Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Choosing The Battle

"Pick your battles." "Ask if this is the hill you want to die on." There are so many adages about making the decision when to fight, be that a physical fight or a psychological fight or an emotional fight. What ever it is, you have to choose your battles wisely; you may not get another chance, or taking this chance may take too much out of you.

But what if your battle is the simple act of going to the toilet? You don't get to pick that one. What if getting dressed is one of the toughest fights of your morning, only to be reversed in the evening, not with any less difficulty? There days when not dressing just seems to make a lot more sense. Unfortunately it's hard to have company over when you are in your boxer shorts.

What if you struggle, even with the emotional impact of getting up, questioning your value, the value of your life, the value of that which you are getting up to do? This is not depression. This is enforcement of the adage. Pick your battles. When almost everything is a battle the process gets a lot more complicated. When everything drains you, everything becomes a fight.

People look at me and wonder at how energetic I am in the face of this disease. What they don't see is the 10 to 12 hours a day I spend in bed. They don't understand that I am choosing to fight this battle on my own terms, and those terms include looking, or acting, or being, energetic when I am up, and exhausted when I am down. That's all it is, an act. I look like I am energetic because that is all you get to see.

Those who are with me on a daily, and nightly, basis; they see the tiredness. Those who see me sleep and are forced to watch me wake up and dress; they see the battle. While the rest of the world sees me while I am up, while I am positive, while I look like I have energy, it is those who see me when I choose not to battle who understand the real impact of ALS on me. Those people see the fight.

1 comment:

  1. Richard,i know that you are not a particularly religious man, I rarely preach, but indulge me in these thoughts. In Exodus 17 :12 Moses was too tired to go on so his friends held his hands up for him,
    You said the other day you,re tired of going every day, tired of your limitations. Maybe its time to let your friiends and family to hold your hands up, just for a while until you are rested.
    I dont know you well but my image of you was a strong,selfreliant,(may I add stubborn?) man who was used to not having to ask for help, but your friends and family WANT to do things for you.
    I know, for me, I like to give, love to help, but Im NOT a gracious reciever. They might see that Im human!!
    Please dont take this as preaching, but in the spiroit which it is intended. Wish I could help more. Please know, both Anita and I hold ypur hands up in prayer.