From handstands to handicap

Image of Anne doing a handstand titled "Then". Image of Anne standing with a neckbrace on titled "Now".

5 years ago I was preparing for the practical exam in Biomechanics & Gymnastics at uni with handstands and somersaults.⁣

Today a short walk is physically challenging.⁣

So much has changed since then. My life’s divided by clear before and after, life before and after chronic pain.⁣
For a long time looking at old pictures, thinking back, I was struck by crippling grief.⁣

Grief over the life I lost, and the future I’ll never have.⁣

But now, looking back, the grief doesn’t consume me. I can look back with a kind heart on who I was and who I am today, both a person trying to do their best given the circumstances.⁣

I try not to look at my past through rose-tinted glasses, though it’s so easy to get nostalgic.⁣

While I was physically strong and capable, being active because I loved it, I also struggled with my mental health from time to time.⁣

No matter what I did, no matter how well, I’d feel inadequate. Only seeing reasons why I wasn’t good enough. Unworthy. I didn’t know how to deal with those feelings.⁣

I still get those feelings from time to time. Especially on days where I’m chained to couch by a pain flare up, I feel like a burden to the people around me.⁣

But feelings doesn’t always reflect the truth; I have bad days, but I’m not a bad person nor do I have a bad life.⁣

I’ve learned (still learning) to focus on what I can control, and let go of rummaging over what I cannot. I don’t want to waste my energy on things I cannot change, I wanna spend it on what brings me fulfilment. On the things and people that brings me joy, making me more resilient in the face of difficult circumstances.⁣

All we can do is make the most of what we have.

Gif that says lots of love, Anne xx
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