I absolutely loved what reader Elissa wrote on being what she calls a “complicated soul”: the perks and the permissions we, persons with chronic illnesses, get for routinely dealing with our massive piles of animal waste. I’ve combined what she wrote in her comment to my “Complaint-Free? Not!” post and a personal e-mail to me to share some of her wisdom with you:
I’ve always tended to be a “complainer”, about myself and others. It’s always the same complaint and whining: I’ve been an insomniac my entire life since I was a child. I’m not talking about a few nights, weeks or months of this debilitating malady. But every night, every year, for nearly 50 years.
I defy anybody who has had chronic insomnia to not complain. I have family and friends who are so irritable, grouchy and uncommunicative if they’ve just missed one miserable night of sleep!
All my life I’ve had to put on a happy face when I’ve been so tired. Now that I’m older, it’s even more debilitating than ever. I honestly don’t know how I lived to be 66. A doctor once told me, after I went three straight weeks without a wink of sleep, that I should be in a psychotic state.
I realize that, for whatever reason I have this nightmare, it’s most definitely a cross from God and one day He’ll tell me why.
It’s absolutely necessary to bare our souls, to tell the truth and not lie about our conditions, it’s called humility.
Without spirituality and prayers, few of us could ever get through this vale of tears. It’s one thing for people to say they’re optimists, but I believe that God loves and endears us complicated souls who, through suffering, become so much closer to him than the cockeyed optimists!
They certainly have their place, and, I for one, have always wished that I could be such a person. I admire those with even temperaments, but have found, through the years, that they don’t necessarily have the spirituality and connection to God and Jesus as do we who are considered pessimists.
Also, although I have been called “negative” by so many members of my family, I am not. I am “contrary.” There is a huge difference between the two. I don’t blindly accept the world as they do but struggle with the inequality of life and the true evil that surrounds us.
As St. Augustine said, “The world is too much with us,” and, yes, “Life is difficult.” That is the true reality.
The only thing that ever kept me going–I’m talking about working and playing like this–all these years is that somehow, someway, I never lost my sense of humor no matter how exhausted I was, and I’ve never passed by a person whom I thought needed help or someone to talk with.
I guess I finally realized that this was always going to be a part of my suffering and that I had to rise above it. I have helped many people in this state of exhaustion and I realize that I am a strong, compassionate woman who cares for others deeply. Perhaps I took on more worries because of who I am.
So, I say complain if it’s a legitimate complaint. I would not be living today if I had to keep this horror to myself. However, always find the funny things in life to balance out the suffering. It’s what keeps one sane.
I tell God and Jesus everyday that I’m sick of it all and ask them to help me. So far no resolutions, but it doesn’t stop me from praying everyday, not just for me, hardly, but for all those who suffer with so many ills and maladies. And they are legions!