The Dark Side

When someone sees me and says, “You’re getting around so well!” I must confess that, although I know they are celebrating my progress, there is a part of me that gets angry.  I generally smile, and say “thanks,” but I am often thinking about the price that getting around costs me.  It is painful and exhausting.

I used to tell myself that I was selfish for feeling this way.  Then my counselor told me that part of why my anxiety has become so powerful is because I am not allowing myself to simply feel what I am feeling without judging myself, hence my decision to be more “transparent” here.

Every morning I wake up and struggle to get out of bed.  I attend physical therapy 3 days a week.  Some of those days I am in a lot of pain before I get there.  Other days, the pain is a result of the therapy.  If I feel good and my pain is minimal, more pain will come later as a result of doing too much (which might be as little as a trip to the grocery store).

As I read my writing, I realize it seems I am ungrateful for my ability to walk.  Then I feel guilty, and the cycle begins.  But my purpose for writing this is to be honest, so I have to admit that I am pissed.

I am pissed that the Color Run is this weekend, and I cannot participate.  I am pissed because I used to walk or run for an hour every morning and I cannot do that either.  I am pissed because I have a trampoline that I can’t use.  I am pissed because it hurts to walk for more than a few minutes.  I’m pissed because the people in my arthritis H20 class are 20 to 30 years older than I am and can kick my butt.  I’m pissed because I can’t ride my bicycle, much less my motorcycle.  And I’m pissed because I’m pissed.

I have always been able to see the bright side of things.  I certainly see the bright side here as well, but the dark side is impossible to ignore.  Yes, I can walk, but my hips won’t rotate correctly, so my hips, legs, and back hurt.  Yes, I can get around, but I can’t Zumba or do any of the other fun physical activities I love so much.  Yes, I survived, but there are constant reminders of the trauma and I wear many of them.

10 thoughts on “The Dark Side

  1. I understand as I feel ill and in pain much of the time. I’m doing well as I’ve been able to use buses for the first time in 15 years (very poor mobility) but I feel so sad that I have to be this way, so unwell and worried about each step I struggle to take. You’re not alone.

  2. I recently looked after someone coming to terms with new and severe MS type symptoms that mean they couldn’t walk. I was there when they were feeling like it was the most unfair thing, and they were trying not to get so down. Their legs weren’t working, but their arms were getting stronger as they were picking up the slack – they found a positive with every negative and that helped make it easier to accept both.
    I see it so often at work – and I’ve felt it myself. It sucks when you physically can’t do something you used to, something you love, something that so many others can do. And it’s more than okay, it’s probably the healthiest thing to do, to let yourself feel and admit that it sucks. As long as you remember the positives that come with the pain and the waiting and the slow progress, which by the sounds of all your other posts, you have got your head in the right place.
    Things will get better, and I look forward to reading the post about you getting back to some of those fun things! 😉

  3. I wish I could take your pain away, Mary. Life isn’t fair and bad things happen to good people. I’m glad you have counseling help.Love you, Andrea

    1. Thanks, Andrea! The worst part is the anxiety. I still have nightmares and anxiety attacks. My general sense of safety is sporadic at best. But I won’t stop fighting. I love you too.

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