Reflections on the decade where I went from able-bodied athlete to living with chronic pain
From 🏃🏼♀️ to ♿
2019. The year I started treatment at a pain clinic and fixed my body for good!
…. At least that’s how it was supposed to be.
All this reflection that typically happens at the end of the year is bringing up grief for me. Because life didn’t turn out how I expected it to. Chronic pain has drastically changed what I can and cannot do. In 2009, I was a football player, runner and dabbling with some strength training. Today, just going for a brief walk is physically challenging. The way I define my goals and success has had to drastically change.
But. While the pain clinic couldn’t help me fix my body, it did help me relate to it differently. To get closer to a state of acceptance. To work based on where I am in the moment, and not where I wish I was. I found a community. I learned that so many people share my experiences, and I am not wrong for having a body like this.
I no longer feel like my mental health is at the brink of breaking. I experience a normal range of human emotions – frustration, anger, sadness – and also joy, gratitude and happiness. Although it would be great to feel happy all the time, I try to respect that that is not how life works.
And so I treat myself with compassion regardless.
Including when I need to grieve, looking back at this year, this decade.
Life is an ugly, utterly beautiful mess.
Originally published on Instagram December 30th 2019.