Well, the first day of my new plan is drawing toward evening and ... shit. Well, I did some of the things I aspired to. I meditated, went to the pool, did my PT exercises, made an accupuncture appointment for tomorrow, did a little bit of work (emphasis on the little bit). But I also googled stuff, read horror stories, cried and panicked, and had about an hour where I was saying in my head, "I don't want to live through this. I would rather die."
But I did get myself together. And do you know how? By praying, praying to God. I asked the God I don't believe in, the God I have openly scoffed at, to help me. And you know what? It fucking helped. Either that or the valium I took. I read last night in a book about Buddhism that the Buddha said that the only point of religion is as a tool to relieve your own suffering. So you can just take whatever parts of religion make you feel better and use them however the hell you want. So today I prayed to God. How true it is that, the more you learn, the more you learn to be humble and recognize how little you actually know.
Anyhow ... do you know what the problem is, the real problem that is causing me so much agony? My back doesn't hurt enough. And it hurts in the wrong places. The last time, I had the absolute classic symptoms of a herniated disc--and, while I did have ups and downs, in general I felt like I had a lightning bolt of nerve pain running down my right leg. I was a textbook case, and therefore a good candidate for surgery. This time, things are weird and complicated. My leg, which was my chief problem last time, hurts some days and not others--and never as bad as it did before. I also have pain in my abdomen, which is just strange. And then I have these awful spasming muscles in my upper back, which many days--like today--cause the majority of my suffering. And nobody really knows if surgery would help that problem. The muscle pain is certainly not a reason, on its own, to have surgery.
So, I need more pain--and pain in the right places--to bring me clarity. Today, with my leg pain at a very low level but my upper back in spasm, I was left with the feeling that I'm just stuck. I have chronic pain that makes my life miserable, but it's pain that there is no clear solution for. And then there was the guy on google who had debilitating muscular pain in his upper back for 10 years and is taking daily doses of oxycontin just to survive. And then there were the inevitable thoughts about my future of neverending pain and disability and horror.
Oh God, please help me to stop my mind from running in these crazy circles. Please help me to tell myself a different story. Please help me to keep my promise of cultivating faith and optimism. Please help me to stop googling. Please help me to carry out my intention of just allowing this week to unfold, rather than trying every second to figure out what the future holds. God, please give me the strength to be right here, right now.