I have been crying on and off all day. Yet, depression no longer feels like the big issue in my life. The issue is my leg, my leg, nothing but my leg. I know for a fact that, if I could escape this pain, I would be fine. I would embrace my life, my normal life of school pickups and chores and errands, with passion so intense it would probably be inappropriate. You don't realize until these things are taken away what privileges they are. To be upright and mobile and without chronic pain, it is the greatest gift on earth. And it is a gift that I don't know when I will have again. Part of me believes I will never have it, but I have to keep slapping myself across the face and saying, "Shut up, brain. Stop your fucking lies!"
The sciatic pain has not improved. In fact, it has gotten worse. Worse to the point where I can barely walk or be on my feet at all. To say it sucks would be the biggest understatement on the fucking earth. I am not dealing at all well with this. I cry and rage against it. I feel overwhelming guilt for all the things I cannot do, with my child, with my husband. Every holiday event, every school meeting and activity, is another reminder of something I likely won't be able to do. I am just so sad about it. A host of different medical professionals have promised me that I won't be crippled for life, but for some reason my brain and my heart won't believe them. I think it's the not knowing that kills me, not knowing how long I will be crippled or what it will take to get me better.
Mr. SOC doesn't understand my thinking. He doesn't understand why this has to be such a big deal. Yes, it's hard being crippled and in pain. But what reason do I have to believe I won't get better? Why can't I just be hopeful about my chances? Why can't I wait it out and accept what is? He is right. That is the rational way to look at this. But I am not rational right now. Right now, this moment feels like forever. And this moment is not how I want my life to be.
I have to take this space and time to remind myself of the things I know to be true. I am bigger than this pain. My child has all the things that are important: unconditional love, safety, a warm place to sleep, plenty to eat, friends and family to entertain her when I can't. I have a husband who loves me enough to weather this storm with me. I have to believe in my own capacity to heal. Life can't always be what I want it to be; all I can do is stay with it, breathing in and out, knowing that this too shall pass. This, like every hard experience, is a chance to grow.
Just a few days ago, I was mobile enough to cook Thanksgiving dinner and do arts and crafts with my daughter. It wasn't a perfect pain-free day, but it was enough. That was only five days ago. So why is it that I believe I'll never be there again? Yesterday, I had an epidural steroid injection. I know several people who were helped by these. Why do I believe that it's probably going to fail for me? I have to remember that my brain is lying to me right now. Yes, I am hurting right now, but the stories about "the rest of my life" are all made up, all horror stories concocted in my mind. I think I'll go meditate right now. Maybe it will help.
EDITED TO ADD: The meditation did help. I found so much wisdom arising in myself. First, I repeated these phrases that came to me:
- I believe in my intrinsic worth, despite my physical limitations
- I believe in the power of my mind and body to heal
- I believe in my strength in courage
And then I found myself being able to make space for my grief, my impatience and my fear. I was able to simply allow them to be there, which felt so much better than trying to fight against them. Afterward, I took a walk with the dog. Yes, it hurt. But with every step I asked myself, "Can I just feel the pain and not the fear of the pain?" It made the unbearable bearable.