Adversity Is a Character Builder

It has been over a week since I have written anything here.
I am currently experiencing a state of zero energy, and brain fog. I think/hope it is a result of hypothyroidism, because if it is, and if I can get natural rather than synthetic thyroid medication, the problem will be solved, and boring health posts will be banished from the blog.
But since I started it, let’s just call this a biographical post, and I will briefly explain my challenges, because they are the foundation from which I have had to build my attitudes about adversity, and perseverance. This will not be my most interesting post, but I hope it gives you some insight to the way in which I have developed my philosophy for living.
When I was young, my Dad would always tell me that adversity is a character builder. I appreciate his words now more than ever, because I see these difficulties as strengthening agents, rather than impediments. So if you can slog through this post with me, I promise, there is a point I want to make by telling my story, and there will be something uplifting at the end.

I am totally blind, and because I don’t see light, I have non 24 Sleep-Wake disorder. This is not your typical insomnia. I do not sleep at normal times, I do not sleep a normal length of time, and I do not sleep well . . . ever. This has lasted for eighteen years. Nothing helped me because my body’s master clock, which depends on the presence of light, could not be reset. Recently, a newly approved medication is helping immensely.
I have temporal lobe epilepsy, which I discussed in an earlier post. I also suffered a head injury, which left me with chronic dizziness and without my senses of taste or smell.
This is a nasty combination of health issues to have, because sleep depravation is one of the leading causes of seizures.
And . . when I have seizures, as part of the aftermath, I have a mild depression, and brain fog.
But I also have low thyroid function, so the depression and brain fog could be caused by that.
Or it could be caused by medications I take.
Or it could be caused by interactions between medications that I take. It’s one giant ridiculous maze of BLEH!
That is my foundation.
That is what I start with when I wake up in the morning, before the stresses of life even make an appearance.
I struggle, just to feel a normal energy level. There is so much in this world that I have left to experience, places I want to go, people I want to meet, things I want to try. I feel that I have a lot to give to the world, if I could just get out in it! It can be discouraging, when there are days that I don’t even have the energy to clean my house! If I don’t fight with everything I have to stay positive, it can make me feel that my goals will never be accomplished.
Thanks to my parents and the way they raised me, I have a
nearly-limitless well of optimism from which to draw my reserves. My faith in God is something so strong, it is hard to express it. These two things keep me going.
But that doesn’t mean that I never get tired or discouraged. Stresses that might be easily dealt with take on a much heavier cast when you come to them already in possession of chronic health issues. Right now, I live near my family, and they are wonderful at helping me go places. But I have no independence whatsoever, because I live in a place with no public transportation. I could move, but you have to have money to move, and to have money, you have to work. I am a freelance writer, and the best I can do workwise at this time is ten to twenty hours a week.
I am a problem solver, not a problem wallower, but that quandary right there has me well and truly stumped!
Then four months ago, my best friend passed away.
You can be the greatest optimist in the world, but when you lose your best friend, it feels as if your still-beating heart is pulled halfway out of your chest so that it can be slashed with swords, again and again, every time you breathe.
Life can be painful, and it can feel like you are making no forward progress whatsoever.
BUT
I count my blessings.
My health challenges are frustrating, but they could be so much worse. I can speak. I can write. I can hear. I can communicate, perceive, feel, and give, and that makes my life a blessed one, in spite of the naggity-nag health problems that try to keep me down.
I stay grateful.
I could have had an average best friend.
Instead, God gave me Rhonda.
And while she may not have been with me as long as I would wish, she affected my life in ways so profound, I am certain I have not fully realized them even now.
If you enjoy what I write, (present post notwithstanding), it is because of Rhonda that you read it at all.
I never would have shared anything, if she had not been so adamant about her belief in me as a writer.
And God has gifted me with other amazing friends, so while my heart still hurts, I stay grateful.
Finally, I am clueless as to how to give in.
I wish I could sometimes.
I know it would be easier.
But I just don’t know how to quit.
I don’t know how to throw up my hands and go, “Ok life, you win.” It’s not an option.
I have even tried to force myself to do it once or twice, and I just can’t! So while my health is messed up, and I can’t work much, and I have to ask my family to take me here and there, and independence is a wish, not yet even a plan, I cannot stop believing in myself.
I . have . SO . MUCH . TO GIVE!
That is why I want to be let loose on the world!
I believe things will happen, goals will be accomplished, achievements will be unlocked!
No matter how tired I am at this moment, I just don’t know how to believe any other way.
If you read this far, thanks Mom! (because she may be the only one left) Seriously though, if you have chronic problems of any kind, whether they are circumstantial, or health related, know that better days are coming.
They have to be, as long as you have the patience, and fortitude, and gratitude to hang on through the seemingly endless hard times. Keep pushing.
Keep going.
And most of all, keep dreaming!
Adversity sucks, but it definitely is a character builder, and when you reach that point where things are better, you will be so much more appreciative!
Count your blessings, stay grateful, and whatever you do, don’t give up!

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Author: Jena

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I am a small-town Southern writer, book hoarder, technology enthusiast, unashamed cat lady, and huge fan of the Outlander series. I have a degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Tyler. I love nothing more than to paint pictures with words, and to make people happy, and if I can do both at the same time, all the better. Gratitude, simple joys, and optimism are the cornerstones of my life philosophy. I am totally blind, and I have non 24 sleep disorder, and temporal lobe epilepsy. These health issues make for some interesting times, but adversity has taught me wisdom I never would have learned otherwise. I hope you will enjoy my writing, and I thank you for taking the time to read it.

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