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.