You know... it's interesting. People tell me sometimes that I am "inspiring" or "amazing". I scoff at those words because really, I am just me. The things that actually define me at my core have nothing to do with the fact that I have an incurable illness... and now it appears a neurological disease, also incurable, 'cause that's just how I roll.
Today, however, a friend for whom I have great admiration, used the word "courage" in reference to me, and I decided it fits, though not in the typical heroic or poetic sort of way.
It's more about finding the strength to do what needs doing while trying not to care about insignificant things like toys on the floor or laundry that needs folding. It's about getting out of bed in the morning and facing the litany of symptoms and suffering instead of wallowing in them. It's about showing up wherever I'm supposed to with a smile on my face, pretending to feel good and pain-free all the while looking like death warmed over, ignoring the whispers and even making jokes about the "you look horrible" comments. It's about not allowing self-pity to exist even when the pity party people show up on a daily basis. It's about finding the strength to keep on fighting even when I know for sure it would be easier physically and emotionally to curl up in a ball for awhile.
None of those things is really all that incredible... but I think each of them requires a certain amount of that everyday kind of courage we all have to call upon from time to time. I, however, have to keep it on speed dial these days.