Day 21: The Dark Side of the Moon

Up until now, I’ve mainly blogged about my progress, visitors, things that have lifted my spirits, some thoughts, and Adam. There’s one thing I haven’t been completely honest with ya’ll about — this whole thing is hard af.

I’ve left out all the times I’ve cried myself into a pounding headache, covered in snot and tears, because of how scared and frustrated I’ve been. I’ve forgotten to mention not mentioned all the times I’ve pounded pain pills like it was my job because my brain felt like it was just seared on a hot cast iron skillet, temporal lobe-side down (unrelated to the crying). I’ve failed to include the constant bombardment of thoughts like, “What’s the point? Why am I even bothering? I hope this doesn’t work so I can stop worrying about everything. When will I ever be normal again? When will the throbbing stop? I’m so insanely jealous of everyone out in the world right now able to enjoy this gorgeous day. Will I ever be healthy enough to go running again? Etc.”

People have been so encouraging, telling me that I’m inspirational and that I have such a good attitude about everything. Truth be told, I don’t feel like I do. I keep pressing forward because, well, what else is there to do? The only other option is to die, and that’s too selfish. I sugar coat responses to questions like, “How are you feeling? How are you doing? Is everything okay?” because I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade with the brutal truth. If I don’t have hope, how can I expect anyone else to either? It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s entirely exhausting.

Each day I wake up with a choice: a choice to win the day or to lose the day; a choice to do something with myself that I’ll be proud of or to do nothing. Lately, I’ve been losing a lot of days (e.g. doing nothing) and I’ve been extremely frustrated. No one ever teaches you how to beat your mind at its own games (a hard lesson to be learned). I know I’m supposed to be resting, but how much rest do I really need? How much rest until it tip-toes over to just being lazy? (Pardon me while the overly ambitious Min steps in for a second).

I shouldn’t be pushing myself. I shouldn’t be stressing about anything. My main focus is the recover and let my body heal. But I can’t shake the feeling that I’m wasting my time, that I could be doing something more productive. My friends get mad at me when I talk about this because they know me and know how driven I am to get things done. They harp about how I need to slow it down and really just focus on recovery. I guess the transplant didn’t change my personality one bit — my mom swears up and down that it will (see: Korean stereotypes, blood type personalities.)

I guess the take home message here is that this whole process is teaching me patience. Yeah, the virtue. For an on-the-go kind of guy, this is really hard for me, but I guess the universe *really* wants me to learn it so, here we are.

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2 thoughts on “Day 21: The Dark Side of the Moon

  1. Min, your candor touches me. I am so sorry that there are so many moments of discomfort and pain. And speaking for myself, and I bet for a lot of other people as well, we want to hear and be supportive about those moments too – or especially! Best regards.

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  2. Likewise. And Min, it’s probably ok that you don’t “win” every single day. As long as you’re still making overall progress, doing like you said to be patient and get better (even if it’s just bit by bit by bit), that’s the big picture. I “lose” a few days every week, probably, and I’m perfectly healthy!

    At least that’s how I feel; obviously I don’t know what you’re feeling and going through, but I do know that ups and downs are a part of everything, but given your current state, I’m amazed and how “winning” you’ve been. #CharlieSheen

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