March 26 marks the 6 month mark of the biggest day of my life (besides being born and giving birth), the day of my liver transplant.
People ask me how I’ve been doing since then, and while I feel very blessed to be alive, by all accounts this time of recovery hasn’t been without great challenges and self-reflection. Nevertheless, I remain fascinated in the journey and what unfolds with each new day. My scar and the transience of life is the first thing I feel each morning and the last thing I remember before sleep.
It has been a long road, perhaps longer than an average recovery time, with many unexpected medical setbacks that have become the status quo of daily life. In a sense, this has been the easy part; it is a physical reality that requires some patience. Just last week the gauze from my long standing wound came off; daily I experience echoes of pain from the scarring and dissolvable stitches deep under the skin that have yet to dissolve. While I am exploring ways of retrieving my energy sources, I suppose the mental and emotional build up and descent post-surgery has left me learning to be more energy efficient and realistic in how I spend my time. My priorities have become clearer; I’m less apologetic about who I am as a person. I take time for the important things, like spending time with my son and listening to the subtleties of sound and messages embedded into daily life.
It is humbling to be practicing (not to mention teaching) yoga in a body that feels raw and in many ways ill-equipped. All the same, it is enriching, and inspiring to continue to be involved with that things I love, and that includes the human experience. As I hear the stories of other beautiful beings in daily passing, rarely do I hear of an experience of which I can’t relate. We are truly in this journey together.
Being unable to do some of the physical things I used to enjoy has been illuminating; it has highlighted other resources and activities I enjoy, such as re-igniting my passion to create music and art. Even though I don’t always feel skillful in my body, most of the time I do feel whole and complete within myself. Taking stock of, and celebrating the resources available at any given time has been a valuable practice that has helped me remain grateful.
The emotional aspect of healing has been the most challenging aspect of the past couple of months. Wading through my life has become a regular pastime; re-experiencing the important moments branded into my memory as well as recalling the events that have slipped away seems to be a high priority of accepting my life as it is now. I suppose when life’s slate is nearly wiped clean, there may be a knee jerk reaction to want to hold on to as much as possible; a re-attachment process to life.
One thing has become clear to me, and that is, it takes time. I had no idea just how much time my body and mind would need to process. We live in a digital age when our expectations of ourself and other seem to speed up. However, with time comes clarity, space and acceptance of any situation. There is an Irish proverb that says something like, ‘When God made time, he made enough.’ It is remembering this every moment that is the challenge and the joy!