Tuesday, February 21, 2012

emotionally hard times

Anyone, who knows me well, knows I have extreme back issues.  I have had them for years, since high school really.  The last ten years have been especially hard on me but I've trudged on.  I have tried very hard to hide how bad it's been from everyone, including my spouse.  I tried to never complain and always worked through the pain.  I never wanted the pain to define me and feel that I am now compromising that.

These last six months have been quite the struggle for me, mentally and physically.  My back has been very fragile and seems angry about it.  I know I need to lose weight, to get it off my spine....but that would require going to the gym, which could hurt my back.  I try to eat well but I have never been able drop weight by diet alone.  

All of a sudden I find myself constantly thinking of my back.  Always bowing out of things, because I am afraid my back will go out.  Never wanting to try anything new because it may throw my back out.  Everything I think or do is controlled by my back.  

I have told some of my close friends, and my chiropractor, that I feel as if I am experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.  I am scared to live. I am scared to do anything.  I am mad that I am scared.  I am mad that I can't do anything.  I am ashamed at how I look.  I am mad at how I look.  I am ashamed that I have let myself go, but know that it is not my fault.  I hate what I have become.  It's as simple as that.

I see everyone joining gyms and going to weight watchers.  I loved going to the gym a few years back.  That was my salvation when the kids were little.  I have loved weight watchers, but I know that I can't lose weight if I'm not trying to stay fit as well.  It's like a double edged sword for me, since I need to lose weight and exercise but physically can't do that right now.  

I am ashamed at how I look, and never want people to see me. It's just how I feel.  No one can understand the pain in my heart because I don't show it easily.  I look back at how I looked just five years ago and want to cry.  It doesn't seem fair.  It's not like I overeat, or eat all junk.  I don't.  Most of the time I don't even finish my whole plate of food.  I track what I eat, and try to keep within a certain amount of calories.  For some reason, it doesn't matter.  I'm still too big.

Basically, I am scared to go to the gym because I might do harm to my back and end up where I was six months ago.  I am scared to go walking around my block, because if my back goes out while walking I won't make it home.  I am scared to stretch my muscles, for fear of pulling a disc out of place.  I live my life scared to death every day.  I try very hard to smile and be positive so people have no idea what I am really thinking. It is just getting very hard to do.  I don't want my kids to see my pain, but they do.  

I hate that I can't help my kids clean their rooms, or do their laundry. It just hurts too much.  If I did any of that it would take me four or five days to recover from 2 hours of work.  That doesn't seem fair to me.  I should be able to help my children do things like that.  It breaks my heart that I can't.  I am afriad that when they look back at me, all they will see is my pain.  My inability to actually be a mom.  I know I drive them to swimming and sit in the stands, but they won't remember that.  They will only remember what I couldn't do.  That is one of my biggest fears.

Anyway, I will end my rant of my feelings.  At least for now.  


Belinda Fireman said...

Oh, Colleen. I feel your pain. I know full well how it is to have such a fragile back. I know it seems like such a vicious circle, and that there is no way out of it. I don't think going to the gym right off the bat is the answer, either, but rather, starting slow. Your body (and back) need to go slow and work up strength slowly. If you can see a good physiotherapist, they can give you exercises that are specific to your issues.
Sending you many hugs and wishes that you can you can find a healing path that works for you.
Much love,

Colleen said...

Thank you Bel. I know you've had your share of problems as well and can relate. It means a lot to know you understand!
Love you,