Why do I have to deal with this fill-in-the-blank-malady, hardship, struggle, discomfort, this boo-boo. It’s not an uncommon question.
I don’t want to deal with this anymore, and it’d be great if no one else had to, either. I would like to just for everything to be fine and not have to worry about it anymore.
So, again. Why me?
Fair enough to wonder.
But this question causes me great discomfort. It feels wrong to ask, even though I’ve been told many times that it shouldn’t. My flat rejection of it is likely the byproduct of growing up using prosthetic leg, loathing the pity of anyone – especially myself.
I do have an answer:
Why not me.
Why should I, or you, or any of us, be exempt from being human.
There have been times lately, as I’ve been working through making changes in mind and body, that I’ve become frustrated by reality and the constraints that life has presented. And that question pops up.
Those moments are fleeting and they bubble up from pain, but they’re there. Finding them and allowing them to float by without judging myself is difficult. Maybe that’s one way people with all manner of the stuff we lug around manage to change obstacles into parts of life – we stop acknowledging their existence.
We have our illnesses and limitations and pain and hurdles and we keep going.
When the physical pain that pings with every step and begins to fade into the background, it hasn’t vanished, it’s been overtaken by other noise. The ping can grow into a pounding. There’s a price to pay for refusing to notice ourselves.
But back to the question. The circular ride between pain, frustration, guilt at being frustrated, anger at having the pain and the upset about being upset takes up energy that’s needed elsewhere.
“Why me” is an interesting question, yes, and one worth asking, but not the only one.
The question must move from “why me” to “why not me” to the most human question of all.
This is me. This is my life. My circumstances. My limitations, if I consider them that. My framework. Reality.
What am I going to do with it?
Sarah Garrecht Gassen is a journalist living in Tucson.