Friday, October 28, 2011

What's in a Word?

Today while I was flipping through one of my notebooks, to write down job possibilities, I came across one of my "why did I write that down?" moments.  On a random page, in the middle of the steno pad, was one word: ameliorate.  There are no other clues, as to why I would have wanted to remember this word.  Just the single, ten- letter word scrawled hurriedly on the page.  It's a word I'm familiar with, but  unsure of my definition.   Maybe that's why I wrote it down, to remember to look it up.
My TB likes to refer to me as a Talking Thesaurus, but in this instance, I wasn't even sure I could use "ameliorate" in a sentence, let alone give a synonym for it, so I put on my Dictionary Diva hat.  I went online to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, and was informed that ameliorate is a transitive verb meaning to make better or more tolerable.  It goes on to list synonyms, antonyms, and words that rhyme  with it.  It also gives a few examples in sentence form, such as "The medicine will help ameliorate the pain."
If I searched every thesaurus and dictionary to find a verb that best describes what my goal in life is, I couldn't find a better word, than ameliorate.  At this stage in my recovery, my goals are about moving forward, building the life that I want, and finding ways to ameliorate my mental, physical, and spiritual self.  I spent far too many years of my life, steeping in my own miseries and maladies, never feeling that anything could get better, or even made more tolerable.  It took two inpatient stays, a head tremor, and moving back home, to realize I have always had the power to change my life, I just didn't know how to use the tools.
It took almost thirty years of fighting myself, to finally make the choice, to live my life based on what my needs are.  It's taken a couple years, to begin to learn how to use the tools that have become the very foundation on how I live my life.  It's been trial and error, patience, acceptance, and determination, to figure out what works.  Learning how to accommodate to meet my needs, physically, mentally and spiritually, has been a process of amelioration. 
 I discovered that when I stopped fighting reality, I was able to come up with solutions that were more practical based on my needs.  I started writing things down to help with my sometimes faulty memory.  I cut off all my hair when I realized I wouldn't have to deal with the constant whooshing in my ears, and being smacked upside the head with my ponytail every 2 seconds.  I found that acknowledging uncomfortable emotions, and directing them into a lesson learned or creative outlet, left me feeling more accomplished, and less panicked.  I allowed myself to find a sanctuary, where all I felt was peace when I walked in, and made the commitment to myself to go there every Sunday, and then I joined the choir.  
I make a conscious effort everyday to make my life, not just more tolerable, but better.
Although I'm not sure why I decided to write down the word ameliorate in my notebook, I know that it certainly had its purpose.  Not only can I  now define what it means, and use it in a sentence, I can apply it to my life, and write a whole darn blog about it!

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