Lost and Found, Part 1

Writing 101, Day 4

Write about a loss, someone (or something) that was part of your life, and isn’t anymore.
Twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-part series

And I’m going to add a different twist to this, because I feel like I’ve already talked a lot about loss.  And, probably will revisit the subject again at some point.  But, what if I challenge myself to instead write about a different kind of loss?

Loss isn’t always a bad thing.  Sometimes loss can be a very good thing.  Like losing those things that hold you back?  Or a loss which, though it may be sad or painful at first, ultimately teaches you something great, or gives you something powerful.

For example, I am very thankful that, somewhere along the line I lost the idea that I have to do it all.  I still take on far more than I should, certainly, but I have realized that I can say “no” to things.  Just because something sounds exciting, interesting, or like the responsible thing to do (and sometimes all three), doesn’t mean I should, or need, to do it.

And some of this is because of another loss, one that has not been easy or good, but has certainly resulted in many changes, and helped me to realize a lot — about myself and others — that I might not have realized.

A few years ago, in my mid twenties, I got sick.  I still don’t exactly have a diagnosis, I worked with doctors for a while, which mostly ended up being treating symptoms, without quite getting to the cause.  A lack of insurance, and getting back to somewhat normal levels of functioning, meant that I didn’t continue to look into it.  Though I have insurance soon (yay!) and continue to investigate, that’s not the point of sharing this.

The point is, I lost something very important: My Health.  For a while, it was the  loss of the ability to spend more than a few hours out of bed in a day, or the ability to read a book (yes, that’s right, I couldn’t even manage to read a book I was so tired all the time).

Out of that loss I learned that I have to take care of myself.  Though I have, somewhat, recovered (or at least learned to manage) whatever it is, I still have to listen to my body.  I have learned to understand the signals, those things that tell me when to slow down, when to take a break and do some self-care.

Out of that loss I have learned some more about what is truly important to me.  I learned how very painful it was to not be able to do some things, and how relatively easy it was to let go of others.

Out of that loss I learned more about the struggle of learning.  As I started to recover, I also had to, in some ways, re-learn how to learn.  My memory wasn’t the same as it had been before I got sick, and more things slipped through my mind.  I had always had to work hard in school before, but when I began attending school again after it was different.  I had to change how I studied, how I approached things, how I learned.

Out of that loss I learned that there are certain things I can do which help me to refuel, and there are activities that drain me.  I still need to do some of these things that drain me, but I also need to make sure to do the things that refuel me.  And those things that refuel me are important, they are things that I need to make sure I make time for.

Loss, but loss that ultimately serves to help me learn a lot.  Loss that has led to some very good understandings, that has shaped my life and helped me learn more about myself.

A lot of learning, out of a loss.


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