Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We Interrupt This Program...

Appearances can be deceiving...

The past few weeks have been particularly rough for me on an emotional level. Physically, things were going well. I've been in pain from time to time and such, but my back has been healing well, walking is improving, muscles and nerves are starting to come back, etc. It's still going to be some time before I'm back to my crazy adventure-filled self, but it's coming along. Emotionally, things weren't the same. Over the past several weeks, all the "messy stuff" that I had been pushing to the side and ignoring started to resurface. I've always been good about putting on a happy face and making it look like everything was okay, but it was getting harder and harder to do it with this situation. I started to crack under the pressure I was putting on myself to be tough though all of this. 

I hadn't really dealt with how quickly things had changed for me. Working two jobs and being ridiculously active on the weekends, I was going non-stop. I went from running around in the Sierra to barely being able to move my legs in a split second. I mean, how do you even begin to process that emotionally?! I clearly didn't know how to and just pushed it aside. Things like that don't stay pushed aside for long... 

I've tried to stay strong around Dave with all of it because it's been hard on both of us. We've been trying to adjust to the "new normal", but it hasn't been easy. Lately he's seen me break down over not be able to do little things that use to be so easy, to seeing the medical bills pour in, to not being able to do our normal weekend adventures anymore. Through all of it, he has been by my side as we try to adapt to this new, extended yet temporary, lifestyle. 

An Ass-Kicking...

I knew I needed to talk. It probably wasn't going to all come out at once and it wouldn't be pretty, but Kim was use to that from me. She knew me well enough that whenever I'd say I was okay, she'd call me out. "You are such a liar" she'd say and I'd just laugh a little and say "I know". Even with her, at times it was really hard to open up about how I was doing with all of this, probably because I didn't really know how I was doing most of the time.

We had a brief talk when she dropped me off after PT last week. It was a talk that didn't sit with me well. Some of what she said really upset me and made me want to push her away. I wasn't mentally ready to hear what she was saying to me. Without going into details of the talk, I knew it was true and she was saying it because she cared, but it scared me to death. I remember punching the wall after she left and just sitting with those feelings for the next few hours.

I was reminded yesterday that sometimes talking is hard. You can think you're ready to open up and get everything off your chest, but sometimes it just doesn't happen that easily. I don't really want to go into all the details of the talk because it was personal, but Kim pushed me hard. She apologized for it, but she didn't have to because I needed it. She could see that I was starting to spiral downward. I knew I was too, but I just didn't want to admit it. Kim could see what it was doing to me. She saw that I was losing the fight that I had when I was in the hospital and after I got home. I might have put on a good face at times, but she could see through it. I knew that things could have been a lot worse, I knew that I was making amazing progress in such a short amount of time, but I wasn't letting myself accept the "new normal". Kim reminded me to focus on what I can do right now and not on what I can't (trust me, it's not easy). Long story short, she helped me get my perspective back on the situation.

This whole recovery process is going to be up and down at times, and I know that, but I clearly needed a swift kick in the ass to help me get my fight back. It was a hard talk, but I've learned that nothing in life worth fighting for is ever easy. Kim kicked my ass and I am thankful that she did.


  1. True friends are those that tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.. Hang on to them.

  2. You're right - the physical adjustment and recovery is one thing, the emotional adjustment and recovery is another all together. Do talk. Do take the time to work it through. It might be messy. Be kind to yourself. We're here to listen.

  3. Hi Tiffany. I'm a friend of YosemiteSteve and Jeffrey in Yosemite. I broke my back in 2006 and can relate to a lot of what you're talking about.

    Hang in there. There's still time for things to get (a lot) better.

    I remember at several points during the recovery period thinking that this was the "new normal", and that it was about as good as it was going to get, but then it kept getting better. Things kept getting noticeably easier or less painful for about a full year after my injury, until I could get back into running, hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and, yes, skiing. I continued to notice other signs of healing in my body up to three years after.

    I've been collecting stories of bad back injuries that got better. If you'd like to hear a few, let's connect. I'm on Twitter at simplytheresa.