Recovering Our Life

One of the smartest women I have ever met once told me, “Everyone is recovering from something, Benny. And don’t you forget it”
“We all got something going on,” she said.
“And we all have something to work through.”

I say she is right about this. We all have demons and skeletons, bumps and bruises, and scars than run as deep as our childhood days. I say we all have that inner monologue, which talks to us in tiny whispers that can be louder than any scream.

I believe “Into each life, a little rain must fall,” is the saying that comes to mind.
No one goes through life unscathed or unaffected. Into each life, a little rain must fall means that each of will all receive our fair-dosages of tragedy and loss.
There will be blood. There will be late night trips to the hospitals, or in my case, there were nights in Florida where I slept on a hospital floor while Mom went through another surgery, screaming in pain for more medication, receiving Morphine at 4 hour intervals and Dilaudid at 4 hour intervals as well.
This meant she received a dose every two hours, —and I could tell when the next round was coming up because Mom would wake and begin to scream again, screaming for God to take her; screaming, “Bless us and save us,” and “Dear God, just take me already,” and “Let me go!”
Meanwhile, all I could do was endure. All I could do was remain there, staying until morning when she would be allowed to move from a restrained position. All I could do is feel like a 7 year-old child in  a grown man’s body and wishing there was something I could do. But the truth is, I am only a man. I am only a son. And although I had it in my heart to help, no amount of pretending could alter the truth that I was powerless and all of this was out of my control

Into each life a little rain must fall means to me, you’re a 17 year old kid on a farm, scrawny and thin, and speaking through grinded teeth, suffering through demons and dealing with a court sentence —I was still looking for an angle and still looking for a way to get over, to beat the system, and still trying to emotionally run away from myself as fast as I could. And next up, while living regretfully, or childishly spiteful, cutting my nose off to spite my own face; I was conniving my way through life until suddenly, I was quickly and painfully introduced to cold hard facts of mortality.
Suddenly, the man I hated and loved, wanted and needed, but yet, refused to bow to and refused to make amends with was about to die.
Suddenly, I was introduced to the true facts of life that reared its ugly head. I was 17 when I came to realize that life is not always given and at one point, death comes for us all; however, this time, death came for my father. Death came for The Old Man, and left me behind with a long list of unfinished business because in spite of all our nonsense, all I ever wanted was to be his son and feel his pride for me.

Into a little rain must fall in my case means social anxiety and fears that people want to hurt me or take from me.
In my case the raindrops represent my insecurity. In my case, each droplet of rain represents a feeling of regret or shame. To me, the rain which fell in my life are the traumatic moments, which scarred me; it’s depression, it’s learning disabilities, it’s childhood messages that seem to replay in me and churn the thoughts, which spin in  my head. I have fears of public humiliation. I have fears of feeling degraded and shamed. I am literally afraid of crowds, yet, I do public speaking so to others I explain this to, they tell it makes no sense. But it makes sense to me.

I hate rejection, I hate pain. I hate feeling sleepless and I hate insomnia. I hate my past and I hate my mistakes. I hate some of the ex’s in my life and my decision to share my life with them because had I chosen differently, maybe I could have lived differently.

I come into this world like anyone and everyone else and when I say, “Into each life, a little rain must fall,” and for some, they face torrential downpours on a regular basis. To some, my problems are simple ones. To some, I worry for no reason. And for some people in my life, I see what they have lived through and for some of them I weep.

I see a young girl that went through painful beginnings in an abusive home with an abusive man and a neglecting mother, which resulted in her inability to see how truly incredible and beautiful she is. And god, she is beautiful. Only, she doesn’t know it.

I see a father that had to say goodbye to his young child because of an irreversible sickness.
I see a woman that built a garden at a hospital in the name of her daughter, which is why I say, “Fuck you, cancer!”
I have a memory of a man and a woman, or more specifically; I remember a mother and father watching as a 111 yellow balloons disappear into the sky at a special ceremony, noting a farewell to their little boy.
It was raining that day. I remember it. But the rain stopped a little when we let the balloons go; and I watched them lift up to the sky. I saw the balloons drift up and vanish into a hole in the clouds, as if by some miracle, Heaven allowed the balloons entry, just for that little boy.

Into each life a little rain must fall to me is a friend I have that lives in a homeless shelter who cannot utter the word family because all of his abandoned him long ago. He literally weeps when he hears the word ‘Son,” because he was never nurtured as a son. So instead, I offer him my brotherhood in hopes this consolation will bring him a sense of warmth so he can see who he truly is.

Into each life a little rain must fall in my eyes means a young man in college, suffering from panic attacks and limited by the stigma of a so-called spectrum, and yet with all of his beautiful brilliance, he stutters, not verbally but mentally and struggles to interact with others in his social circles of influence.
And god, I think this kid is one in a million. He is brilliant and handsome and tall and so much more than a description defined by a mental disorder. His character is intact, 100%. it is not a problem with his character; it’s a problem with his body’s chemistry. I admire him if the truth is told. I admire his strength because I do not have a tenth of it and I hope that some  of his strength will rub off on me.

And you (if you’re reading) and you know who you are—
I admire you, a mom, a woman, a cousin, an aunt, a friend, and step-in Mom when I need it. I am so sorry though. I feel it. I feel the worry. I feel the fear. I feel that panic and I feel restlessness that comes when all you really need to do is sleep, but you can’t, so you read or try to find something to occupy your mind.
I admire you. I aspire to be more like you. At least, I wish I could be. But then again, maybe I am like you because we’ve had similar rainstorms in our life. So yeah, the tears from my eyes as I wrote this paragraph have just dried because knowing I am like you (to me) is a truly wonderful achievement.

Little girls deserve to be little girls and play tea parties and have dolls and ride bicycles. They deserve to jump rope or play hopscotch or toss jacks and weave bracelets out of string. I see (in my head) a little girl that needs her kitten and needs the love that she so greatly deserves. I wish I could give it to her but instead, I will standby in silence and let my love do its trick

I see a daughter without a father. I see a father without his daughter.  I see life happening on life’s terms, and yes, I agree, we are all recovering from something. Yes, it is true. Into each life a little rain must fall.

I think of the word recover and what it means to “Recover” from something. I think we all recover on a daily basis. No one among us is better or worse but only different as an individual, unique in some ways, I grant you this but so long as there is help, there is always a way to recover. The problem is our ability to conform and believe. The problem is our ability to believe that the help works. The problem is the mind; it’s the pain we feel in the process, to which the mind suffers and immediately calls for gratification.

I have felt pain so great that I have literally fallen to my knees in humble prayer; and in my attempt of supplication to the Lord, I have offered my heart and my will praying out loud —only to take it back because in all honesty, I lacked the faith because my faith did not cure my pain, which means I fought back.
I resisted and I argued. I fought back, tooth and nail. I banged my head against the wall. I burned myself over and over again while expecting different results. I fought but I never surrendered and in my efforts to save my own skin; I fought so hard that I damaged my one flesh. I broke myself down in cases of self-induced damage. I suffered more at my own hand than by the hand of anyone else because in all honesty, I refused to surrender.

I was somewhere around 18 years-old when I hear the term, “Surrender to win,’ and I never thought much of it because the idea of surrender (in my eyes) meant surrendering ends in defeat. And to me, I already lost enough.

I am not saying not to fight back, which, I understand is a contradiction of my entire text; however, what I am saying is I needed to learn how to fight back properly. And sometimes, fighting back simply means to endure, to accept, and to continue.

I think of a famous football player named Lionel Aldridge. He won two super bowls. He was on top of the world and was an announcer after the end of his career. But into each life, a little rain must fall, right? Aldridge was a paranoid schizophrenic.

Aldridge was quoted, “Once I accepted and cooperated with the treatment, I started to beat the illness.”

It comes to a point when your head aches after banging it against the wall too often. Your throat hurts from screaming and your heart aches because the life you have is the polar opposite of the life you want—and whether this is career-wise, or with family, with friends, with mistakes you can’t change, people you cannot see anymore; and whether this is interpersonal or simply personal, whether we achieve our gratification by temporary means of compulsion like food, a pill, a drink,  sex, or whatever; once we accept and cooperate with our treatment plan, we can begin to beat our illness.

This is not life in the absence of pain. Instead, this is life in spite of the pain. And maybe next time, when the rain falls, we might be able to see the storm a little bit differently


You think?



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