Sunday, July 20, 2014

God Exists when all else fails?

I have never been religious, so you can imagine my surprise when I found this entry in one of my many sporadic old journal entries:

February 26,2000

This is the week of my recovery from four months of pain from a ruptured disk. It is like coming out of prison, but the prison cell was my own body.

There is a horror unlike any other when your own trusted vessel--that lifetime companion--your body, betrays you. I asked for antidepressants (they gave me Prozac).

I took over 100 Vicodin for pain. I saw surgeons, imaging doctors, 3 chiropractors, an acupuncturist, an internist, two psychiatrists and a TMS specialist. I had four nerve blocks (needle in the spine) and actually nothing made much of a difference except time.

One wonderful pain specialist in Los Angeles started me on physical therapy and yoga, and that with massage made the biggest impact on my pain.

I can barely believe this saga is finally over.

I have been writing and revising short stories for these four months in bed. There has been a shift in my self-perception. I now believe I'm a slightly better writer than I ever thought before. The Zoetrope writing website has been a gift to me in that regard. Perhaps it took losing everything to get me still enough to write. I am selling the condo to pay bills; my business partner has absorbed all my clients, so my company is kaput; I need to leave L.A. to afford to live.

Perhaps having myself all to myself with no other support system has impacted me even deeper than I can yet express. What is most chilling is the possibility that my world will get even narrower--not broader--in this respect. The fear makes me want to reach out and gather new people to my heart. I am so very alone. It is not bad to be alone, nor to be in my own company....but to be sick and alone is a very different matter. Not my shining moment, but my darkest. I need to remember. Whose life can I brighten when they are at their darkest? Is that the lesson?

I went with people I know to an opening tonight of an art exhibit, the artist being a woman I used to study with. It was joyous to be with people again after such a long time. Thank you, God, for my healing. I am truly grateful.

I find it interesting that pain, as well as the loneliness and desperation I felt then, is later all but forgotten. And so is any faith in a higher power. I believe in hope, it seems to come naturally to the species. But finding God takes a little more work for me. If I'm entirely honest, I have to say I'm not comfortable carrying the label of "atheist." It leaves no room for the unknowable, of which I am a strong believer. But organized religion is a farce, in my opinion. Still, when all else fails, I do implore....something...for help and I guess, reading this, I am grateful for it.

The Sufis got it right, I think.


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