Posted by Kathleen Pooler/@kathypooler
Moment of Clarity: A Memoir Moment
A moment of clarity is often described as a sudden, and deep acceptance of some truth that you’ve been unable to see or accept.
It stems from a period of confusion and uncertainty. Sometimes, there’s the Eureka moment when an idea feels right and it becomes clear what direction you need to take. But then that moment slips away and you are back to weighing the options.
As I’ve written about before, I am in the throes of deciding what my next step will be since being rejected for a kidney transplant on 3/24/17.
If I hadn’t felt so positive and allowed myself to ride a wave of hope, visualizing a future free from dependence on a machine for my very life, the fall probably wouldn’t have been so hard.
A Period of Grieving…
Shocked and dismayed, I entered into a period of grief about what could have been, railing against my lot, tethered to a machine and exhausted from the cumbersome daily routine. I have always valued wellness and being physically fit. I’ve had to learn to listen to my body and give up Zumba classes, long hikes and any activity that requires burning calories. I’ve always valued a healthy diet and weight but fluid imbalances make it impossible to control my weight no matter how careful I am with my diet. Plus I get 500 extra calories of glucose every day in the dialysis fluid.
In the grand scheme of things, this feels like I’m being petty and whiny. It could probably classify as a “First World” problem. I have to keep reminding myself that I did survive a life-threatening cancer twenty-one years ago.
Yet, I know I have to acknowledge and honor the feelings of loss that I am experiencing.
On and on, and you see where I’m going with this futile self-talk…
A Cloud of Confusion…
I need a moment of clarity, where I can see my way clear through the fog of painful realizations that my life has been irrevocably changed by factors beyond my control.
“Chill for a month,” says Dr, Morgan, my nephrologist at my last clinic appointment. “Think about how well you are doing on dialysis and we’ll talk about it next month. If you want to pursue another evaluation at a different facility, I will facilitate that for you. But let me make it very clear, this is your decision.”
The angel on my right shoulder is telling me that I have many reasons to be very grateful. I am cured of cancer and am still around to enjoy my beautiful grandchildren. I am sharing my life with a loving husband and living out my dreams of being an author. The peritoneal dialysis has made me feel better and enabled me to participate in many of the activities I enjoy.
The devil on my other shoulder is reminding me of all the inconveniences that being on dialysis creates—the endless daily tasks, the burdens of managing all the medications and supplies, the limits imposed on activities I chose to engage in, the lack of freedom in travel. The lack of energy to function like I want to.
The two are battling it out in my mind and I just want to make a decision one way or the other. Go for another evaluation or accept life as it is. Period.
There are pros and cons for each choice. While the surgery offers me the promise of freedom, it comes at a high risk. And yet, maybe it will be successful…
The Quandary of Choices…
I decided to pull out all stops, to step back from the incessant chatter in my head, to wipe the mental slate clean of all the confusion and chaos.
I started Tai Chi classes, scheduled weekly therapeutic massages, set up sessions for healing touch and have made more time for daily scripture reading and prayer. I’m also trying to be more active on the days I feel able.
I’m waiting for that breakthrough where the answer flows effortlessly, the choice clear. But I have to be patient.
Pulling from past successes…
As I reflect back, I realize I can get inspiration from past moments of clarity…
From Chapter 25, “New Year’s Eve Resolution”, Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse, p. 130:
After years of struggling in an emotionally-abusive marriage to a man who abused alcohol, a moment of clarity came to me as an epiphany:
The phone rang every fifteen minutes in the early morning hours after New Year’s Eve with apologies and frantic requests from Ed to pick him up at the bar. I hung up on him. After a while, I ignored his calls. By the time he was dropped off at 7 a.m. by a friend, I had made a decision. Sitting straight up in bed, arms folded, I made a commitment to myself and my children. It would be the last New Year’s Eve of its kind in my lifetime.
And it was.
When I make a decision, I want it to be for the right reasons. I want it to feel right with no regrets or turning back. I want to stand in my truth.
And then I want to let it go and live my life with whatever my decision ends up being.
I am reminded of a quote by Mandy Hall:
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything it is.”
How about you? Do you have any moments of clarity to share? How did it happen? How did it make you feel?
I’d love to hear from you. Please join in the conversation below~
April 2017 Newsletter: Updates, Memoir Musings and Max Moments:
“Interview with Memoir Author Pattie Welek Hall: A Mother’s Dance”
Pattie is the author of a stunning memoir, A Mother’s Dance. It is a heart wrenching and moving story about hope, perseverance, self-discovery, hard choices and love in facing a mother’s worst nightmare –twice.