In the process of healing, feel all the feelings
After my accident, I was so busy trying to make the best of it that I failed to acknowledge the worst of it.
Texting with a friend shortly after my accident:
Me: I was feeling good and happy overall and looking forward to so many things! I hope that helps me to better weather this experience and not get discouraged.
Friend: I guess that attitude is everything but it is still awful.
I am sitting here sobbing. Almost one month after I stepped wrong and toppled over, torquing my strapped-into-high-espadrilles left foot (sprained ankle) and instinctively catching my fall with my left arm (it-was-deformed-but-now-it’s-fixed-with-a-plate-and-screws broken wrist), I can no longer pretend it hasn’t impacted me.
The stomach-turning details don’t matter. The aftermath is that I was—am—truly and undeniably injured. I don’t even think I acknowledged the extent of it until right now.
I thought I was handling it so well and I probably am. After all, me and my right wrist already went on a distal radius fracture adventure six years ago. Been there, done that.
So I told myself, splayed out on the driveway waiting for the EMS, that this time would be different. I mean, my other wrist accident was a pretty rough deal, but hey, I got through that! This I can handle.
I have done well, in fact. I’ve done everything the doctors told me to do. I’ve worked hard on managing my pain without rendering myself senseless with meds. I started my hand exercises as soon as they removed the splint. I’ve accepted that my sprained ankle is improving on its timetable, not mine. I’ve downplayed and tried to laugh the accident off in an “oh well“ sort of way to everyone around me, including myself. I’ve wielded my healthy hand doing basic tasks reasonably well. I have canceled or postponed plans that I was looking forward to, trying to be blasé about it. I have consciously looked for the silver linings. I’m so grateful for my iPhone’s voice dictation capabilities. I am well aware it could be worse. I’ve adapted. I’ve stayed busy. I’m doing my best.
But until I found myself ugly-crying this morning, I hadn’t fully sat with the reality of what occurred. Everything changed, suddenly and traumatically, in an instant. I was badly hurt and it’s going to take time to heal. I am physically compromised, and it is going to take time to heal. What happened to me was very significant.
I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated. I’m in pain. I’m upset. I’m impatient. I’m missing out. And I’m extremely sad.
Of course, I will heal. My body will do the repair and recover thing it does so well. The memory of this will fade and I will marvel at how quickly this time actually did pass.
But emotionally, right now, I need to grab myself and hug myself and allow myself to feel to the deepest part of my soul…that this really sucks. Because it really does.
It is awful, indeed.
Then, and only then, will the real healing begin.