New Year New Resolutions
One year has ended a new one has begun and we are all programed to looking back on the last year and looking forward to the next. A calendar, media and general life has given us a chance to move out the old and in with the new, and the new usually gives us hope for better things. Many things from the old make us reflect and make changes in the hopes our lives will improve for the better. We reflect on lessons learned and work our way through them so that hopefully we don’t repeat the same errors. We all go through this mentally, even though not everyone takes stock and makes those changes. Some call them New Year’s resolutions, but I call them life’s lessons learned.
Because of this blog and trying to help mesh injured women I have often come under fire. At times I have wanted to quit and other times take a break. It is all part of speaking out about difficult and controversial subjects. Whenever it happens I reflect, except the pain and turmoil and then work through it. Then I know I must move on and call it another life lesson. It is not easy but I do it to work at being whole again. It is the only way I can continue this.
I am old enough to have many life’s lessons and have gone through many friendship/relationships. Fortunately I had a great marriage and relationship with my daughter and that sustained me through many life lessons. I am thankful beyond measure that for the most part my home life has been my rock. The mesh injured world is vast in women and we all form relationships that can help or hurt us. We are often alone in our pain and it is natural to reach out to likeminded people. But we do not know their home life situations and therefore we often do not realize the influence that it has upon their lives. I have tried to remember that three things often come into play when it comes to mesh. Finances, either for those who earn from it, or those who lose all because of mesh. Relationships either personal or those formed because of mesh can be both good and bad. And control. Control is about those who find this world for various reasons and then find a place where they can become someone or feel better about themselves but only want women to do their bidding. I can assure you I am not one of the latter. I have many good things in my life that I can work on to give myself happiness and sheer joy. I am lucky in that respect because creativity makes you happy and independent of many needs. I feel very blessed.
In the past I have always given of myself and have changed strategies as life evolved. When my daughter was in grade school my husband’s job took him away a great deal. I used creativity to fill any void and to work with my own daughter so that she always had something fun to do. I taught her that being alone was not a terrible thing and she could enjoy that time by entertaining herself. She learned it well. I also reached out in the community I lived in and worked with children in the schools to give them the same chance at self-based happiness. There was never any payment for any of my services because I liked giving back. I understood what it was like being poor. I was raised during a struggling part of British history and if you want to learn about that, watching a show such as Call the Midwife, on Public Television in this country, will tell you a great deal about my upbringing. But even poor my mother was proud. She taught all eight children that you were always better off than others, regardless of how little you thought you had. We were taught to go out and ask stores for donations so that we could pack food boxes for the elderly in our neighborhood. My dad worked three jobs when I was a young child to keep a roof over the heads of his wife and eight children. Mum was a home maker who had to figure out how to budget to make his earnings go far and to help others in need. My parents fortunately were not drinkers, or wasted money. They were proud, hardworking people who did not look to others for anything. They did it alone, because their upbringing had told them this was the way it was supposed to be. So I learned that I could take trash and be creative. I didn’t have to have gadgets or money to make myself happy and I could give of my time if I had nothing else to give. That has been a constant in my life.
I am very thankful I had these parents I had and the difficult upbringing because it has taught me resilience. I may be kicked down today, but I will get up tomorrow and continue on. That is what my growing up message meant to me. So regardless of the setbacks I always find my way forward. I have formed wonderful friendships because of a terrible product we call mesh. I have also learned that some friendship/relationships are not to be. We differ in opinions and that is quite okay. We are supposed to be individuals, not churned out clones. We are all smart enough to recognize our fair weather friends. Those who never touch base with us when we are hurting. They sit on the sidelines and watch and wait fearing we are tainted. No one wants to touch a hot potato for fear of getting burned. Understandable of course, but real friendship goes much deeper. I am very grateful for experiencing real friendships born out of mesh and I know who they are.
I remember something my daughter told me when she was a young child. She watched me do many things to help many people. She looked at me one day when I was so forlorn when I realized I had been taken in by someone I had helped. She said “Mom, it doesn’t matter what you say, to make them understand, because the only person you can change is you”. I try to remember that but of course my personality is to help others. I have been burned many times and will be burned again I am sure. If you don’t put yourself out there to help others you will never learn both good and bad life’s lessons. Fortunately the good, although less than the bad is sustaining. That is why people do good things.
I am very grateful to those who reached out to me during 2013 when I was going through mesh hell and other issues. I have never wavered from the truth. Everything I went through personally I reported and explained why it happened. I don’t hide from the truth and to move forward and get the help we need in the situation of mesh injuries, none of us can do that. If my life lessons are often hurtful then I can embrace the fact that I am still alive and can get through it. Mesh injuries have taught me to be more resilient and to understand that this too shall pass. So as I crossed the threshold of 2013 to 2014, I reflect and learn. I am also human and make mistakes, but my duty remains the truth. I will continue to share and try to help others to move forward and I will shed unhealthy relationships so that I can form new and healthy ones.
I know and appreciate this blog has helped many women, but it isn’t all that sustains me. I have a wonderful daughter who is here for me every day. I am respectful and mindful that her life has changed because of mesh. To give you an idea, she turned to me when driving along in the car yesterday and said “I really miss you being able to drive”. She was tired and would have liked it if I could have taken over the wheel. But my injuries and extreme vertigo makes it dangerous for me to do so and we both know that part of my life may never return. I know I am more fortunate than many and I am mindful and grateful.
I do not know what will happen this year, but I know I can work at moving forward and not let anyone else control my life. There will always be another lesson to learn and another painful discovery that people are not always as you first perceive them, but I will remember my daughter’s young and wise words. I cannot change them, I can only change me. Life lesson learned? When life hands you lemons you will learn how to make lemonade and you will be fine.
Happy New Year may be a stretch at times when it comes to mesh injuries, but we can work on it. With love. Linda