I have had a rough time lately. I have had frequent panic attacks, usually centered around pain. Panic attacks like this are a new thing for me, and have been very difficult to get used to. And then, in the midst of having panic attacks, I took a couple vacations that were so painful and scary that they completely overwhelmed my ability to cope. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.
Although many of the pains I’ve had have gotten better, the two most debilitating pains, in my low back and my right knee, have gotten progressively worse. The amount of time I can stand, walk, and sit without pain have all gotten shorter, and noticing this can scare me, because it’s my inability to do these activities that is the most crippling. It can be quite difficult to live life lying down.
No matter how good you become at managing your pain, no matter how much work you put into loving your life, there will probably come a time when you feel absolutely awful and nothing you do lightens your mood. You have a major flare-up, or two or three, and all of life feels dark, hostile, and meaningless. It really does feel that this is the end, that all you have to look forward to is more awfulness, anger, fear, rage, despair, and/or depression, until you die. That’s the story, anyway!
Grief is like a storm: turbulent and scary, but also nourishing and cleansing, making room for new, beautiful things to grow. And like a storm, grieving has stages. There may be more (5? 8?), but I’ve basically only found three: prepare, surrender, and rest.
If you were once able bodied, and are now disabled due to persistent pain, you may feel that you’ve lost a lot. And like losing someone you love, losing abilities you love, like running, walking, or cooking, involves grieving.