My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING-How does it relate to us?

It is truly beautiful, bodies  moving in concert, gymnastics, strength, not breathing while doing twirls, faces in the water for what feels, even to me the watcher, like forever.  It is an amazing demonstration of athleticism.  And yet, I have often heard people say it should not be a part of the olympics, it is not a sport.
I beg to differ.

It is astounding.  It looks like a bunch of women having a good time swimming around and doing tricks.  The work that goes into it is invisible: who wants to know about the struggle, the difficulties and problems, the work that goes into creating the ultimate presentation?

How does that relate to us?

Many of us have dealt with people who disbelieve our pain, who insist we do things even after we say it is something that is beyond us because of the pain.  We also know people who say 'because you look good, you must feel fine'.

We go out when we can, we do our hair, we get dressed, for those of us whose pain is so bad even getting out of bed in the morning can be beyond us on some days, we mount the fight.  We get up, we go downstairs, we do our hair, we get dressed, go out in the world, and try and present a non pained face.

Most do not want to know the struggle, difficulties and problems, the decisions - can I wear the
shoes with the ties?, can I sit on this side of the church, can I go out today? -  that went into our being a part of the world, a part of a family, and for those of us who can, a part of a workforce.  They see the results, shoelaces tied, clothing clean, hair brushed, smiling face.   Even if asked "How are you today?" most do not want to hear the full true answer, "I have pain but I got myself here".

The synchronized swimmers are rightfully proud of all the work they put into getting their wonderful end product.  We need to own that pride too, in being able to get through the day, to be a part of.

The final result is well worth the effort, no matter what that is, even if  'only' starting the day.  We rightfully deserve that pat on the back, the applause that is often missing.

The people who see the end result; the lack of understanding that what you see is only the tip of the swim, only the end result of the struggle with our pain, miss out on knowing a major part of us, the part that shows what kind of fighters we are.


  1. Carol,

    Your analogy here is wonderful. While people may not see or know the struggles we face as we deal with our painful woes the watchful eyes of Jesus are ever upon us. It is because of the love of God that I have made the improvements that I have in my own condition. I remember once I had my most excruciating moment when I was working in 2008 and tried to walk for blocks to my van down town. I was doing this because trying to jeep my cheesy smile while I was in excruciating pain to all those on the street car who had no clue was wearing quite thin. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and felt overwhelmed with the ever increasing surge within.

    I continued to pray and writhe as I walked asking God to take it from me and at one point prayed for him to end my life. Neither happened and the pain never sub sided. To make a long story short when I eventually made it to my van an hour or so later int he parking garage I realized that although it was the most painful moment of my life to date that God was not going to allow it to destroy me.

    As I look bad I thank God for allowing me to suffer that day because it taught me that he really won't allow me to go through more than I can bear. Although it felt like it was to much he really does know best. God has healed me of things in the past and he still holds the power to do so but I just express that I believe I needed to realize that my pain does not have power over me and that I can do this. Since then I have only continued to make great progress that my physicians were unable to achieve through medication.

    So while others may not know he really is touched by our infirmities as it says in his Word. Just something to keep in mind. Also keep up the wonderful posts you are a great writer.

  2. I am so glad you are doing better and that must have been a terrible time that day. I am glad you were able to feel supported throughout it, and throughout your struggle.
    Thank you too, for your kind words. I am glad you are reading. Thanks