Thursday, July 5, 2012

What Doesn't Kill Us

My dear friend and fellow blogger Miss Riki once wrote a post about her favorite quotes, and invited readers to share our own favorites. The quote that I submitted was "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball." (Patches O'Houlihan, Dodgeball.)

After reading all of the other wise and philosophical quotes that she and the others had shared, I was afraid that mine came across as being flip and sarcastic. (Unfortunately that was made even more likely because I am known to be flip and sarcastic... sometimes.) But in this case, I promise you that I wasn't.

Sure, in all honesty it's one of my favorite quotes because Dodgeball is an awesome movie that cracks me up every time I watch it, and the whole dodging a wrench thing is funny. But more than that, it's one of my favorite quotes because of its much broader meaning. To me, it's simply a twisted modern take on Nietzsche: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Which in my head I always translated as: If I can handle this, I can handle anything. Thus, if I can dodge a wrench I can dodge a ball.

And I've had to do my fair share of "dodging" (i.e. "handling") in my life, particularly as I have dealt with my health problems and chronic pain issues. (And if you or someone you know lives with chronic pain, you know that handling it can take a lot of work.) Some days are arguably better than others, but in all honesty, every day is a struggle.

This whole train of thought came to mind today, in fact, because I've been having one of "those" days. (The ones where the pain is especially insistent and demanding of my attention.) Those days, tragically and frustratingly, usually follow a particularly good day, as is the case right now. I spent a lovely day with my family yesterday, and because I was feeling good I was as active as possible. Today, my nerves and muscles have been paying me back for it.

It's tempting, sometimes, to get frustrated on a day like today. It would be easy to wallow in self-pity, or whine about how unfair it is. Or, I could look on the bright side. ... Which do you think I'm going to do? ;)

Yes, living in pain for nearly 20 years has been, to put it lightly, a challenge. But it has also taught me a great deal. And it has made me a stronger person. So I will continue to do my best every time to handle days like today without letting them get me down. And I'll be happy knowing that every time life throws a wrench at me, I'll be able to dodge it.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes...the innate wisdom of the film Dodgeball. I love how every post you write leans to optimism and hope. Everyone lives with their own type of pain and you unfortunately know that well. It is a blessing to have your glass-half-full outlook hiding it well.