Have you ever quietly sat listening to the sounds of birds singing, of children playing, of music that touches your heart? Have you strolled through a garden or prairie to marvel at nature’s colors, shapes and smells? Have you squeezed onto a couch with your family to watch a movie you’ve all seen a hundred times? How many times have you gazed at a sunrise watching and anticipating the day coming to life; sitting with a sunset as day fades away to evening stillness with warm breezes gently sharing the promise of a new tomorrow?
Lovely scenario’s, aren’t they????
Now, imagine not being able to sit without stability to listen to the sounds of birds singing or to music or children playing. Your body fights your desire for stillness to enjoy the simple sights and sounds around you. Your internal mind and body connections, although outwardly silent, are inwardly screaming at the top of their confused neuron connections fueled and moved by thought.
You are unable to stroll through that garden without assistance from a cane, and/or another person at your side. You can’t really marvel at anything because your vision is bouncing all over the place and because it’s safer for you to keep your body bent forward and your eyes to the ground, you don’t see much of anything at all – unless you stop moving completely – but still, you can’t, you can’t even watch that movie.
Sunrises recharge fear of the unknown lying in wait of the new day and sunsets fill you with sadness of having not been able to be a part of the day like you used to.
There is no simple silence anymore, only perpetual noise of thought, worry, and conflict between what was and what is and what’s coming. It’s a never-ending battle between memories and reality. Imagine being encased in a huge sheet of bubble wrap and to try to work your way out is to pop the bubbles – It’s noisy as hell yet even popping the bubbles doesn’t set you free. The noise from bubbles is the noise of your disability, the physical battles, your sadness, fear, anxiety, uncertainty, depression, grief, anger and more, wrapped tightly all around you, constantly in your face, and relentless in your head.
I ended up fighting myself, against my myself. I didn’t understand that at all, and I battled the noise for years and years. I tried to make it be quiet but there was so much of it that I could barely discern the simple silence of life because the battle going on between my mind, thoughts, and body was incessant, leaving no room for anything else but constant thought.
Sometimes the noise shows up still, but now, I know how to silence it, how to put it in its proper space. My silence of disability arrived when I realized that all along, I had been the conductor of the noise. For years I had gathered together my symphony of nonsensical music performed by out of tune instruments of thought, I had written the noise. I conducted it. All quite by accident you know – how was I to know that the noise was initiated by my very own self? I thought it was contributed by everything and everyone else, not me! But it was not knowing how to introduce myself to my disability and when I think about it, I only wanted to run away from it. But it stuck with me, working really hard to become friends. But I wanted nothing of the sort – so, I put up a wall of noise thinking I could block it, and make believe it wasn’t there. When in reality, the noise only made the introduction of acceptance impossible. I was stuck in the noise listening only to what was wrong when there was so very much beautifully right.