When Life Changes The Game On You

We don’t always like who we become as a result of the situations life forces us into.

I’m not enjoying either my life or who I’ve been of late. I’ve had back issues now for a month. My back has never been a problem for more than three or four days. A month? For three weeks now I’ve been sprawled most of my waking hours on my floor. I’ve had to ask friends to run for groceries, and I’ve even begged them to clean my place, take my laundry down, and more. To call this injury “debilitating” for at least two of the four weeks, even until this past weekend, would not be overstating it.

An injury like this is a lesson in how to lose your pride, and fast.

I had a low moment, several of them, yesterday. I found out along with the rest of my office, when we had an “insurance staff meeting” that I could’ve been off on short-term disability for the last three weeks. Now it’s probably too late to even bother opening a claim, but it goes to show you what an idiot thing making assumptions are. (I had assumed I’d forfeit two weeks’ pay before benefits began. Nope, I’d not have forfeited a single day.)

The money would’ve still been incredibly tight. But I wouldn’t have cried several times with dread in the last week as I steeled myself to go endure a work day in pain, like I have this last week. I could focus on myself and healing. Sigh. What’s done is done now, but I’ll open a claim anyhow in case this should ever happen again. Sigh.

I’ve been a little caustic around here lately, I probably would’ve torn a strip outta a few people with the election looming anyhow, since that’s just the way I like to roll in political times, but I’m really frustrated that I’ve been feeling so negative so long.

I’m angry, too. Very angry this is happening, very angry it’s taking so long to heal. I’m very resentful that I’m being so angry, too, as I know other people have far greater adversity at this time than I do, but that’s life, isn’t it?

I’ve spent my year changing myself. I’ve lost 50 pounds! That’s supposed to make a back healthier! But, no. Here I be. It’s very frustrating to know you’ve empowered yourself, taken control of your entire life in an attempt to better yourself, yet you’re still whipped in this capacity, for this long.

On the upside, things are finally improving. It should be a matter of days, but I also thought that three weeks ago. I’m better than I was three weeks ago, at least.

But I want to enjoy myself. I want to kiss a boy. I want to have fun. I don’t want to be scared I’m going to get hurt worse. I don’t want to worry about surviving a work week. I don’t want to ask for help anymore, and more importantly, I don’t want to need help. I just want to feel like myself again.

People don’t understand how much a debilitating illness or injury affects your entire existence. It changes everything. You don’t have the means to make more money, so if money’s tight, so are your options for treatment. Your reality completely revolves around not only how you feel but the regimen you must undertake to change how you feel.

And people change the way they deal with you, too. People mistake you trying to vent about how you feel to you seeking advice from them for how to deal. For example, I’ll bitch about how long this has been compromising me. Then someone will say, “Well, I found shiatsu really helped my back. You should try it.”

Everywhere I go, every person I see, I get unsolicited advice. And it always comes down to throwing more money at my back — get a massage, try acupuncture, buy a new office chair, do this, do that — and instead of helping, they’re making it worse. Why? Because then I start thinking of how much money I’ve lost in recent weeks from opportunities I’ve had to pass up, and how insecure I am about my financial future right now. (This is true of most sick and injured people; they don’t HAVE money so stop suggesting solutions that NEED money. Bring ’em a fucking casserole if you really want to help.)

It probably says a lot that I haven’t felt much like writing this month, and when I have, it’s been political rants against politics-baiting right-wingers who are posting just to irk me, it seems. Which is fun. Back-to-back, it seems like a bit much.

But that’s all right. We all have our coping mechanisms. Mine are rants.

Rants only get a girl so far, though, and this girl wants her healthy back to return. After all, the prospects of sex might just improve if I’m actually able to participate in the act or something.

My immediate goal is to be well enough to go check out Vancouver’s awesome Parade of Lost Souls, one of the coolest events of the year, and it’s this Saturday. It might be a naive goal, but I’m trying for it anyhow. Well, I have some stretching to do. Go figger.