Why Me Syndrome

dsc01302Ever suffer from the why me syndrome? Those times you are immobilized by anger, frustration, and fatigue and wondering why you have to go through whatever it is you are enduring. Anyone who knows me knows that I have coped with an abundant amount of physical pain. Some of it was self-inflicted during my career as a pro athlete, but most of it accidental, random sh**.

I don’t have to look far for inspiration to find someone who is fighting an even greater challenge. Compared to others, my life is not so bad. I have lost friends to cancer, suicide, and bad, bad bugs like MSRA. I have friends who are coping with MS, diabetes, and depression.

I have friends enduring the crippling loss of a parent, child, sibling, spouse or friend. I know people facing surgery, dealing with dialysis, and going through chemo. I have friends who encounter each day without complaint, staring down each personal setback with dignity.

Early on, we must learn life is not fair. We don’t get to pick our opponents. Some obstacles are insurmountable. Some rivals are bigger, stronger, better. Some battles cannot be won, no matter how hard we fight.

I have cried a million tears, pounded my bed in despair and prayed to the heavens. Why am I here if only to suffer?

Because suffering is universal.

It is what makes us human.

img_0006Life is not fair. It is not fair that I was born into a stable, loving family. That as a child, I grew up with 3 of my 4 grandparents still living to help shape me. That my community was so safe I could play outside until the street lights came on. That doors opened for women in sports that had been forever closed offering me opportunities to travel and compete. That my father was a coach and I, an athlete, so I had a head start. That I met my soul mate half way across the globe. His family adopted me just as mine cherished him helping us to create a new cross cultural, bilingual family. That I had not only one, but two children that enrich my life. That I have loyal, steadfast friends and former students and athletes scattered around the globe cheering me on in my darkest moments.

img_1963Thanks to all of you who reached out to support me with calls, comments, text messages, FB shout outs and emails.

I have been blessed beyond measure. As I roll out of bed onto the floor and into the downward dog to stretch my limbs that lock up overnight, I toss-up a prayer.

To all of you grappling with the loss of loved ones, job insecurity, crazy bosses, growing older and the gamut of emotions ranging from rage to fear to anxiety that are an inherent part of the human condition, I hope you have the resiliency to weather the next storm.

As you face a new day, I wish you Bon Courage.

Be bold, be brave, believe.

Embrace life…a gift at any age.

Posted in inspiration, relationships.

11 Comments

  1. Oh Pat, Yes and Amen! Your words came at perfect time to remind me to focus on my many blessings not my problems. Life truly is a gift. Thank you dear friend for always lifting me up with your words. Let’s keep fighting the good fight.

    • I thought of you, Kathy, when I wrote this. I admire how you gallantly face your health challenges head on all the while continuing to give hope to others to have faith and fight on.

  2. Oh Pat, Yes and Amen! Your words came at perfect time to remind me to focus on my many blessings not my problems. Life truly is a gift. Thank you dear friend for always lifting me up with your words. Let’s keep fighting the good fight.

    • I thought of you, Kathy, when I wrote this. I admire how you gallantly face your health challenges head on all the while continuing to give hope to others to have faith and fight on.

  3. “Suffering is universal.” Words to remember, and I will, thank you. When I was a younger woman, I had health challenges uncommon for my age, and I felt very alone. As my cohort has aged, however, the irony is now I have company. The universality of it is a comfort to me, although I don’t want anyone to suffer. To put things in perspective: yesterday my writing group was assembling at our downtown library. People were filing in, getting comfortable for our monthly meeting. A man walked up to me that I recognized from 2 decades ago in my career life. We hugged and caught up briefly. He wasn’t a writer, but heard I would be there and stopped in to say hi. Turned out, it was his granddaughter-in-law, a police officer, who had just been assassinated in a neighboring city a few days ago. Oh, man. After he left I had to struggle to gather myself for the meeting. If I could only ease his suffering. But of course, there’s no way. We are each on our journey, and in some existential sense, we’re alone. This is why your universality comment is such a comfort. You are a warrior, Pat. Thanks for setting a powerful example of leadership for us, as to how to deal with suffering.

    • What a tragedy, so sad. Yes, Lynne, we never have to look far to find others who are facing hardships far greater than our own. Perspective is everything and how quickly it can change. It behooves us all to remember in our toughest moments that if we can just endure this instant time and distance will help us change our outlook. Everyone should be so blessed to have a friend as wise and caring as you to lean on during the crisis. Thanks for sharing and reaching out.

  4. I needed this reminder right now as I slowly move around the house waiting for my aches and pains to subside. Fear is what grabs me when I think about how active I am and want to stay but the maladies of age attack my body each day. Yes, you remind me that this is insignificant when I think of what friends and family are dealing with. I am blessed. Each day is a gift, and as I once heard someone respond to the question, “How are you?” her reply was, “Well, I’m on this side of the grass.” I need to make the most of seeing the green.

    • Oh Tinie, you have been defying age – running marathons in your forties, winning basketball championships in your fifties – so it is reassuring to know that you are human after all. Do you notice if your aches and pains are worse when the temp changes. It is like our bodies are rebelling…oh no winter is coming. At least we can still swim, walk and talk! tee hee

  5. Another inspiring post, Pat. As my late dad told me often, There’s enough pain and misery in this old world for all of us. He never complained, despite struggling mightily against cancer for three solid years. We don’t get to choose our crosses; however, if we’re realistic, we know that everyone has some cross to bear, whether physical, mental, emotional, or some combination. Hang in there, my friend, and know you’re on many a prayer list!!

    • Thanks Debbie. Yes, there is no shortage of pain and misery and it is indiscriminate, so we all have our fair share. After hearing your words of encouragement, I will bear my cross high today.

  6. Another inspiring post, Pat. As my late dad told me often, There’s enough pain and misery in this old world for all of us. He never complained, despite struggling mightily against cancer for three solid years. We don’t get to choose our crosses; however, if we’re realistic, we know that everyone has some cross to bear, whether physical, mental, emotional, or some combination. Hang in there, my friend, and know you’re on many a prayer list!!

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