Useless Why

17688053_sWe’ve all read inspirational stories of triumph over physical or mental challenge…or met people who believe they were given their illness for some higher if unknown reason. While I undertake the utmost admiration for these points of view, I don’t find a grand design in my circumstance beyond writing this blog…and I wish I’d never encountered Dystonia in my bout of chance in our family’s genetic lottery, whether stronger for this experience or not. One of my greatest battles is the “Useless Why” that relentlessly besieges me.

Over a span of 40+ years living with Dystonia, I’ve frequently traveled to the Land of Why: Why me? Why Dystonia? Why the unnecessary obstacles? Of course, these are dead-end detours in pursuit of unanswerable questions, pointing me in the useless direction of life’s random unfairness. My daunting “whys” deliver a knock out left hook to productive focus as I grapple with comparisons serving no practical purpose.

I’m not alone in a wasteland that swallows more voraciously than quicksand. The “Useless Why” game is intrinsic to human nature. Our instincts compel us to seek explanations for senseless adversity or what we perceive as worldly injustice. Check in with your internal barometer – “Useless Why” plays out on many levels: Why is my hair insistently frizzy? Why can’t I find a more satisfying job? Why doesn’t my child behave? Why haven’t I met Mr. Right?

Amid my searing search for answers to life’s more perplexing questions, I’ve found the antidote for “Useless Why” resides in “Useful How” – the tactics we embrace to dig ourselves out of our holes and lead purposeful lives. So make a plan of action and trash those Useless Whys!

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30 responses to “Useless Why

  1. The “useless why” will forever linger in the back of the minds of those afflicted. The “useful how” is even more frustrating because medical science is still lagging far behind in finding a viable answer. The best we can do at this point is to rely on the “generic deal.” Some people do it better than others. However, on MLK day, it is urgently important to remember to keep hope alive.

    • Ed, Lovely to see you here. Those “Useless Whys” can certainly pose a battle but we do our best and try to hold hope. Your positive outlook is such an inspiration to me and your friendship enriches my life. I’m so grateful volunteerism crossed our paths. My warmest wishes to the whole family. -Pam-

    • Ed,
      I really enjoyed your comment. It is true, medical science is not keeping pace with dystonia; but you are certainly correct, Martin Luther King Jr, is an inspiration for any cause.

      • Jaz, Fortunately, we find abundant inspiration when we take the time to look. As for growing medical understanding of Dystonia along the path to a cure, there are many possibilities to make our individual contributions, whether it’s fundraising, volunteering our time/money, advocating, or participating in clinical trials. We keep hope alive with our efforts and perseverance. -Pamela-

  2. The search for useless answers make us suffer and get angry. So when we were lamenting in our difficulties or errors, we become bitter and depressed people. I think we need to be positive and resilient even in bad times of our lives!

    • Divanicio, The search for “useless answers” is as futile as it is frustrating but can be oh so tempting. We must strive to repress the urge to lament our woes and get on with the business of living. xxx -Pamela-

      • Pamela, I think we should not repress our desire to mourn, maybe! But we should not live a life of lamentations. If we regret something is because we are not well, right. But living always lamenting, is not a good thing!
        Nice post!

  3. Hi Pam, Stay positive about things to come and let the past go.

    • Hello Donald, Always so nice to hear from you. I couldn’t agree more – we need look to the future. It’s all about making the best of our lives and holding hope. Best to you. -Pamela-

  4. I am well aware of the whys. I know there is definitely a hereditary component. I still wonder why me. I have adapted to the situation most days, however those whys still persist. I don’t think the disease has made me a better person. I was fine before. Like you said we can never answer the question why us.
    Angela

    • Angela, Dystonia may not make us “better” but it certainly brings out our inner soldier! Life can be so utterly random, it’s hard to make sense of all that befalls us. All we can do is try and make the best of our situation. Enjoy the rest of your week. -Pamela-

  5. Victoria Alexandra Rodak

    I agree that more often than not, asking “Why?” is a fruitless exercise. Instead, many times, it seems more productive to ask “Why NOT?” or even, “Why NOT me?”

    • Vic, Well hello dear friend, lovely to greet you here! Your insightful comment poses a question we’d all do well to ponder. I can’t think of a better alternative to “Useless Why” than “Why Not!” I hope you’ll visit again soon, you have so much to offer. xxx -Pam-

  6. As the label on Egypt’s Stella beer says “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Adversity always builds strength. Everybody carries some burden. This is one of ours. Question is, what will we do with it? What is possible? What would be absolutely amazing?

    • Hello Kirby, Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to offer such a lovely comment. I must tell you that so many of the “health blogs” I encounter are absolutely amazing, offering stories of triumph over adversity and inspiring us to do our best to manage our every days. Yes, each of us carries our burdens and in the face of them, we should still strive to make something special out of our lives. Wouldn’t I love to know more about my readers and all they make possible. Best to you. -Pamela-

  7. Hi Pam, I love the conversation this is generating! How true – it’s really a balance between acknowledging the difficult without becoming immersed in it. I’m not convinced that having dystonia has brought out any strengths…I’ve always been plucky. However, I do know that asking ‘why me?’ is ultimately destructive.

    • Hi Monica, So do I! I can only hope people take the time to read the comments. I completely agree about life being a balance and I’m glad to hear Dystonia hasn’t interfered with your “plucky” personality. Good for you! Always wonderful to hear from you ands thank you so much for reading. xxx -Pamela-

  8. Great blog !
    In addition to the “why me”, I have eliminated the should’ve, could’ve,
    would’ve.

    • JG, Always so nice to hear from you here…and also on Twitter. Glad to hear you’ve eliminated negative energy in your life, which is so important. We do our best to take that optimistic point of view. -Pamela-

  9. wGlad to have found you. I am a newbie with this diagnosis also. When I firstborn the news I wanted to say why me but then again why not me? And then I told myself it could be worse, a whole lot. And nobody gets through life without some hardships. I am learning to look at this life in a new way and be the best I can be. I now know I need to measure out my energy and not over do it. It is just nt

    • cj, Welcome to this site and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m thoroughly impressed by your attitude to what is truly a difficult diagnosis – though you are absolutely right, there’s way worse than Dystonia. Keep up a great attitude that will serve you well! Best to you and have a great weekend. -Pamela-

  10. Hello Pam,
    Your question comes unmistakably if one gets such an illness like the dystonia.
    In the course of my dystonia life (17 years) I have reached to the conclusion, forwards look everything is. To the back look and to ask, why I, brings only on the ground. But then I think of a song of a German Heavy Metal tape: Get up if you are on the ground.
    I look after a young woman who has generalized dystonia, a DBS has and even though still depends on the wheel chair, just, how on assistants. This young woman has a life energy in spite of dystonia. She studies social help.
    There I become more contented with my small cervikalen dystonia.

    My life motto:
    Forwards look. Giving up is no option. Dystonia may be no destiny.

    • Franz, I am so glad you’ve commented because you offer words of wisdom. Your life motto is one to which we should all aspire. Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day a bit in advance, though I’m not sure they celebrate in Germany. -Pam-

  11. Pam, I try to persuade the affected persons in the self-help group controlled by me and the other German affected persons of my positive posture.
    If one lives this, kan one better live with dystonia. Of course one must also try to have a purpose.

    Thanks for the Greetings a Valentine’s Day. Yes, here this is also celebrated. I wish all American affected persons also a nice Valentine’s Day.

  12. Hello,have you tried a high vitamin b6 dose ? Also check ‘Dr.Ray Peat’ on google.

  13. I think there is hope. But don’t pin any hopes on the medical authorities.
    You can also try ‘shallow breathing exercises’ and you will definitely see an improvement.

    http://pranarupa.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/pranayama-carbon-dioxide-mitochondria-coherent-energy-flow-regeneration-and-individuation/

  14. Amen! Great post and great perspective.

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