Monday, August 9, 2010


“All sanity depends on this: that it should be a delight to feel heat strike the skin, a delight to stand upright, knowing the bones are moving easily under the flesh.” –Doris Lessing

Why have I been in such a crabby, selfish mood lately? I woke up at 9:30 a.m., six hours of sleep under my belt, and I felt groggy beyond all reason. I could not wake up. I could not smile, say anything remotely cheerful or congenial. And my grandparents were downstairs visiting from Kentucky. They leave tomorrow. I felt bad that I couldn’t talk to them because I was feeling so groggy, depressed, and disgusting all at the same time.

There were also the two little boys my mom was babysitting so that their mom could work. I had to avoid those kids too. I don’t mind Johnny, but Jacob…he is this overweight 8 year old who goes around touching everybody, giving random hugs and pats on the head. Sure, he probably needs attention, but even on a good day he grates on my nerves.

Really, I can’t say why I was in such an incurably bad mood. My back is healing! I can walk straighter than I have in a month! My leg is no longer in horrible pain from the bulged disc that was pressing on my sciatic nerve. I can actually function like a relatively normal person. I should be ecstatic, happy. But no, people are driving me crazy right now.

I must say, my dumb mood didn’t last all day. Thank goodness! I was beginning to annoy myself. Yes, I know how I probably appeared to people. A sullen, antisocial, bumbling idiot perhaps?? Ah, “idiot” is harsh. Anyway, I played Apples to Apples with my family, and I actually laughed pretty hard. Which probably wasn’t the greatest thing to do. Laughing makes my leg hurt! Ugh. Oh well. I love to laugh. It makes me feel so much better, like a big dose of chocolate injected into my veins.

Sometimes I wish my mood was like a magic wand that I could wave in anyway that I wanted. If I wake up feeling miserable, I could simply tell myself to snap out of it. Ha! If only it were that simple.

Once my back is completely healed, and I can walk, even run, jump, and dance, I will remind myself not to take my health for granted. I love the quote by Doris Lessing. Never before have I longed so much to simply stand and know that I can move easily, gracefully. When that day comes, I will try to be mindful of that fact every moment of every day. Even now, I can work on my mindfulness. Yes, I can walk, where before I couldn’t. That in itself is amazing to me. When I stand with a straight back, when I walk without stooping, I feel a flicker of hope and excitement.

All in all, I definitely feel more empathy for those who have injured themselves in a way that prevents them from ever walking again. At least I know that I will one day be back to normal. I also know what it feels like to be an older person, where every movement racks me with pain. This experience has definitely honed the empathy I feel for those suffering extreme chronic pain.

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