This week. This week has been hell for me. It was supposed to be a happy week, because Monday was my birthday, but it got overshadowed by all the crap going on. I mean, I guess that is what happens as you get older your birthday just becomes part of the mundane. Which if you know me, you know that I LOVE birthdays, so having my birthday become apart of everyday life and not something special, sucks.
Got to love those real life moment’s that wake you up and set you straight, or not.
But, I did get a life gift this week. That’s the way I am going to view it, any ways. You see, this week in the midst of all the crap I got a huge dose of humility, served on a freaking silver platter. One of those, “oh, shit… was I like that?” moments.
The thing about pain, physical or otherwise it is all-consuming. It literally takes up every part of your being. It’s all you can see, feel, think about or process. Everything else is hard to focus on.
I have spent the past three and a half years dealing with chronic pain. Today, is better than it was even last year, but it is still part of my everyday. I can focus better on the rest of life around me, but it hasn’t always been like that. Especially after my accident.
After my accident my world changed drastically. I was dealing with chronic back pain before that, trying to come up with solutions, going to any doctor I could think of to try and help me feel better. Then when I was rear-ended I was worse off than before. It was horrible. I thought my life had already been focused on living in pain, I had no idea what was in store for me now.
I could barely function. I was so dizzy I could hardly walk to the bathroom from my bed without wanting to fall over. I had to take showers sitting down on the shower floor. I couldn’t sleep because every position I tried would send shooting pain either up my back or in my neck and head. Nothing I did could relieve it. I couldn’t sit up without having to hold my head in place with my hands. I was a mess. But I was determined to get well. I was not going to live my life like this.
Well, my determination also looked a lot like control and stubbornness. My family, God bless them, wanted me to move back to Texas so they could help me and so I could simply focus on getting better. I refused. I didn’t want to leave the life I had built, even though in all honesty, that life was crumbling around me. I just was refusing to accept it.
My family kept pushing, kept loving me, kept trying to get me to see things their way. I still refused. I isolated myself because I knew I was making the wrong choices but I just so desperately wanted to still have a say in my life, and my body wasn’t letting me, so I wanted the rest of it to still be okay. I never was trying to push my family away on purpose or refuse their help because I didn’t want it. I did I just wanted it on my terms.
That’s the HUGE thing with pain. We want the healing and outcome to be on our terms because nothing else is on our terms, when dealing with pain. But, truthfully, the healing doesn’t usually happen on our terms either.
So, here was my dose of humble pie that I got served. I had already started seeing some of this over that last year but not fully. Because who wants to honestly admit that they were being a giant dirt bag and being stubborn as hell? I know I sure don’t. But, this week I watched my mom do the same thing I did. And I listened to myself say very similar things to her that my family did to me.
Oh, I was so aware of the irony of the situation and was truly humbled by everything. This week has made me want to do things all over again. I have for a while, but this time in very different ways. But I can’t change the past I can only learn from it and move forward.
It is such a unique position to be in at this moment. Because before I was the patient, I was the one in pain and needing help and I couldn’t see what everyone around me was doing. All I could see was my pain and that everyone was trying to take away my life, even more, from me. But that wasn’t true. They were simply trying to help me better myself for me to have a life.
Now, I am the advocate. And it’s been hard because I have lived in the shoes of pain, so I can relate on more levels than most. But I also don’t know my mom’s exact pain and feelings through all of this. I can just sympathize in ways others can’t.
But, in that same vein I also see the power of trying to fight for the person in pain. And I have had to do and say things I didn’t want to say or do, because I knew it would make me look like a hypocrite after my reaction to people doing the same thing for me. Hence, humble. freaking. pie. but know I understand. I understand where they were coming from. I understand the importance of both sides. And I know that I will be able to walk out future situations a whole lot differently than I have before. On both sides.
None, of this has been easy. The past three and a half years have been hell. But I am grateful for the hard lessons that it has taught me. I know I am and will be a better person for myself and those around me because of it. So, I am going to continue to eat my humble pie, until it sinks in. Until it clicks and I know that I can be a better person because I took it.