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When Life Keeps Beating You Down (A Personal Example of Resilience)

Over the period of the last six months, my family has been through a ton. Trying to practice gratitude is not the most helpful right now, but just remembering that what is going on, doesn’t last forever, and remembering that things always have a possibility of getting better, forwards me. Even if time alone is the only thing forwarding me sometimes, I’m still moving.

About the first week of August 2022, I had my father tell me he was getting a checkup from his primary care doctor the week before, and they had called him in for a further check-up. Some time that week he told me he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was floored, because besides that, my mother a week prior told me she also was diagnosed with cancer. Which sometime in November, after having multiple doctors see her, it was negative as a final decision.

Some time in December of 2022, I helped him to go to his radiation treatments he had started. About the 3rd week of December, my whole family contracted Covid. That includes me, my husband, and my 9-month-old son. My Dad moved out of our apartment that same day we tested positive, in hopes he didn’t get it, as well. Though, a week later, he did. We were hoping for a negative on his test, but it showed positive on three different brands of covid test sticks. He stayed at his house for that whole week he had it.

By the end of the week, he had tested negative for Covid. At the same time, he was in the hospital, because he ended up having a stroke. Which, if it was caused by covid, or stress (possibly from dealing with cancer or work issues trying to receive FLMA, or even the fact that he didn’t have running water in his house, since the freeze in Texas), I don’t know. But, if I wasn’t truly floored before, I was now.

Our family has been through a lot the last many months and everything has been packed in for the last couple of months. I write this to let out my feelings. I write this to bring personal clarity, and to remind everyone that shit can really hit the fan over and over sometimes. My father, even though he is 76, hasn’t had any medical issues until the last year. He has worked since he was 15, kept his health up, and is of strong mind even today. He didn’t even take medications until a year ago.

He is back living with me, going through speech and physical therapy. His stroke was said to be caused by a lack of oxygen due to a blood clot somewhere. His speech is impaired and he’s partially paralyzed in a portion of his face. Something you can tell when he speaks to you. For me, it’s just a reminder of everything that has gone on.

My personal mental health has been a mess. I am diagnosed with schizophrenia, myself, and have been since I was 17. During this period, I was put on a second anti-anxiety medication, along with my current one and my antipsychotic. I just try to remember all I have and all I’m grateful for, and yea, while it could’ve been worse as some people tell me, a lot of bad has happened already and I don’t think of terms of “it could’ve been worse”. I just try to be a realist in this situation. What happened has happened, and we need to just try to keep moving forward in a positive way, and try to deal with everything with our heads held high.

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