Endurance: A Guide to Coping

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Endurance: A Guide to Coping

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It’s 3 a.m.. Here I am again, awake. My mind keeps pushing away thoughts that have probable cause to bring me to my sadness. 

Avoiding the abyss that lies underneath my surface, I look at my phone for some semblance of distraction. 

I don’t want to face the pain. The reality. My daughter is sick. I mean really sick. 

She has a disease that could end her life. 

Obligation kicks in when the morning light begins the journey on the horizon. I rise, having lost significant hours of rest, not just sleep. Coffee, work, caregiving, something called breakfast, work, family, caregiving, family, work, wine, sometimes tequila, dinner, caregiving, work, bed again. No particular routine. 

This was me avoiding it. This was my language of coping. This was ten years ago. 

Today is different. 

With time, I have learned to speak a different language of coping. Within caregiving, I have learned to speak endurance. 

Life has the ability to continually remind us that it is difficult. Caregiving is that extra special reminder. My daughter, now 15, has ongoing after-cancer appointments because of where it stemmed from; her face and her neck. She will never know a sense of normalcy that I always crave for her. She will always have thyroid, growth, hormone, biopsy, CT scan struggles — all of it. Because of her, she has been my favorite teacher when it comes to endurance. 

With endurance, I have learned that we are provided endless opportunities to maintain a sense of kindness, understanding, reality, and within-ness for ourselves. We are privileged to be enduring creatures because we know light thanks to darkness. 

Endurance has the intelligence to be prosperous, especially when caregiving for others and caregiving for ourselves. It is allowing all that comes at us, in us, with us, for us to be what molds us and reminds us.  As humans, the awareness to endure is a gift; we feel, we care, we know. 

Run the race, walk the marathon, bike the trail, keep moving, keep swimming, keep on keeping on. We don’t have the ability to stop time in this life  – not yet at least –  so our only choice is to continue onward. This is welcomed with great success when we know how to endure. While maintaining our core beliefs, we have the capacity to endure the changes, the hardships, and the darkness that may come our way.

To endure is to abide, to mend, to guard, to manage, to heal, to rebuild…To endure is to cope. It is 3 a.m.  again. I rest. I continue to endure.

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