Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

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Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine

Keep Walking


As I struggled to stay out of bed in the middle of a very hard week, the world tried to unravel the mystery that is suicide. Two celebrities had taken their lives, shocking many who think, “If only…”

If only I had more money, better health, loving friends, a normal family, longer vacations, a second home at the beach…

The list goes on. And since many who live “without” think that those who “have it all” literally do have it all, the loss of two high society types in one week leveled the playing field.

Truth: We all hurt. We all fear. We all struggle with doubt, pain, longing, and rejection.

Okay… maybe some more than others. But still, no one gets through this life without the stain of loss. Thus, those suicides highlighted what we try to ignore: Life wears even the best down, demanding an emotional strength when we feel most drained.

After processing these thoughts on some level late Saturday evening, I determined to do one thing before bed—clean my toilets. Having spent most of the day napping, I realized I wasn’t going to feel better and then accomplish something. I needed to accomplish something in order to start feeling better.

Scrubbing toilets sufficed. It’s my thing. Not sure why. Don’t judge.

To distract from the task at hand, I opened a Big Bang Theory episode on my phone and scrubbed. Toilets cleaned, I turned to the living and let another episode play while I polished dusty shelves. Both tasks completed, I crashed into bed, and then woke in a cleaner habitat—with a glimmer of me intact.

Only a few hours into the new day, I spoke with an orthopedic PA who ordered an ultrasound guided shot for my hip, hoping to ease the pain from a partial thickening tear at my gluteal medius tendon. And in a few weeks, I’ll meet with a surgeon to discuss a potential back surgery we hope will give life to my weak legs.

Knowing a ninth surgery may soon lie ahead, a heaviness lingers and I have to push through each task to reach completion. You probably know the feeling. The one where all you can do is keep breathing while you take the next step. And then another. And then another.

Sometimes those steps pick up pace and find a rhythm on their own. But on other occasions they need to lead straight to a psychologist, counselor, or mental health specialist’s office. Between medicines and hours of conversation, most people find their way to a healthy stride. The statistics are good.

But we have to reach out for help.

I did last week. As a result, I spent an hour on skype with my counselor this morning. And man, she really helped. My weary soul needed a comrade to sit in the depths with me and untangle what had me bound.

What about you? Is life getting to be too much? Are you giving up on things that once mattered? Have your steps slowed and your interests waned?

Please don’t give up. Clean a toilet. Eat some chocolate. And then get some outside help.

You matter. I matter. The world needs us to keep walking on.

About the Author: Susan Schreer Davis lives with her husband, their cat named, Eggs, and the challenging effects of mitochondrialdisease. Learn more about Susan, her latest book and many songs at: www.susanschreerdavis.com

Bernard Hermant

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