I think there are two types of people: Those who ignore, and those who despair. Both approaches to pain are bad. One is naive and the other is depressed. Today, however, is about the latter.
Because oh boy, am I the latter. I despair in my trials with a raincloud over my head. And I sulk, religiously, because what else is there to do?
A lot of my fellow Soldiers are likewise. We look at our wheelchairs, or our walkers, or our medications, and we shake our fists at the sky. We throw our cards off the table, because what a horrible hand we have. We see the entire world through that lens. A lens of "Why is it always like this?" "Why is this worth doing at all?"
In order words, everything is through a lens of suck. You're twelve again.
Want to see a movie?
Okay, well... Want to go to DISNEY WORLD?
...Mickey is creepy.
Ugh. Everything sucks. Woe is me and my terrible, horrible, inescapable life.
I look back on it after one of those days, and I laugh at myself, because I tend to look a tiny bit overdramatic. Just a little ridiculous. Despite my knowledge of the insanity, however, I could never seem to escape the cycle. That is, until I drove to the airport.
Okay, that's a jump, but stay with me, I promise. Recently, I was visiting relatives, and that necessitated a long drive to IAH. I'm stuck in a gray Honda, which smells of mostly fast food and anxiety, and I stare at the scenery. Not that there's much. Worn down asphalt and the occasional F-150. I inwardly sigh in defeat.
Thrilling. Settle in, Mere, it's gonna be a long day. The despair cycle begins.
We roll to a stop at a red light, and I look out at the road. It looks a little worn and sad. If it were a person, I'd probably give the road a hug.
Then I look a little closer, and it all evaporates. Because, aw, there's a tiny cluster of squat, purple wildflowers near the curb.
...but that's amazing. Hardly anything grows in The Lone Star State, and yet things still pop up on there own accord. Tiny things, and yet still not withered or dried out in the Texas sun. Which, natives will tell you, is like living in a George Foreman.
And, suddenly, I feel a tiny glimmer of hope.
Why don't I treat life like this more often and look for things like this? After all, despair doesn't just feel terrible, it's also very draining. It's often the little things, all collectively, that make life worth it. Our suffering suddenly becomes bearable in the pinhole of light.
Look for the little things. Get your lens checked. Maybe change them out.
And for goodness sake, drink some water. Because it's only going to get hotter from here.