sat in bed moaning over my state. I’ve gotten up and done my thing, regardless of mood. But again, not bravery. Just life. We need to eat-I need to work. Looking at those women, I couldn’t help but judge and think that maybe they found it easier to succumb to their sickness, easier to believe that they really couldn’t get up and go. I couldn’t help but think less of them. They weren’t brave at all.

Maybe they can’t be, and that’s fine. But I realized sitting there-I am not one of them. I am pretending. I am willful and stubborn and strong, and I will never sit there wondering why I can’t get out of bed. I always get out of bed-I always get moving. Life always moves me forward.

I took my steps to hospitalization because I had to. It was that, or die. And I truly wanted to die the other day-it seemed so simple and painless. Just go-just disappear, and never cause anyone a lick of harm ever again. I took those steps because I do not want my premonition of not living past 30 to come true. I took those steps because having my kids grow up with the ghost of a crazy mother really isn’t an option.

It’s not courage, it’s not bravery. It’s life. It’s the capacity for adjustment and movement, the ability to let go when you need to. And something has changed in me now, a peace has come over parts of me, a calm gentle space where it’s warm and full of lavender.

I’m living my life-trying to live it instead of just watching it. I’m documenting all of this in case one person, even just one, is hurting and sad and finds it and realizes that it really isn’t that bad to stop and ask for help. We aren’t solitary animals-so why do we act the part?

12 Responses to “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace”

  1. Chick July 7, 2007 at 10:50 am #

    Sweetie, you ARE brave. It takes courage to ask for help. And even more courage to admit to yourself that you may need help. Hang in there. I understand when you say, “I just get out of bed. I don’t have a choice.” Some people have the luxury(?) of being able to take to their bed, or be babied, or whatever. Some of us do not.

    I have a friend who has been hospitalized four times in the past year. Her husband always takes up the slack with the house and kids and her responsibilities. Me….I have no one to take up the slack if I get to the point of wanting to end it all, so I just put one foot in front of the other and go on.

    Just hang in there. Do make it past thirty. Then past forty. And then longer. You can do it.

  2. ann adams July 7, 2007 at 11:46 am #

    You sell yourself short. You’re brave to keep on in spite of demons I can’t begin to understand.

    You’re brave to acknowledge that you’re afraid and braver yet to not succumb to the fear.

    Getting out of bed each day because you know people depend on you? How is that not courageous.

    Hang in, my dear friend.

  3. cherylann July 7, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    Thank You. I don’t have a choice either… I have to get out of bed too. Some days it’s a blessing… other days I just want to crawl back in and pull the covers up. You are brave.

  4. charlotteotter July 7, 2007 at 3:04 pm #

    I think you are immensely brave. I understand also that feeling of just having to get out of bed and live. I once read somewhere that getting out of bed to feed the children when things are falling apart is a spiritual act. I try to remember that on my bleak days.

  5. bon July 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm #

    ditto to all of the above. that IS courage in my books, the very mundanity of just keeping going, doing what you have to. anyone can be courageous in high drama…but getting out of bed when you must, and checking yourself in when you need to, no matter how inconvenient or how frightening…that’s facing reality. which takes a lot of bravery.

  6. Jennifer July 7, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    Yer weird. A person who cannot do what needs to be done is the coward.

    I remember reading interviews done on heros of WWII and none of them considered themselves as heros, just as people who did what needed to be done.

    You did what needed to be done.

  7. alimum July 8, 2007 at 1:19 am #

    It takes a lot of courage to take the steps you need to get help. You did what you had to do to live, even though death seemed so much easier, so much simpler, so much less painful than continuing to live. You are so brave, and like every person who shows real bravery, you tell yourself that you just did what needed to be done.

  8. karriew July 8, 2007 at 8:39 am #

    Yeah, I never quite understand the not being “able” to get out of bed. I understand feeling that way, but when it is no longer all about you, there really is not a choice. You do what you have to do, and I think doing what must get done probably helps some of us from sinking even further.

  9. landismom July 8, 2007 at 10:35 am #

    It is hard, very hard, to admit that you need help. I think you’re doing the courageous thing, myself.

  10. jkdufair July 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm #

    Thor – I have gotten a lot of “brave” and “courageous” compliments over the past year. I never understood them either. You just put one foot in front of the other. Like you, I have to get up. I have no choice. I’m it for my kids.

    “And something has changed in me now, a peace has come over parts of me, a calm gentle space where it’s warm and full of lavender.”

    Best words I’ve ever read on this blog. And that’s saying a lot. Joy in spite of everything. Perhaps that’s courage. I don’t know.

  11. Sara July 14, 2007 at 7:19 pm #

    thanks so much for writing this

    i needed to read it

    i know what you mean, when hospitalized before i always harshly judge myself

    maybe im not “as sick” (not that i want to be sicker) than my diagnosis suggests because of the other woment here, who talk of not being able to get out of bed

    i have a 2 year old and a 5 year old…i dont remember the last time i was able to not get out of bed

    you writing helped, i always felt like those women were so strong and i ended up in the hospital over measely mania, suicidal thoughts, and because im just not able to put on my mommy skin any longer and move on

    your right, when you cant, not get out of bed, its strength that gets us through

  12. thordora July 15, 2007 at 7:08 am #

    Thanks Sara. I felt horrible sitting there judging them, but on the other hand I thought, should they push themselves harder? are they really too sick to even do that little?

    It’s easier for me to look out than in. I have trouble acknowledging my weakness, which is likely just as much of a problem.

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