When challenges pile up

I’m no doctor.

I don’t even play one on TV.

Yet, I’m about to make a bold diagnosis.

Because I know a case of this when I see it.

A case of “What Else-itis.”

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My friend, Tricia, has it right now.

A freakish house fire burned down half her home last fall.

The company where she works has been bought, so her job is about to go away.

Did I mention her husband has filed for divorce?

Oh, and last week, she totaled her car.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what else is going to exit my life,” she half-joked in a text letting me know she was OK.

Her case is especially acute because Tricia is not normally a drama-every-moment kind of person.

She’s just had a lot of stuff, a lot of big stuff happen.

Seemingly all at once.

I first noticed What ElseItis when I caught a strain of it, myself.

Years ago, I ended a relationship, only to be told a couple weeks later that CNN was letting me go.

I thought it was stuck in Park under my own person dark cloud.

“What else can go wrong?” I wondered as I struggled through heartbreak and an uncertain professional future.

Since then, I’ve come to see I’m not alone.

One thing goes.

That thing or person you never thought you could live without.

Only to have something bigger follow.

I’ve seen my friend Vicky’s marriage end not long after her mother died.

Another friend was laid off at CNN, her husband asked for a divorce the next day.

My friend, Clare was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, only to see her mom get a brain tumor and her young daughter rushed into surgery for emergency appendicitis.

Has WhatElseItis happened to you, too, Dear Reader?

Symptoms include well-meaning, clueless people saying things to you like, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

Which is about helpful as a 2x4 whack over the head.

Or getting knocked down by a tidal wave.

After tidal wave.

Which is what it can feel like when you take life blow.

After blow.

It gets to a point where you have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

While you cry, of course.

Cry for what and who is leaving.

That includes that sense of security that everything is going to be OK.

Which actually, there’s a good chance it will be.

Only in the form of a new OK.

For even in all the crazy of WhatElseItis is at least one purpose.

One possibility.

To clear the decks.

To level the lot.

For the new building.

And to know you are not alone.

Look around.

You are not the first to have the decks clear.

You see will see lives rebuilt.

Not in the image they were before.

Different.

Better?

That depends.

In what you choose to do with it between and after the tears.

What else is on the way?

What else, indeed.

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