Hope? To hell with hope. There is no hope.
Anger. That’s all there is today. Once the tears have been shed, that is.
Today is the kind of day that demands you watch every second tick by, just waiting until you can walk through your bedroom door, collapse, curl into a ball, and sob. Uncontrollably sob.
Why am I crying? Why else? Pain.
Although I’ve freed myself from the fetal position, my thoughts are far from clear. The tears still stream down my face as I try to make sense of it. What is “it”, you may ask. And that would be a very good question.
I’m finding the first layer underneath the pain is anger. It’s been awhile since I’ve acknowledged such an anger. Rage.
I hate who I become when I’m in pain. I mean I really really really absolutely despise this person. I feel weak. I feel like a complainer. I feel like one of those people who is always all “poor me.” A person who looks for ways of drawing attention to herself. I hate those kind of people. So I guess that sets me up to hate myself when a day like today comes along.
I woke up in excruciating pain. My hip and my lower back. I thought maybe I just needed a hot shower and some movement. Yeah right.
I am so freaking tired. On so many levels. I feel like I’ve invested so much time and energy into recovery; in regards to both my eating disorder and my hip injury. But I still have to keep food logs and discuss my meal plan because my weight rebounded and now I have major body image issues (a story for another day). And my hip is still preventing me from functioning like a normal human being. So now I’m angry. Furious. What is the freaking point anymore. I’m ready to give up.
The son of one of my coworkers has a similar hip injury. He had surgery to address a labral tear, but continued to experience pain following the procedure. They got a second opinion and it turns out that the surgery did not take care of things. The new doctor ran a lot of tests, explained things, and told the boy that another surgery could probably fix his injury. “He’s excited,” my coworker says. “He thought he was crazy…that it was all in his head…but now we have hope again. Since something is wrong, that means there’s something to fix. It’s encouraging to have that kind of hope.” (totally paraphrased, but you get the general idea)
We’ve had several conversations about her son, labral tears, physical therapy, surgery, and so on. I’ve always been optimistic and encouraging and telling her not to give up just because they had a bad experience. Ha. Not today. Today I’m standing there listening to her talk about diagnostics and procedures and surgeries and hope and you know what I wanted to say?
Don’t believe it. Don’t believe a word of it. Go ahead and give up now before you’ve wasted any more time. Hope is a lie. There is no fixing this. There is no shot at normal. Life will never be the same. THERE IS NO HOPE.
I didn’t say that. Not out loud at least. I have no way of determining how the silent tears streaming down my face were perceived. I try to keep my hopelessness to myself, but I don’t have a very good poker face. Today I wonder what my eyes tell the world. Are they empty? I feel empty. I hope it doesn’t show. But at the same time, I do. I want the world to hear me scream in defiance at hope. I want them to feel it in their bones. I want there to be no doubt that I am serious. I am seriously angry. I am seriously hopeless. I am seriously so raw, that even the weight of a pen in my hand sends an even greater pain coursing through my body. Each breath is more difficult than the last. I want there to be no doubt.
The next layer is a place I don’t usually go. It’s honestly a place I rarely give the time of day. It’s something I’ve hardly ever turned to:
Why. Why did I break my hip in college? Why did my dreams shatter the moment my femur broke in two? Why did a crack in my bone turn into a crack in my heart…into a crack in my soul…my identity…my sanity? Why did I loose everything? And why the hell wasn’t “everything” enough? Why am I still haunted? I’ve faced and forgiven the many monsters of my past. Why have I not been set free of this? Why is the price I paid not enough?
I am daily haunted by what I lost as a result of that first fall over 10 years ago. I lost my education. My dream career. My aspirations. My drive. My focus. And those are all just the direct implications. Let’s not even get started on what I lost as a result of the implications themselves.
Why couldn’t they fix me then? I’ve told myself many things to make peace with that question. The best answer I’ve come up with is this: it was the only way God could slow me down. Because I wasn’t going to listen until I had my freedoms stripped away. All of them. And I’m convinced that this is true. I don’t think I just made it up to help myself feel better about things. I was going full tilt at life and God found the one thing that would grab my attention. And it hurt. It usually does.
I tell people I don’t regret anything in my life because I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those things that might be viewed as mistakes.
Is that a lie?
I don’t regret the choices I made (physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally) that led to my injury. I don’t regret my fall. But you know what? I do resent it. I resent it a whole lot. Especially right now.
Which has me asking why again. Ok, ok, so they couldn’t fix me then because I had a bunch of really brutal lessons to learn. Ok. I get it. But why can’t they fix me now?
I know I’ll always have lessons to learn. And I’ve tried telling myself that the answer is the same as it was 10 years ago. Something about God catching my attention to teach me something. But guess what. It’s not cutting it. I just don’t buy it anymore. I think it’s bullshit.
Oh crap. You know what? I hate this. You know what I hate?
I hate that all I wanted to do tonight was write an angry post about how I’m in agonizing pain and that it makes me detest myself to my core. I wanted to write about my justified hopelessness. I didn’t just want to write it. I wanted to scream it.
But you know what I just realized? It’s not bullshit. It’s not bullshit at all. I need to slow down. Not in the same way that I did as a college freshman, but still. I need to slow down. I need to breath. I need to savor the moments. Each moment. Each. Good. Moment. Because there’s a whole lot of good moments in my life right now. Like 95% good. But the “bad” 5% tends to get 95% of the attention. Which is honestly where the true bullshit lies. I’ve worked too hard to let the 5% have that kind of power. So yeah. I guess I needed a lesson in slowing down. Again.
I’m still angry. I don’t think that’s all there is. There’s a legitimate SOMETHING going on with my hip. I feel it in my core. I see it in the faces of the people who I interact with. I hear it in the words left unspoken by my physical therapist. It’s not just some great lesson I had to learn today. It’s always been legit. And it still is. And I’m tired of dealing with it. So yes. I’m still angry.
I’d like to say that the writing-induced revelations are calming me down, but the truth is that the meds are kicking in. I hate taking medication to control my pain. It makes me feel like a zombie. I’m not sure which is worse. But I guess that’s my red flag of when something is serious. If it hurts enough to make zombie-mode appealing, it must mean it’s time to step back and re-evaluate things.
My physical therapist will evaluate things on his end. I guess it falls on me to evaluate my spiritual and emotional state. We each have some things to figure out. And honestly…I’m not sure who has the more trying task.
So I guess I failed in fulfilling the purpose of this post. I wanted to denounce hope and all that it entails. But that’s never been my strong suit, and habits are hard to break. Which isn’t always a bad thing.