I recently saw this quote, “Believe that life is worth living” by William James and it immediately resonated with me. After a disastrous two months of being extremely ill, enduring severe spinal pain and multiple visits to the ER, that horrible sense of despair is finally fading away.
There were moments when I nearly succumbed to the emotional isolation and melancholy of being in so much distress. I just wanted to give up. It was simply too much for me to take anymore.
Not only was I battling a severe viral infection, I was dealing with complications from having five herniated discs. My body was under an enormous amount of stress that was far more than I usually deal with on a daily basis. My body was a literal battlefield, it was waging an intense war against wave after wave of pain. I tried so hard to push through it but every time I took a step forward, I ended up going two steps backwards. It became a vicious cycle of intense misery that didn’t belong in my life.
On a good day, my pain level is at a five (it never goes to zero). On a supremely bad day, it is often at an eight or nine. I've learned this past month that eight is a critical point for me, once it starts going past that threshold, the pain escalates very quickly to ten which means a trip to the ER.
It seemed as if my body was intent on giving up. I could feel in it me. There were moments when I nearly gave in. I was in a very dark place where I felt completely hopeless. I was at the point of not caring about anything. There was no joy anymore, that feeling was gone. It was as if Dementors slithered in during the night and sucked out all of the happiness from me.
I’ve been through depression as well as grief, what I was experiencing was quite different than this. I was not suicidal: it was simply a state of being, a sign that my mind was drowning in pain and immense stress.
A friend of mine who also has several herniated discs, recently said they went through the same experience, had the same thoughts and feelings. That was an eye-opening moment for me, it made me realize that I was not alone in this battle.
Today was the first day in months where I felt nearly normal. I was able to push the pain to the back of my mind where it belonged. I had enough energy to bake cookies, do the laundry and run some quick errands. To be able to do normal things like everyone else for a short period of time was a remarkable achievement. I felt like I had just climbed a mountain and reached the top.
There was a monumental shift in me where I actually felt happy for the first time in so many months. It was exactly what I needed. It gave me hope. I’m slowly learning to embrace small moments like today, especially with chronic pain. It was also an important reminder for me to hold on to things that mean the most to me, such as my cats, my family and friends, neighbours (who called the paramedics for me so many times), and most of all my dojo family. I couldn’t have gotten through any of this without you guys. It meant the world to me. The heavy veil of darkness has been lifted and I can finally see the light.
In : March 2019
Tags: hope isolation pain