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The beginnings of acceptance

So I hurt my back 5 years ago and have never really been able to accept what happened to me and the fact that I have to change because of it. I know that I have had minor surgeries/spine problems compared to many here, but it has been very hard for me to move forward. I have been mildly or severely depressed since my accident because I lost the ability to do some physical activities that I considered to be the core of who I am and how I express myself. Depression, injuries, failed conservative treatments, surgeries, weight gain/lack of health and re-injuries left me feeling isolated, helpless and miserable for years. I did enjoy some things, but not many.

This past week was the first time that I have given myself credit for the advancements I have made and actually allowed myself to BEGIN accepting the person that I am now and not dwelling on the person I used to be. It is a very weird feeling and I know I will have days where I return to the "refusing to accept" stage, but overall I feel like the burdens I carry have been lessened.

Over the past year I have:
Gotten through a tough recovery and long period of chronic pain- patience and dedication
Returned to the gym 4-5 days a week- pushing through the frustration of feeling so limited
Began a weight loss program and lost 50 pounds
Put more effort into my therapy sessions- recognizing and acknowledging feelings
Made a huge step and set up an appointment to begin antidepressant medication- accepting that I need some help
FINALLY began looking into exercise options that could benefit and protect my back- instead of refusing to let go of the activities I can't/shouldn't be doing.
Tried some alternative treatment methods
Established myself with doctors and asked as many questions as I could about my options.
Spent more time reading Spine Health posts- learned that I am not as alone as I thought

I know how hard acceptance can be. I am proud of myself for getting to this point and I'm trying not to be upset that I spent so much time in the "refusing to accept" stage. I hope others can learn from my mistakes as well as my advancements I've made. Life will go on, so I might as well make the best of it.

I do matter, I am a strong person, I have spine problems (and will likely have more later), but I will not be defined by them any longer.
25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    You are so much further along than many many others on this site. (A Excuse the expression from movie about Americans most decorated WWII hero, Audie Murphy) But you have been To Hell and Back

    Thats not saying the road ahead is going to be easy and you already know that. The past is the past, you have made enormous strides to bettering your physical as well as emotional well being. If Spine-Health had such a thing as a "Poster Child" , I would nominate you in a second.

    Keep the positive attitude flying. That is probably the strongest weapon in your arsenal in combating chronic pain. Staying one step ahead is always so valuable.

    Just dont get discouraged when things go south for a while. When you are up to reading, look over our FAQ. I have a couple of threads in there that might help you some time.

    And always remember, you are a spiney, part of this spineyworld I, another moderator, another member, etc will always be there with an open ear and listen to whatever you have to say. We may be harsh at times, no puppy love, its always the truth we seek and are after.

    Again, my congratulations on achieving some many different feats..... You just won the Silver! Why not the GOLD? You will know the answer to that in time.

    *clap* (and people know I dont use smileys)
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Now that's an amazing post right there!

    First.....Congrats to you for working hard and losing 50 pounds! Certainly that will release stress on your spine. It took me a long time to accept my situation and now I feel a whole lot better about myself even with my current spine issues.

    I'm glad you did this because you're still young......that's so huge. Lastly, no......you're never alone in this. Feel free to bend my ear on anything and we have a great group of supportive people here. ;-)

    Great Job!
  • SpineyKD23SSpineyKD23 IllinoisPosts: 89
    Thank you so much dilauro and charlie6017! I really appreciate your comments. They brought me to tears! A silver medal is good enough for me :) Before this I never really gave myself credit for my efforts- I just focused on everything I didn't have. Then I realized how much of life I am missing my doing so. I know I will have some rough times ahead, but I also know I can return to this forum for support. Today is a good day!
    25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.
  • Please read the Intractable pain manual on this site. i am using some of the diet advice and am trying some of the stuff suggested in it. Also had a look at the Drs web site. Wonderful, Interesting stuff made me put 2 and 2 together to finally make 4.

    Pain is your enemy, so good onya for realising this and working it out yourself. It's so good to read a positive post. Like Ron said keep the positive attitude flying, you have helped me today.


  • I am SO proud of you. I was on the same boat as you. Lots of surgeries, generally displeased about my condition. etc. But It upset at yourself that, like you, I said screw it and started working hard to be happier with myself. It's not easy, it's not quick, but in the end you feel proud of yourself... SO GOOD ON YOU GIRL!! BEST WISHES! <3
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