Fear of Forty


Last week I officially crested the top of that middle-age hill and am now on the other side. The stress and anxiety I felt during the last weeks of my 30's had me tied up in knots. Turning 40 was such a daunting prospect, especially considering where my life's at, that all I wanted to do was cry. And a few times I did. Like the date on my birth certificate swirled up all the anger and frustration over how little control I have over my life. Then it happened. I turned 40.

Now I'm laughing, because turning 40 is so much worse than being 40! 40 is, actually, glorious. Like the date on my birth certificate allowed me to accept everything about my life, and stop being mad at it. It helps immensely that I'm now getting a string of days between flares, and the flare that just ended yesterday didn't present itself with its usual buckets of anger. Sure I zoned out on yet one more TV series as I distracted my awakening brain with epic amounts of Scorpion Solitaire. What else is a person supposed to do when they're too fatigued to function? But I didn't get mad about the fact that three days of my life are just...gone. 

I just was. Where did this acceptance come from? Where did the anger that's consumed me for months just up and go? My husband reminded me this is how it happens, how I slowly start to stabilize and regain my footing. Funny, because I forgot. I didn't remember what it was like to feel a positive emotion, let alone not dissolve into puddles of anger anytime I felt anything. Whatever this is inside me they call fibro, it's a Beast. And it took the Beast releasing a little of its stronghold for me to remember how complex, dark, and all-consuming the Beast truly is. 

And also for me to remember what a blessed gift acceptance is. For if I accept my reality and work with it, not rail against it, I actually make progress. Eventually that progress is measurable, and I can look behind me and see some distance between me and the Beast's prison. Don't get me wrong, the Beast is still walking beside me, trying to take a swipe out of me anytime it feels like it, but I no longer live in its world. The Beast is living in mine. 

Thanks for joining,
Leah       

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