perspective (pəˈspɛktɪv )
- a way of regarding situations, facts, etc, and judging their relative importance
- the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity
⇒ ■ try to get some perspective on your troubles
- the theory or art of suggesting three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, in order to recreate the appearance and spatial relationships that objects or a scene in recession present to the eye
- the appearance of objects, buildings, etc, relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance
- a view over some distance in space or time; vista; prospect
- a picture showing perspective
Over the past few months perspective is one of the things I have spent the most time reflecting upon and talking about. It has been amazing gift, this new perspective from which I view life. It has also been a ball and chain attached to my ankle. I am a mess of contradictions. The good and bad are tangled in a knot so tight that some days it feels impossible to distinguish the two. On one hand I am so grateful for every day that I wake up with my health and my family. On the other I am so tired of being exhausted by everything that life entails. I treasure every kiss and cuddle that I receive from my boys. I also feel like a terrible person and mother when I fall short on patience for the fighting and tantrums. I know how lucky I am to be alive so why am I having such trouble living?
How dare I feel sad when there is Syrian baby being born with shrapnel in her forehead. How can I speak of the fact that I feel unwell when there are children dying everyday from cancer? I should be ashamed that I am worried about a small scar on my chin when a 13-year-old girl died from toxic shock syndrome. On one hand it has only been six months, on the other it has been six months. Am I making any sense or am I as crazy as I feel? The guilt is a vast, deep ocean that I am drowning in.
Some days I am okay with it. I feel grateful that life has returned to some semblance of normal so that I can be annoyed by little things. My problems are no longer a matter of life and death which gives me the space to feel normal emotions. Rationally I know this is a good thing. But it feels wrong to worry about a messy house when I almost died. Everything seems to go back to that statement. I almost died. That 5% chance of survival weighs heavily on me. Shouldn’t I be savoring every moment of this life because I was lucky enough to survive? That 13-year-old little girl was denied the rest of her life and I have the audacity to complain about being tired. Perspective. Sigh.
I studied psychology in college and when I graduated I worked in the psych field. I worked at an acute inpatient hospital, with developmentally disabled adults, and with mentally ill adults. Before I met Marc my goal was to go to graduate school to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and eventually become a counselor. I am pretty good at giving advice to others. I tend to know how to talk to people in a gentle, caring way while still being honest. This is one thing I am proud of but I cannot do this for myself. I know that by trying so hard to always remain positive and by berating myself for sometimes giving into the sad I am not doing myself any favors. I know that I need to allow myself the grace and time to process what happened. Practice what you preach, right? I understand that everyone is allowed to have their feelings. People sometimes say things to me like, “I know this is nothing like what you went through.” I say to them, “Let’s not compare hard. Just because what I went through was hard does not mean what you are going through isn’t hard as well.” When I apply that same logic to myself I understand that it is okay to be struggle even though others are hurting worse. The problem is that when you are depressed logic can seem just out of reach. There is a difference between knowing things and believing them.
I believe that with time, therapy, and hard work I will gain a balanced perspective that will be healthy for me. In a way I am lucky that this happened to me while I am young enough to apply the lessons to the rest of my life. This time youth will not be wasted on the young. Who am I kidding? I’m nearly 32. I’m not exactly a child but I’m not exactly old either. What I do know is that I have time to figure it all out. I am alive to feel all the feels. For that, I will be forever grateful. Perspective.