The message at my church this morning likened life to a card game. If you were dealt some cards that would guarantee you a losing hand, you would discard them. These cards might be resentment, failure, insecurity, fear, anger, or anything that hurts you (or someone else) or keeps you from being your best self. Often we hold onto those “bad cards” and can’t figure out why we aren’t winning. When we draw new cards, we can improve our hand and increase our chances of winning. In life, unlike a card game, we can discard as many “bad cards” as we wish and keep drawing until we get the exact hand we want. So go ahead and discard.
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.