I hurt my knee badly, but it’s my mind and heart that are suffering most.
Just when I was slowly succeeding with fitness. Just as I was figuring out my career move. Just as I was building my finances. Just as I was mending a broken heart. Just as I was feeling alone and sports have been keeping me afloat. My ability to walk, run, jump was taken away from me in a split second.
It’s been a month since the injury. I survived my ACL Reconstruction and am on my way to recovering with rehab. However, the entire mishap has been taking its toll on me mentally and emotionally.
It’s like I’m being pushed to the very corner of my fears namely nothingness, irrelevance, and mediocrity.
Sports. I’ve always been active, moving, on the go as a way for me to live life, to escape, to survive. Now, I’m stripped off of a very big chunk of me. I know I’m no professional athlete, but this injury took away my release from stress–working out, driving, dancing, playing sports. Now, I’m stuck at home relearning how to walk and sit and stand.
Finances. I’m financially literate relative to people around me. Yet, without and HMO, I had to shell out a significant amount for the surgery ans now, the rehab. Goodbye, first car.
Confidence. I’m mostly on the plump side and have struggled with a positive body image my entire life. Despite being physically active, I eat a lot and it was only late last year that I learned to eat better paired with crossfit as my main exercise. Now, without crossfit I’m struggling yet again with food as I am trying to stop myself from the downward spiral of going back to emotional eating. With the pain of the surgery, running to food for comfort seems to be the more convenient option. That means losing the physique I’ve worked hard for–a huge blow to my confidence.
Independence. One of my life projects is to be more independent. I’ve mostly been independent until I moved back in to help with the family business. Nowadays, I feel a little too dependent on others, something I’m avoiding. Ironically, with my knee busted, I was forced and was humbled to accept love and support both from people I know and barely know– I had to depend on others.
Belongingness. I guess everybody wants to belong. Before the injury I have found belongingness in a frisbee team, a badminton group, a volleyball team, a crossfit box, a yoga family. Now, I’ll have to to work for at least 6 months to get back to these spaces I feel I belong to. Moreover, now that I’m single, I have never felt this alone in my life. No morning crew in the gym to hang out with, no team to play with, no boyfriend/best friend to hang out with.
Uncertainty. There is the uncertainty of how this newly reconstructed ACL will pan out in the future. Will I be able to go back to sports? Will my knee be ok when I’m older? I’ve never been good with uncertainty, with imperfection even. Now, I’ve permanently damaged my body and consequently have made some things uncertain.
Sometimes I feel it’s too much. Good thing I’m not that religous anymore so I don’t blame God for this. I know that bad things happen and sometimes they just do without any reason or purpose. The less I think of purpose, the easier it is to accept.
Instead of finding the answers to questions such as why I deserve this predicament, my mind has shifted to what I can learn from this experience–not that I don’t have moments where I just want to shout and ask the universe why me? But I do know it doesn’t make sense to find reason since my injury cannot be undone. I guess I’ve comw to realize that moving forward in my life is more productive, even if it feels a bit forced to think in such an optimistic way knowing that I am a pessimist.
Right now, I’m learning about patience, gratitude, hope, humity, how to take things slowly, how to move slowly, how to find peace in solitude. Most importantly, I’m learning about myself–the bad things and the good things when faced with adversity.
I started writing this feeling really down, but I’m finishing this feeling a little more hopeful. Maybe that’s a start. As one of my favorite people in the world would always quote Vaclav Havel:
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
I’ll be alright 😁