Starting in my high school years, people witnessed me talking aloud to myself. They’d cast me a confused stare and looked away. I couldn’t be ashamed of what I was doing because I had to practice getting used to Tommy’s (my tumor causing epilepsy) presence. Eventually, people accepted it as an Astrid trait and I would hear, Astrid! You’re crazy! You’re talking to yourself again. What wasn’t understood was why I did it. At that time, I had discovered it was the best way to deal with Tommy the Tumor and I didn’t feel obligated to tell anyone who or what I was speaking to. I knew that when I spoke to myself, I concentrated on accepting my life without anger and fear seeping into my character. Being told that I was crazy made the situation more humorous and fun because it offered me an exclusive characteristic.
Giving Tommy the Tumor an identity helped me to redirect my attention and identify him as part of me. Thinking of him as a spirit in my life opened me up to forgive the mishaps he brought. I couldn’t imagine him wanting to purposely harm me, leading me to believe that Tommy served a purpose, even if I wasn’t aware of what it was.
Whenever Tommy tickled me with an aura, I had to decide what I wanted to do and what consequences I was willing to accept then and there. Whatever choice made, I knew I had to own it and getting mad at Tommy would only encourage him to be more disturbing.
Thinking of Tommy as a spirit beside me made him into a friend to learn and work with. I admit that there were times when he listened and times when he ignored me. As our friendship grew, I discovered things he really enjoyed to remain calm.
As auras became identifiable and I related them to monotonous noises, I found a way to deal with it. To distract Tommy, I would start humming a song with cheer, trying to create an adverse song to concentrate on. When Tommy got used to this method, I had to add some body drumming. I would hum my song and drum different areas of my body to concentrate less on the inevitable seizure. Yes, it added to my crazy personality, but it became fun distracting Tommy and sometimes winning the fight.
Today, I find life more enjoyable when I treat every hardship as an extra spirit helping my journey. If I’m confused I will ask aloud and slowly the answers come. Sometimes I forget where I place my phone and my eyes are slow to focus so I say, Please show me where I left my phone. and my attention is drawn to where it lays. Right beside me.
By treating everything (experience, objects, people) as individual spirits in my life, help is always on hand and negativity cannot consume me. Everything is a part of my being and I, in turn, am willing to work to give back to be a part of everything.