Geography has haunted me for two weeks straight: Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, France and Turkey. Another place meant another tragedy to cover at work; another slew of funerals to write about with dignity and respect. I thought I was doing it all with ease until Friday night I passed out in the middle of texting with my neighbor. When I opened my eyes on Saturday morning to wake my fiancé, my legs were weak, my vision was blurry and my brain felt like it was throbbing.
I laid down and put on my sleep mask. I took several deep breaths as I listened to my fiancé get ready for work. I felt calmer although my whole body had stiffened so much the cervical area of my spine was so stiff I could barely lift my head.
I rolled over and turned on the tv. As the news headlines flashed across the screen, the events I’d written about flashed through my head. I could feel my stress level rising. At the same time, my pain increased. This was the moment I realized my stressful work condition may actually be making me sicker.
I tried to distance thoughts by dragging myself through the house to collect the trash for disposal, start the laundry, and pick up anything that wasn’t in its place. Once that was done and one small errand was run, I headed to the mailbox. By then, I felt hot and faint. So, I snatched everything out and headed inside.
I collapsed on to the bed, swallowed my morning dose of medication, an assortment of nine pills, and began going through the mail. A giant envelope stood out. The return address indicated it was from my friend Karen.
I poured the contents onto the comforter beside me. The first thing I saw was a card drawn by her children that said, “our mommy loves you.” Tears welled in my eyes and a broad smile crossed my lips. Then, I saw a yellow post it. It was covering a bracelet called warrior. The card attached read: “remember that true glory is rising every time you fall… You are so strong, so fearless, so powerful. You are a warrior, stronger than you have ever been.” I sobbed as I put it on and read another card letting me know I was in her prayers.
Silently, I thought to myself I was too blessed to be stressed by work or anything else. I swear, instantly my body felt lighter and my pain decreased. I relaxed back onto my pillow as I listened to Yolanda Adams sing, “Sometimes life can place a stumbling block in your way but you’re gotta keep the faith, bring what’s deep inside your heart yeah your heart to the light and never give up. Don’t ever give up on you. No don’t give up.” I sang along and drifted off to sleep knowing I can never give up because I have faith, love and friendship in my life to lift me up when I’m down.