12 Jul I am Enough from Lisa MacIntosh
I sat and stared at this coffee cup. It had my name on it, but who am I? Who is Lisa? It sent me into a spin that lasted the entire day. Suddenly I wasn’t sure who Lisa was anymore. Where had I gone? What had become to the woman who ten years ago was so very different.
Ten years ago I was driving home from work, sitting, waiting to turn into a gas station. One loud and heavy crash and my world began a downward spiral that I thought would never end.
The Lisa of ten years ago was happily married, sober, working with disadvantaged youth in downtown Parkdale, Toronto. She owned a home, had her father living in the basement of that house, had two well-adjusted boys, was active at church and alcoholics anonymous, did street outreach one evening a week. She was the most active person I knew.
The pain after that accident left me without use of my left arm. Eventually that moved into neck and got so bad I had to stop working. Just like that; a career that I loved with every fibre of my being was gone and I began to lose interest in everything and everyone around me. I was consumed with agonizing pain and no one knew why. When they finally discovered a herniated disc in my neck, surgery was my only option. But, I was ready for anything to make the pain go away. I desperately wanted my life back.
Surgery came and went and so did life as I knew it.
Within two years my somewhat ‘normal’ life was anything but. My surgery was a failure and I was left with a spinal cord injury. In no particular order, here’s what I lost:
My goodness, there were many, many dark days. When I look back I sometimes wonder how I got through it, how I didn’t just throw in the towel, pick up a drink, end it all. Sadly, the thought of ending it all hung over me like a heavy cloud. My children were what made me hang on. They were my reason for living.
Ten years later I have:
a new marriage to a wonderful, caring man
two amazing sons who are now young men
a home that i love
a dog that loves me
a supportive church family
I put a question mark beside myself because I still ache for what was. I still terribly miss some parts of my old life that are now physically impossible. Some days I sit here and look around and think “am I good enough” or “is there more that I could be doing?” I often find myself weeping at the smallest of things, drifting off in thought, saying “I’ll be happy when…”
And then I either give myself a good shake or a friend will reach out and remind me of all of the things that I am today…the things that I tend to forget:
mother, wife, lover, friend, photographer, dog walker, listener, small business owner, artist, tea drinker, colleague, volunteer, sidekick, caregiver
Today I do all that I can do. Many days I overdue and I really pay for those days dearly. Today I will give of myself as best I can. I’ll do for others, I’ll always do for others. Today I will be FEARless and I will have faith in myself and in my dreams.
Today I will see and believe what others see.
Today I know that “I am Enough” and I will run with that and breathe it in and feel it deep in my soul and I will hope to remember to feel it and believe it again tomorrow.
Lisa MacIntosh is a photographer who resides in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada. Living a life by the water, sharing it with people that mean the world to her. You can find her at Lisa MacIntosh Photography.
TeresaPosted at 22:19h, 14 July
Lisa- as tears stream down my face I am deeply touched by your courage and your story. Many blessings as you share your story and your serenity.
carrie Mitchel HArperPosted at 07:21h, 20 July
so beautifully written. I Love reading other stories of radical transition and re-invention. It's seems so unfair when we are in the pain but seems to be the common denominator for all of us who become better versions of ourselves. Thanks for your bravery and eloquence.
kristinPosted at 13:00h, 20 July
you are brave and strong and have suffered more physical pain than most could bare to. you made your way to the other side, out of the darkness, and your light shines bright dear friend. BRIGHT.
so much love. xo K