Oh, my aching back!

I saw this quote on a friend's Facebook yesterday and felt it deep in my soul. "Remember: every time you share a vulnerable side of yourself, you normalize it for someone else." If I have one calling in life, it would be to share about myself so that others may feel comfortable and confident being open about their struggles. So here is what has been going on with me lately.

I've been pretty quiet on social media lately and absent in a lot of real life as well. I haven't wanted to talk a lot about it because I don't like to complain and at this point it's been the theme of my whole freaking year. But I've really been struggling and I think that's worth sharing about.

My back started hurting and seizing up on me on December 8th. I've been in pain ever since. I have no idea how I did it, but my hips are totally misaligned, which I suspect is what threw everything out of whack. I haven't been able to stand up straight, or walk or sit without being in pain. The first week or so it was bad, but mentally I was getting through it. I've had massages, chiropractic adjustments, even a shot of lidocaine into my back to try to release some of the muscle spasms. It's been changing and moving and as of yesterday has settled into sciatica pain in my left side, down my leg which makes standing or sitting or laying down extremely uncomfortable to say the least. I haven't been sleeping well, and it's wearing on me.

The pain has been horrible mentally as well, something I didn't expect. After suffering from a herniated disc for the first 7 or 8 months of this year, I feel like a total failure. I feel like a whiny complainer, and like this is my fault for not taking better care of my body and being stronger or more fit or weighing less. I feel helpless, I feel guilty that my husband has been carrying the full load of house and parenting duties on top of him working full time. I feel like a bad Mom for being laid up and not able to do all the things with my kids that they want to do. I feel bad that it's their winter break and I couldn't even go out and play in the snow with them. I hate that it's all I talk about, because it's all-consuming. I'm depressed, and having a physical reason to not want to get out of bed makes it that much harder.

I know for me that there will be an end to this. I will get better. I will be pain-free eventually. I also understand that's not the case for everyone, and my heart goes out to everyone dealing with chronic pain. That requires a level of strength most of us will never understand.

I'm so thankful to have this safe place I can come to be vulnerable. I don't think anyone could accuse me of trying to portray my life as perfect or "Instagram worthy" in any way, and this is just a deeper look into how hard life can be, behind the smiling selfies. ❤

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

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