I looked up at the sun sprinkling its gaze upon the forest floor. My eyes started to blur with tears as the pain became too much. My steps pitter pattered to a slow pace as I could barely walk. My muscles were giving up on me. As much as I wanted to take in all that nature had to show me, I could not bring my mind outside of the pain, it was becoming unbearable. As my sweetheart and I caught up to my other friends, I was offered to ride on their backs to get me back down Hamilton Mountain. I was two steps away from being overwhelmed by my own frustration with my body, but it was matched with peace as my dear friends reached out to make up for my weakness.
I often take on the mentality that accepting help means I am admitting defeat in myself. Switching shifts on my friends’ backs, I accepted the help with full gratitude. Recognizing that in welcoming the strength of my community, my weakness was not as frustrating. I have the best friends this world could offer. As I rode on their backs like a little cub bear, I appreciated their strength, their patience, and their understanding that even though I wanted to conquer the mountain, I needed a little help.
Upon returning home, the muscle spasms got worse and I ended up once again at the doctors in tears. With shots for relief, medication, and instructions to rest, I felt trapped again. Once again confined to the inside of walls, the reflection of a window, and the breeze through a screen. Although this time I was not alone as I usually feel. My sweetheart sat next to me, reassuring my troubled mind. His gentle patience with my broken body and ease for changed plans filled my heart to be okay with slowing down. With a couple days of sleep, I was able to walk around more, and am still slowly recovering.
I sprint two steps forward and am shot twenty steps back. The process of recovery is slow, as my body heals with the tick of seconds passing. I conquered the mountain, but was confined to walls once more. My greatest fear is that my muscles will simply always be like this. As comments of, “it will be okay” fill the air, my heart wants to harden. The key word is “will”, but it does not leave room for what is currently an every day experience. For those who suffer chronic pain, it may be a worse season, but the season never completely ends. It is a reality, and it is a slow and continual process of acceptance.
Spring is here and has brought all of the loveliest adventures, but healing is still a process. I still have to learn to trust the process and trust the care of doctors advice to help me get better. I want to hold all the possibilities of healing in my hands, but I know it is a challenge of trial and error, give and take, and understanding. Some days I desperately want to feel better, and other days I am okay with the feeling of pain and sickness. It is a continual process of understanding myself and having the patience to heal. The courage to recover. And the peace of mind to overcome. In the journey of pain I have to feel and understand all that I go through, to breathe through the feelings of pain, of frustration, of limitation. Feeling is a part of healing. Feeling the tears stain my cheeks or the peace that overwhelms when I accept the strength of others to help carry me when I’m broken, is all a part of the journey. I now understand I no longer have to walk it alone, but can walk it with my weakness amongst the strength and courage of others. We do not walk this earth alone, and sometimes have to carry or be carried by one another to reach new perspectives.
Each day passes with new perspectives, new understanding, and a new way of healing. I breathe into the process and continue to walk with courage. I cannot walk forward without the strength of others, and I am continually thankful for the friends and family who have walked beside me, and even for me in this journey.