Riding the Uncertainty

Riding the uncertainty of situations and working with acceptance have been the themes of my week. In reality, maybe they are the themes of every week but this one has seen them sharply defined and prominent, as if life is being very insistent that I take note.

It has been a few days of great sadness and frustration and also of little glimmers of hope too. On a global level, Haiti has been distressing and, like everyone, I have been wrestling with the tension between accepting that the earth is just doing her bit to keep the balance of life going (earth quakes are not judgements of an angry god but the planet’s way of keeping the conditions for optimum life ticking away) and feeling horrified at the human tragedy.

Closer to home, I heard the shocking news that a friend’s son had been killed. He died in a seemingly insignificant accident that he should have walked away from unscathed. It struck me how one unremarkable moment and one small decision suddenly produced the most momentous and tragic consequences. I cannot begin to imagine what my friend must be going through; the death of one’s child is the most profound of all losses.

The night I heard about the accident was also the night I started bleeding. After the implant had been fitted a couple of weeks ago and my period had failed to arrive, I began celebrating, rather prematurely, that the vomit inducing pain and the debilitating heaviness were going to be a thing of the past. It started with light spotting and has gradually become heavier.

My initial sense of panic was rooted in uncertainty. Was this my period finally arriving? Was it the implant playing havoc with my body (some women start bleeding and don’t stop for months!)? Five days later and still bleeding, I am hoping that this is just my period and that soon it will finish. I have been trying to comfort myself that – if I am merely menstruating – by my normal standards it’s a huge improvement. The relentless and intense cramping I usually encounter is absent; in its place is a griping ache in my groin which painkillers strangely won’t shift but the hot water bottle does, and although it has become heavier, the flow seems to have peaked and is no where near the amount that the last couple of months has seen me struggling to deal with. In short, it’s manageable and a step in the right direction, at least.

I would be fibbing if I said I wasn’t disappointed and I still feel a little nervous about the route this might ultimately take. Ideally, the implant and my body will eventually find a happy balance. I have spent some time checking out women’s experience of Implanon on the net and the symptoms are about as varied and contradictory as you could imagine. Each women responds differently; some stop bleeding – others can’t stop; some put on weight – others lose it; some get depressed –others feel more level; some recommend it with glowing praise –others say it was the worst decision of their lives!

Thinking about the events of this week, I feel myself resisting the fact that I must ride the uncertainty. As humans – bearing witness to the suffering that life can sometimes produce – I feel that we can forgive ourselves for, at times, yearning for security. Who wouldn’t be tempted to reach for certainty amidst what often appears as seemingly chaotic happenings with unpredictable and painful outcomes? From the deep sadness and tragedy of loss to the less drastic, but nevertheless irritating, curve balls of life, we can only ultimately embrace each moment as best we can; live it, trust it, feel it – and out of the uncertainty –actually probably because of it – Grace finds us, quite often just at that moment when all feels lost.

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