A work in progress

Understanding when it’s time to ask for help

A little back story: Sat 27th August I had spent the evening with friends celebrating my 28th birthday, and I had an amazing time. When I got home I walked into the corner of my couch but was fine. A few days later, after a trip to a&e, I found out that I had caused soft tissue damage to an old incision on my left hip and had internal bruising. It was recommended that I started physio right away and that recovery may take up to 12 weeks.

During recovery, I spent approximately 4 weeks off work and I decided to still go to Spain for the week, as heat has always helped with my pain, plus it would be great to see my parents. I had high hopes that the heat would do the same this time and I’m not going to lie when it didn’t, I felt quite deflated.

The longer the injury took to heal, the more I overcompensated on my right hip, causing a painful arthritic episode, it is still ongoing. I made the most of my holiday, I loved seeing my parents and dad and I had some father/daughter time which is something we need to do more of. When I did return to work, I remained for a little over 6 weeks until I just couldn’t take it anymore.

For me work isn’t just a job; it gives me a reason to get up in the morning, an opportunity to speak to people and gives me a purpose to move on to the next day. But on Friday 11th November, I woke up and sobbed my heart out when I realised that I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed, or to have a shower or to get dressed. I had no energy, I was just consumed with the pain.

That was a really difficult decision to make, as I knew taking more time off work; would lead to the return of my low mood and feeling alone with no purpose.  This combined with the pain made everything seem much harder.

For the last few months, I have been putting on a fake cheery smile, to attempt to hide how I was really feeling inside. However, gradually cracks began to show. I felt so ashamed when I could no longer push myself forward and when I finally received my physio appointment, I decided to finally open up and ask for help.

This will now be a work in progress, as I now need to somehow compartmentalize the way I feel mentally, when my pain occurs and that’s not something I can change overnight, as I’ve been dealing with recurring pain for the last 17 years.

Until next time…

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