Dammit – what’s up with that tap on my shoulder?  I can go for months and months without thinking or feeling my disability when suddenly, there it is. 

I thought that getting better meant getting over it, getting past it, getting away from it.  But guess what – getting better means just that – better.  Better at doing things I want to do and even those I do not want to do – insert cleaning, laundry, dishes – you get the idea.  Yet better doesn’t mean it’s gone and being gone doesn’t mean you can’t get better.

What does this mean?  Depends on how you want to look at it.  Whether you want to stick with the better or go with the gone – hmmm, that sounds like a lyric to a good song.

What I mean is, being better is what makes us, us.  The part of us that became hurt, bruised, gone, is still a part of us.  We are one big bundle of stuff, good and bad, happy and sad, better and gone, and it’s all okay. 

Being better focuses on how our ability has evolved to move forward.  And, again, going with the gone doesn’t mean you can’t get better.

I think of the “just when you think” moments as a passing through grief, like that of missing my mom and taking a stroll through memories when she was here with me.  I miss her, I grieve for her, and even though she’s gone, she is still a big part of what made me, me…

Often the tap comes at times when I’ve already had enough to handle – maybe that’s why it taps – a reminder that hey- “just because you’re better doesn’t give you the right to overdo it!” 

It’s not that I can’t do things when the tap appears, it’s more of a sign to bring it down a notch – take a rest, approach the task, time, and adventure in a constructive and thought-out manner.  I believe that’s an especially useful tap – it’s like always having my own personal trainer with me.

So, even after 25 years, I still feel it.  I still have sparing matches and even dances with what’s gone.  But what makes the sparing and dancing easier and easier is how much I have come to know its punches and steps – and now that I am better, I feel pretty good when I knock it out.

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