Switching the conversation
I had my 14th procedure for pain on Thursday last week. 14... I am officially done with interventions, they don't work on me, unfortunately. I wanted to give it one more shot before I threw in the towel. When I stand up it's like the evolution of man till I can stand totally straight from a seating position. I didn't expect it to work if I am being completely honest, I did it to prove a point. I didn't listen to my gut which was screaming at me 'don't do it!!!' of course I thought I knew best. (folks your gut feeling is there for a reason if we all listened to it more often our lives could be that bit different, (speaking from my own experience)). Recently I found happiness or a feeling of content. Its the first time I have ever felt this way, its totally new to me and I love it. I try not to question it and just go with it. I think I found it when I accepted the fact I live with pain last year. I said then I wouldn't have any more procedures, but pain gets in the way and you grasp for anything that may give you a minute of relief. But I officially now say, I am finished. The recovery period is bleak and the anesthetic messes with your state of happiness and plays on alllll your anxieties for a day or two. perhaps there is some disappointment there too, subconsciously maybe i was hoping it would work and I would have movement again for five minutes.
In a way, everything I have gone through has lead me to this point, I have tried it all, surgeries, injections, epidurals, lasers, acupuncture, endless physio, rehab, and alternative treatments, everything. I know what works for me now, I have lived with constant pain for 3 years and have subconsciously taken notes along the way. I am listening to my body more, rather than continuously pushing it into doing things that it cant' take and paying even harder for it later. I have had to change so much of my life. I used to spend 4-5 days a week in the gym, it was my therapy, it was where I let all my stress and anxiety out, I would go hard or go home. (One time I threw my back out, I literally couldn't stand up straight, the instructor had to take me into some room and manipulate my back so I could stand. After she did, I remembered I had signed up for a Spin class with a friend so instead of going home and resting like a normal person I went spinning, in total agony (hello fool!). So instead, now I hang out with the purple rinse brigade in Marley Park every morning where I do a 40-50 minute walk. I used to go horse riding, there was nothing more freeing then sitting on top of a horse while it cantered over the Dublin mountains. Or going for mountain runs through Cruagh Woods, running was a total escapism for me, I loved it so much. Somewhere along the way, I got social anxiety. I used to go out all the time socializing, I used to love mingling in the crowds and meeting new people or trying to grab the attention of a handsome man in a bar. I thrived on people. I'm actively now ignoring the anxiety and throwing myself in the deep-end, I drown sometimes, but I always know, most of the time, I'll float. My memory has been affected (which doesn't help with socializing) because of the cocktail of pills I take on the daily. I am missing a huge part of my early 30's. I have conversations with people and don't remember it at all, or I reintroduce myself to people a few times, or I will remember a conversation but can't place who told it to me. A girlfriend of mine told me she was pregnant a while back, we celebrated, a week later I was talking to her and told her someone I know was pregnant and she had to tell me it was her. But at least relive everything twice... I have lost some friends along the way which is totally understandable and is fine (its not but you can't focus on the negative. There's a lack of understanding on both sides), friends come and go in your life, they always will, the true ones stick around or you always find your way back to one another if you drift for a while. I count my lucky stars every day for the ones I do have, they make living with pain so much easier.
People adapt to their surroundings and situations, it's the human condition, I have to and am happier for it. I am now trying to change the conversation, my conversation, from 'poor peter and his back' or 'you still aren't better?' or 'but you look so healthy!' or 'sure there's nothing wrong with you!'. I have chronic back pain, my spine is degenerating at a rapid rate, and my nerves have been damaged, its not the end of the world, its just pain! I don't want sympathy, empathy is better. I don't want lectures on the fact I take highly addictive pills. I know they are, the alternative is that I take nothing and lie flat all day every day where I wont be in as much pain as I am and have no life, but that's not my choice. I want to live, see the world. I want to manifest my dreams into reality and achieve things I never thought I would, and if having to take pills to take the edge off the pain so I can do this, then that's what I'll do till there is an alternative. I have learned to live with and be with it, to sit with it and work alongside it. It no longer gets in the way of my life nor will it. It has taken me a long time to get here, but I've arrived and I am total fine with it, I need everyone else to be too.