Some days I have bad days where I want to remove my left leg with a chainsaw.
Some days I have sad days where I grieve for the life I once had.
Then some days like today I have bad and sad days all rolled into one.
Sad because 11 years ago today I had to have my ankle reset in plaster and, I honestly believe, that was the start of my CRPS journey, a journey that took away the life I once had. It ripped out the very being of me for a long time. It took time to heal mentally, knowing I’d never properly heal physically. It took time to accept the new disabled me. It took time to find me again, and some days even now, even after years of psychology and counselling, I still feel a part if me is lost. That feeling of sadness becomes more prominent on days like today, big anniversaries, when grief strikes, when I literally become overwhelmed with sadness, and hurt, and anger, the why me!
Bad because my foot is not in a good place with regards to pain. When socks and shoes hurt, when the brush of trousers over an exploding knee is excruciating yet I still put on that “face”, drag my backside out of bed, and turn up smiling. I often wonder how I do it over and over again especially on bad days like today. How do I do it! Is it some kind of internal resolve that life has to go on? Is it me being strong? I don’t feel strong. Is it just simply that many years ago when going through therapy to help me understand my condition, the effects it has on my life, and a process of acceptance, I made a pact with myself that I would never give up, I would never let CRPS beat me, and I would never go back to that deep and dark abyss that swallowed me up for years before therapy. Or is it just a mixture of all three and more. My physical and emotional pain are as excruciatingly painful as each other, and both can seriously conspire together to make a sad or bad day turn into the double whammy of a sad and bad day.
Sad and bad because there are days like today that are more challenging than normal, a simple task becomes a whole drama. Emotions run high caused by pain and fatigue. My mouth runs faster than I can think and everything I’ve been bottling up just pours out with no filters, and boy does it pour out. All those internal frustrations of surviving in an inaccessible world have to come out. It only takes one simple thing for the touch paper to be lit and once it is then all hell breaks loose and I spew words and feelings out that I would normally keep segmented away. Days like this I wonder what I did wrong to deserve all this pain and additional challenge. Physical disability doesn’t just affect the physical body, it affects the soul of that body too. It is draining physically and mentally, and sometimes there’s just no more room within the body or soul to cope with the challenges a disabled person faces daily. There’s no more room to be patient with others who don’t see, or can’t see, those challenges; who don’t understand or are not willing to understand the challenges. No more room to meekly smile and just suck it up buttercup and get on with cards that have been dealt. No more room to let things shrug off like water off a duck’s back. Days like today can very quickly escalate to a sad bad day like today did.
I may not have all the answers to my questions, however I do have all the tools in my toolkit to help me overcome days like today. Tools provided from years of therapy. Writing about my feelings is one of those tools in that toolkit, I don’t write for sympathy, I write to get things off my chest, to put the self destruct thoughts to bed, to allow myself to be patient and kind with myself. Another would be my mantras, one being that before I sleep I reflect on the day I’ve had and say to myself that tomorrow is a brand new day.