Live and love between the madness. Focus on the days in between.
Make the best life you can, then just go get it done.
Stay in the arena. Keep fighting, you’ve got this.
These are the words that are peppered throughout my writing on this blog, my Instagram account, and the conversations I have with people every day, as I go about my daily life. In general, I have always been pretty positive, and I’ve definitely always been driven. My parents will tell you stories about a kid with no lack of focus on goals, and a standard for myself that was always a little higher than reasonable. Over the past several months, I have truly focused on the mind/body connection, and specifically, discipline.
This morning, I looked up the word “discipline” in the dictionary, and I found that many of the definitions refer to adhering to structure, instruction, and specifically the term “training”. I smiled… because today, I am headed for shunt revision surgery again. As soon as I find out that I’m going to have another operation on my brain, I reflect on the months that have lead up to this moment… the structure, the rehabilitation and training, the strength building, the mental work. The many nights in the gym and rehabilitation, where I’ve pushed my body to complete shut down. The trauma therapy, where my body tremors so violently, trying desperately to let go, and settle. In the past 18 months, it hasn’t been as easy to hide the physical and neurological damage that the past 4-5 years have caused, and I have been in so many situations of forced vulnerability. It has taken this focus on discipline, to keep me going forward every day. Being that raw, and letting the whole world see the hurt, has changed me as a person.
And I am so, so thankful. Thankful for this journey, thankful for the challenge, and the opportunity to learn to be disciplined and stay in the arena. These are the times that God has shown me that I’m stronger than my ego, more dedicated than my flesh, and more loved than I could EVER fathom. These are the times in which I pay it forward… when I persevere through the pain and brokenness, and I am comforted by knowing that I have lived through the struggle, and fallen into the arms of the Lord, in complete surrender. I am thankful.
Living with hydrocephalus, or any condition (or circumstance) that requires continued care and management, is often disheartening and exhausting. Even though I might have been genetically wired to "stay the course", I’m still human, and it still hurts… physically, emotionally, and mentally. But I’ve learned to allow myself a moment of grief, every time I get to this point. I cry, I mourn, I get angry. Then… I let go and move on. It can’t happen fast enough, and I go back into battle mode. Today, going into surgery, it’s all about staying focused, relaxed, and ready for the next chapter.
Here we go. Number seventeen. Let’s do this.
Thank you to my family, my friends, and my incredible team.
Your love, dedication, and steadfastness have given me more peace than words can describe. Thank you for staying by my side, on this crazy path.
In relentless pursuit,
My name is Amy but friends and family call me Am. I am a lover of dogs, good whiskey, and strength training. I'm a brain surgery survivor (x23), a fiddle player, a construction designer, and a boxing enthusiast. I have six real siblings, and five fake brothers. I love deeply, and consider my close friends to be family.