Episode XI: Trapped in the Pit of Carkoon

Episode XI

Trapped in the Pit of Carkoon

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

“Thank God I found the GOOD in Goodbye.” 

-Beyoncé Knowles

 The Foda’s Take: Most human beings HATE change they didn’t choose, especially if the change is painful. It can take years to discover the good things that came from being in that proverbial pit you were stuck in for so long- but there’s always a payoff. You just don’t know what it is yet.

 Have you ever heard that song… you know, the one that goes And on that tree… there was a branch… the prettiest branch… that you ever did see…Oooh, the branch on the tree and the tree in the hole and the hole in the ground and the green grass grew all around, all around, and the green grass grew all around! 

And on that branch…..

There was a leaf…..

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

This is a great song to sing on long car rides. (Or, at least, it was before cars had TVs and various smart devices built right into them.) Why, you ask? Because it never ends. You can literally continue to build leaves, squirrels, dust mites, a whole ecosystem on that darn hole if you want!

What is my great life analogy with this, you ask? (You rascally little reader, you know me so well!) Well, when you first start this song, it’s fun. It’s a hole in the ground where green grass grows all around. It’s a blank slate, full of imagination and possibilities! But by the time some smart-aleck adds a Bonobo chimp to the speck of mold on the unicorn’s tail… it can get a little old.

Chronic illness is the same thing. At first, it’s a puzzle. And while it’s certainly not approached with the same fresh-faced excitement as a car-ride sing-a-long, at least it’s approached with stamina and an open mind. But, like this song, it can get overwhelming VERY quickly.

I used to count the days since I’d been well. I used it as some sort of ruler, like by saying it had been x amount of years, I was reminding the universe that I karmically deserved the pendulum to swing back in my favor sooner rather than later. But then someone who had dealt with a debilitating illness that lasted many years told me:

Stop counting.

But… but… if I stop counting how long it’s been, won’t it mean that…

What. I won’t get better faster? I won’t fight harder? I won’t continue to do everything in my power to get well? What?

Wow. Fine. If you wanna be all logical and practical about it.

You know what? I think I do.



(Sidebar- don’t you just love being privy to my little cranial conversations?) The point is, sometimes life gives you a hole in the ground, much like the Pit of Carkoon- resting place of the all-powerful Sarlacc! And when you (and not a tree) are in that hole, it can feel like all you can do is scratch off the days like Edmund Dantès did in The Count of Monte Cristo during his imprisonment in the Chateau d’If. But once the scratches on the wall get more and more numerous- it can feel less and less likely that you’re ever going to get out. But as I said before in Episode VII– this is a feeling, not a fact.

So stop counting. The past is not a predictor for the future. The hole is not a prison; it does not have a ceiling- there is blue sky above, even if you’re too far down to see it now.

But to those of you who are deep in the hole right now, I hear you, I feel your pain and your impatience and your cries of being wrongly locked away. It’s not easy, but stop counting- I promise, it feels so good to let go. (Just be forewarned- letting go is not an act you do just once. You have to continue to choose it again, and again, and again.)

And if you can’t do that, at least I’ve given you a really, really long song to sing while you’re down there.

Happy humming,

The Foda

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