Where Do You Find The Strength?

I surreptitiously dab my eyes again as the vet tells me that I can stop giving her the antibiotics that were just prescribed just 2 days ago. She points at the gray blobs on the x-ray images on the small outdated monitor and keeps talking.

I try desperately to focus, to pay attention, to come up with that right questions, or at least that one that I know I’ll be kicking myself later for not asking about.

I feel confused, overwhelmed, shaky
. I believe “freaked out” is the medical term for my condition.

The tears come, partly in response to this, partly in an unreasonable anger at the need for this third visit in a week, for the vagueness of the answers, for the lack of certainty. I desperately want some certainty right now, something to hold on to.

How can I find the strength to deal with this?

My fur baby, Mippy, is sick.  She’s a gorgeous 11-year-old domestic long-hair who’s been overgrooming to where her back paws, instead of sporting her usual glorious pantaloons, stick out like sickly sticks.

After getting a long-acting steroid shot, she got a nasty cold and then 2 days ago he stopped eating, and her breath started coming out in a tortured wheeze. And now they’re pointing at a suspicious mass in her belly.

“This is too much, I can’t do this…” runs through my head.

“I’ll send a referral for an ultrasound” says the doctor.

I’m wrung out in a way I wasn’t even aware of.
 Mip’s been my constant companion, the often silly and occasionally demanding buddy of my home life.

She likes to sit on the arm rest of my sofa when I’m there and purr up a storm, and she comes running to meow along with me whenever I break out in song.

“Where does the strength to go on, to keep going come from?”
I ask myself, as I get back into the car and head toward home, exhausted, trying to avoid the potholes in the poorly paved dusky city roads.

And then it hits me. We make the strength, we choose it
. And that is what I must do.

The strength to go on Isn’t a thing that falls on us from out of the sky, and it’s not a latent virtue to summon up. It is a choice, an active decision, an in-drawn determined breath.

Strength is a verb. 

And strength can look like crying. But then it also looks like taking a deep breath, letting it out slowly, and choosing to take the next step.

Yours in Strength,

Categories: Uncategorized.
  • Tracy Lassiter

    You continue because you have to. You have no choice. Of course you could fall apart, end up fetal on the floor or in an institution somewhere, but that wouldn’t serve Mip, it wouldn’t serve you, it wouldn’t serve anyone else who needs you right now. You find the strength because NOT finding it will make matters so much worse. You find the strength because you know to your core you’re NOT a quitter and you can give and give or go and go some more. You find the strength because you know you couldn’t live with yourself if you didn’t. You find the strength for now because you tell yourself you’ll have time to regroup, recover, rebuild “someday,” even if you never do. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough time — furbaby issues are some of the most important to me, so I SO get it. Keep on keepin’ on. We’re here.

    • Inna Nirenburg

      Tracy – so well said, and thank you so much for the well wishes. You’re right – we’re all so much stronger than we think we are, and can muster so much more of that amazing strength when we put our minds to it, make that conscious decision. I’ve certainly had times in my life when I wasn’t able to muster the strength for what I had to face, and was looking for it as some magical external prompt. This is a reminder to me that there IS nothing external, it all comes from me, a small but profound shift in my thinking and mindset. And also that I’m not along, that many others have traveled the road before me, and many are here to lend a physical or emotional hand. Thank you.