Thursday, March 28, 2013
After the nasty bout of the big "E" three years ago, I started questioning who I am. I was forced to quit my job as a teacher. I lost my balance, so I had to quit ballroom dancing, riding my bicycle, to name a couple of things I once enjoyed doing. With all this, I also lost a great deal of confidence and self-esteem. And along the way, I lost some friends ... or maybe they lost me.
The only thing I didn't lose is weight! No, I didn't lose that ... in fact, I gained it. Isn't that special!!
So, I've been grieving way too long over the "Judy I once was." At long last, I have begun asking myself a more important question: "Who am I now?" When I look in the mirror, I see a strong resemblance of the woman I once was, so there's a disconnect between what I see and what I perceive. Why is that?
Don't have an answer yet, but I am reminded of a quote I've always admired, and the universal word "man" can be replaced with woman" or person without degrading the speakerís intent.
"I know I'm not the man that I ought to be, and Iím surely not the man I want to be, but thank God, Iím not the man I used to be." ĖMartin Luther King Jr.
For me, I may not be the same outgoing, confidant, physically strong woman I used to be ... but Thank God, I'm not the judgmental, intolerant woman I used to be.
Yes, I think encephalitis helped me in ways I am just now discovering like becoming a more caring, tolerant person. Whenever I see a disabled person these days, I believe I have more compassion and less judgment I once may have had. I now understand that to be ill, to be in chronic pain, to lose your job, to lose anything ... is something you should not be ashamed of. I am sorry to have to admit that I once (albeit silently) felt that way.
Thank God, I'm not the woman I used to be!