Finding the silver lining even in the worst of times

Looking for the Silver Lining

I wrote about God winking last Sunday ready to start my week with the power of coincidence guiding my life till Monday night.  It started with a headache turning to all over body aches quite quickly.  Tuesday was not much better.  I took 2 IB every four hours hoping beyond hope that I would get some relief and soon, which didn’t turn out to be the case.  I thought I was going to die.  I wanted to be rushed to the emergency room and given a morphine drip.  Instead, I managed to sleep fitfully waking to yet another day of the same.

My mind went through a list of fatal diseases I was sure was my fate and finally settled on fibromyalgia.  I was devastated at the thought of living out the rest of my life with pain and fatigue.  If God was winking he was using some huge monster world size eye to blink me out of existence.  Then things took a turn.

One of my sons called to say he had been sick all week.  He was smart enough to talk to a doctor and a nurse.  He was told he had a gastrointestinal viral infection.  All he could do was ride it out making sure to drink fluids to keep hydrated.

Shortly after I talked with him I got some rumblings going on down there.  Sounded like there was a storm a brewing.  Then the storm hit and I became a slave to the bathroom.  Couldn’t venture more than 10 feet otherwise alarms would be sounded forcing me to run back or all fury would break loose.  Fortunately, once the storm broke I was relieved of my body aches.

Today, Sunday I am feeling a bit of grumbling in my lower region and headachy but, sigh, there is good news.

  • One, it is not fibromyalgia.  My sympathies go out to sufferers of that awful disease.  I admire the strength and fortitude it takes to get through the day.
  • Two, I lost about eight pounds.  I wouldn’t recommend getting sick as the ideal method for weight loss but it is quite effective.  My son and I concur on this one.
  • Three, I got a good colon cleanse all without even trying.  Again, not the best way but then again I am looking for the silver lining here.
  • Four, I think I actually saw god winking.  I know it sounds crazy but let me explain.

Monday before it all started I got reacquainted with a long lost friend.  This was someone I knew when I was a child.  Her family and my family were intertwined, as our mothers were also friends since grade school.  I talked with her for hours over the phone and was struck with an awakening, a painful awakening.  It knocked me almost as hard as the virus.

Listening to her reminisce about the past stirred up such sludge from the bottom of my psyche I shivered.  At 61 being finally freed from the pain and horror of my childhood I almost forgot the magnitude of sorrow I lived with.  I could think I’m in denial except that I’ve changed.  I am not the same as I was as a child, a teenager, or a young adult. I mean inside, deep inside, the true essence me is the same, it’s just my essence was buried and hidden under piles and piles of fear, hurt, rage, shame, guilt, longing and loss and now I can allow this essence exposure to life, to live and experience life.

I got the sense from talking with this long ago friend that she didn’t make the same changes I did.  I felt that she was still living with her past.  Maybe not the same as mine, her own past of course but a past that diverged with mine.

While I was holed up in my bedroom staying close to the bathroom I started to go over all this.  And I realized something.  Before I was thinking of writing a sort of book length memoir. I thought that it would be inspirational and uplifting, a sort of rising out of the ashes kind of thing and did start work on it but I couldn’t get into it.  And now I realized I don’t want to go back and relive all that. I think that some people write memoirs as a sort of catharsis and that’s all well and good but I am not needing that level of emotional work.  I mean how long would it take me to write this memoir?  A year or more?   Probably.  And do I want to spend the next year or two engulfed in that pain?  Not really.

Ok, here’s the thing. I am sure that if someone would have told me that it would be painful and even re-traumatizing for me to go back there to write that I would have thought, Oh, so what.  I can handle it.  Well, no, the truth is I can’t handle it. And I don’t need to handle it.  So, I’m scraping the project.

At first there was an empty space where that idea was.  A sort of lonely adrift feeling when slowly almost of its own accord a new idea moved in.  I’m still sorting out that new idea and I’m not sure where I will go with it but it felt good.

As I see it, God needed to wink with his gigantic global eyeball to really knock some sense into me because otherwise I would be thinking that I had it covered.  Instead, looking at the silver lining I am able to let something go and allow something else in.

Have you ever found that from the worst of things you can actually see a silver lining or even God winking?


4 thoughts on “Finding the silver lining even in the worst of times

  1. To your question my answer is yes, yes and yes !
    I am soooo proud of you my friend. You have traveled a far distance. About that memoir….. I believe you could handle just about anything you wanted to at this point in your life. You are so strong. but you are right, you have spent a fair amount of your life overcoming all that pain. Enough time already spent there. It is good to let it all go. Love you


    1. Thanks Donna, I am blessed to call you my friend. So, then, do tell, what is your favorite silver lining story? I’d love to hear it.


  2. I am often with the “lonely adrift” place….
    I have come to discover – if I am patient – that within that place is treasures. Sadly I have not taken the time or created the space to “sit” in that lonely adrift place and “play in the sand, or wade in the water, or skip stones across the lake.” Now wouldn’t that be a waste of time. M-m-m-m!

    And in the “lonely adrift” place realize a greater truth than the one I might be holding onto. Then willing to let go of what I was holding on to as the only truth there could be. Not allowing for more to come that fills my being.

    And the lonely adrift place of sitting with a dieing friend day after day and not feeling so lonely or so adrift – except when I was apart from her. The silver lining if you will, “I was touching God as I touched her cheek.”


    1. Wow, that is so cool. You took a phrase of mine and made it incredibly meaningful. The lonely adrift place where one finds oneself unceremoniously and where now that one has landed there can “sit” and “play in the sand or wade in the water, or skip stones across the lake” and be in a place of openness, ready to receive.


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