(or my steps for getting back into the world after falling into a medically induced depression.)
I’ve been struggling a lot with morale over the last month.
That’s an understatement. I’ve been wondering if being in this much pain all the time is something I’m going to be able to continue to do for as long as I have previously planned.
To make matters worse, I keep getting sicker, in newer and unexpected ways, as though my body wants to make sure I don’t get too comfortable with the degree of discomfort I am currently dealing with.
The latest issue, an out of the blue inability to eat coupled with stomach pain, weight loss, and constant fullness, was supposed to be an easy fix.
I was scheduled for an in and out surgery and told I would be better in a month. Instead I’m looking at confused medical faces and clear imaging. Another unique problem they need to send me to a specialist for.
In the meantime I’m unable to eat more than about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of food at a time. I struggle with a small protein shake or cup of soup. So I’m losing weight, low energy, and have no energy at all.
I’ve been in bed in my room for the better part of a month as I healed from the unnecessary surgery and grappled with this idea that I have to deal with yet another issue. I was getting down. Dark. Sad.
Then I realized I have to climb out of this damned vortex of suck and find a way to start living again or, simply put, I’m not going to make it through this.
So I started small. I started doing 2 or 3 sit ups with my husband before his workout, the old-school kind with him holding my ankles for me. Then I added planking for 10 seconds. I increased the amount of planking a little bit each day. I am now up to 25 seconds.
I ordered some vinyl wallpaper to decorate our room and made small changes to the walls, sometimes a few feet at a time. I did the wall behind our bed one day and it took 6 hours. I had to rest after. I attached each strip.
I walked back and forth in front of the house like someone who is looking for a lost object of great value.
I started picking up small things around the house, dog destroyed toys and torn up cardboard, sweatshirts that need putting away, etc.
I cooked a meal for myself instead of eating only smoothies.
I opened the windows in our bedroom and changed the sheets, made the bed, and vacuumed the rug. Then I lay on the bed covered in sweat and panting until I could sit up enough to take ibuprofen. Then I curled up under a heating pad. I overdid it. Too much too soon.
I rested a few more days.
I started doing more, cleaning things, showering, making small changes. I sat down to paint and realized my arms were tired after holding my brush up for a few minutes. I cried about that too, but then I lowered the easel and painted some more.
I fixed small, easy to fix problems around the house. Rehung artwork and photos. Folded and put away blankets, asked for help relocating small furniture.
I walked my dog, made myself sit on the porch in the sunlight. Finally went and saw friends.
In short, I forced myself to re-engage.
I’m still hurting. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I still feel overwhelmed and tired and just like there is such a slog ahead of me.
I no longer wonder why I am doing it. I am feeling satisfaction in accomplishing small things. I am feeling better when I am not lying here with nothing to think about but pain.
I am slowly crawling out of the vortex of suck.