It feels like I’ve been poised at the end of a diving board, muscles tensed, concentration total, waiting for the moment of push-off—it never came. 

Such has been my near yearlong experience with hospice nurses and chaplains coaching appropriate measures of self-care, given my rare terminal illness—Interstitial Lung Disease with Rheumatoid Arthritis, its called—that again appears to have plateaued upon new limits.

True, I‘m ill, but not actively dying, but if I’m completely honest, an undercurrent of my mortality has been leeching vital energy from my psyche. Evidently one of my caregivers also fed into this disorder and fueled an untimely dependence upon her. Because she is no longer around, I feel more myself, still in my right mind, and able to make decisions for my ongoing needs.

Again, it’s about acceptance, Step One of Chronic Pain Anonymous. Funny, how that graced word consistently implodes internal tangles and opens skies above it where the sun brilliances the next step: to walk to the other end of the diving board, climb down the ladder, and wait for the next right step.

My relief is huge.