Sunday, January 22, 2012

About the Back. . .

I found myself this morning curled up on the couch, face buried in surrounding pillows and blankets and back seizing. Again.

In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be unconscious. I wanted to leave the waking realm so that I could forego the pain and patience for healing my lower back.  A familiar and recurrent injury. This was nothing new and after a week of "staying positive" I had had enough. I wanted to run and punch someone, throw a fit and smash furniture (or walls if I could).  I wanted the relentless ache and radiating pain to go away! I wanted to shout it out of my life. For good.

This was all happing within a hour of my dance company rehearsal.  In less than an hour, I was going to have to be presentable to the world and a helpful leader to the group.  But, at that moment, I was paralyzed with frustration and hurt.  Hurt due to the actual pain, but hurt also from the psychological toll being injured takes on a "mover."

Being sedentary for the last two days wasn't helping my mood either. I had been laid up sleeping on and off for two days.  I realize now just how sensitive my brain chemistry is.  It seems I can't go more than a day without physical activity of some sort.  It is funny, because I think it is ok at the time, in fact in the moment I like the feeling of "resting," but after two days, I am melancholy at best and flat out depressed at worst.  Today I was experiencing the worst.

Injury and depression mix a dangerous cocktail.

And, I have been drinking it non stop all weekend.  The weekend planned for recovery turned into a weekend of downward spiraling.  No need for chemical enhancers, I can do this all on my own. So, curled into a ball, face pressed into the back couch cushions, I had to act.  I had to change something. I asked my rock solid husband to take a walk with me.  The moment I got outside the tears came.  The walk was a little aggravating for my back, but the reality of why I was upset was more painful than the physical discomfort.  I realized that when I wanted to run and punch someone, I was wanting to run and punch myself.  In that moment I believed that I had hurt my back, that it was my fault it had gone out again. Even if that was true, I see now that I don't deserve punishment. I have already punished myself enough.  I'm injured for heaven's sake!

I am already hurting so why am I trying to hurt and hate myself more?

I wanted this post to be something different. I wanted it to be sarcastic and funny.  To entertain you with my misfortune and pain.  But, unfortunately I'm still a little too raw for that, and I've decided that this is not something to joke about; it needs deeper compassion and forgiveness than that.

If you have back pain, have had back pain or ever have back pain in the future.  Please remember this:

You are not the cause, you are not the problem, you are not insufficient, you are not cursed. You are not the pain, you are not the injury, you are not this experience.  You will heal, you will recover, you will move freely and without inhibition again. You are lovable, you are worthy of being healthy and happy, you are just fine-- just the way you are.  Life's details of pain and suffering can feel so real, but your essence goes beyond all of this.  You --as you are in this very moment-- are everything you need to be.

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful, Beth, and so very true. Your eloquent description left me with an image of Atlas -- and rumor has it that even he shrugged after a while. I had a similar experience not too long ago, and when I asked the pain in my back what was up, it said "You don't have to carry the weight of the world in order to earn your place in it. You are already worthy . . ." Our bodies carry such wisdom. I love your message!! Thank you, and I wish you vibrant health and loving!