Part of what sent me to the hospital back in November was this intense nerve pain that radiated from the back of my thighs, up my buttocks and lower back. Sometimes it moved to my shoulders and back of my arms depending on how I sat and what part of me was touching any kind of surface. When I had to describe it to anyone all I could liken it to was shingles, because I have had that. And for those who haven't---just imaging you have gotten one of the worst sun burns of your life---and someone is rubbing your skin from the inside with sand paper. Sitting is excruciating and as the day goes on, impossible. You clench your teeth until your jaw aches, and the pain consumes every thought so that you are irritable and impatient with everyone. Tasks seem overwhelming and impossible and you inability to do normal things like look after your kids, fold laundry and drive the car (because you can't sit for more than a few moments) start a tidal wave of shame that slams into you and pulls you under.
The blessing is that this time....I come to the battle with my body and mind better armed. I have new knowledge from reading and from the adult day treatment program at the hospital. But the best part is---I have back up.
Last night I reached out to some people and was vulnerable --poured out my pain, my fear that I am collapsing all over again, that it will never end, that I am "rolling in the deep" part of the ocean with wave after wave of fear and shame washing over me every few moments.
Some I texted, some I e-mailed--some I Facebooked. Some at their devices in hand, some responded later but each one of them took the time to throw me a life preserver. Something to hang on to while I rode the waves last night. And the funny thing is, the more life preservers you get, the harder it is for the waves to pull you under. It was amazing. Each response I read through tears of gratitude as they reminded me that I am stronger now and am valuable and need just to breathe and ride the waves of emotion that was part of the pain response in my body.
B: Just trying to ride the wave...wave of shite
J: You get it. Total shite. Roll with it! Something will give!
L: Remember we will always have down times but the up times will come back. Even though it is exhausting remember how far you have come. I will check in with you tomorrow but if you need a hug just text. I wish I could must make everything go always but I know better days will come --you be kind to yourself! And remember I am always here.
C: Oh man I can feel your stress. Listen, you will get through this. This is a test. And tests suck because they are damn hard but you have come a long way and you WILL get through this. Yes, riding it out as your therapist suggests is not only a great thing to do,,,,it is the only thing you can do. But be very kind to yourself in whatever way that means to you. Breathe. Breathe some more. Remember you are loved and valuable and needed.
So I took a deep breath. And another. And another. And another. And I survived the night and am looking at a beautiful day but am now well anchored --and the waves can only push me around, not drown me.
I have isolated myself socially for many years so I have never had friends here in Brampton to call on in crisis or to have coffee with or watch a movie on my couch. Some of my "best" friends live in other cities or countries and so I often feel envious of people who have a social circle they can reach out to. But I learned last night that it is not about WHERE your friends are----it is about WHO your friends are. And I am very lucky that they are warm, loving, imperfectly perfect and will help be my supports when I feel like giving in to the spiral, the waves, the collapse.
I am truly blessed. xoxoxo