Tomorrow will mark one year since I went to the Chronic Pain and Recovery Center at Silver Hill Hospital. It’s unusually unsettling to compare where I was then to where I am now, feeling so far from that moment in my life but also not quite ready to celebrate yet. There’s still so much to understand, and so much to shake out.
When I identified as a sick person there was an entire community with whom I could comiserate. This past year, however, I set aside any diagnosis that was deemed incurable by standard Western medicine. If a doctor can’t offer me more than tools to manage symtoms, I’ve done away with their diagnosis entirely and am seeking alternative treatments. Unbeknownst to me, however, in making this decision I weakened the connection I once shared with the resillient group of chronic illness fighters I’ve grown to know and respect.
In efforts to fill this little void, I decided to look to people who seemed to live the lifestyle I wanted. I found yogis, plant-based foodies, athletes, you name it, but also couldn’t quite relate to their message. I’d try to incorporate something they were doing into my life and I’d hit a roadblock. I wasn’t physically able to do one thing, or it wasn’t medically advisable to do another…whatever the reason, I inadvertantly identified another group of people with whom I didn’t fit.
For a while there was something frustrating about this limbo. Eventually, however, I realized how unproductive this feeling is, and finally stopped worrying about all the little surpurflous things so that I could focus inward; there was, after all, a lot which demanded my attention. That’s when things finally started to click.
Something incredibly fun about starting over, and not having too many people to influence your process, is that the possibilities of where I can let this take me are, truly, endless. There are no rules or expectations for people like me, so I’m free to handle this however I’d like without the fear of not measuring up. Sure, there’s the crippling fear that comes with having absolutely no direction, but that’s mostly fallen by the wayside as I, for reasons I don’t understand, am convinced that I’m on the right track.
So, I guess that’s it for today; one small snippet of the countless things that have changed in one short year.