Thursday, July 1, 2021

Silver Linings

By Cheryl Oreglia

I’m finding it difficult to breathe, let alone write, and tomorrow doesn’t look good either. Recently, some very unfortunate events took place, one of which resulted in the cracking of my favorite ribs. I’m not sure how many ribs I have but it feels as if I broke them all or at least the one Adam gave me. 

I discovered that I don’t do pain well, in fact, I’m rather cranky about the whole sordid ordeal. As Shebani notes, “I had to get an ice pack because I pulled a muscle glaring at you.”

This was the result of a boating mishap, or should I say extreme sophomoric activity with a boat, which flung me into the air, and down upon the projected knee of said driver. My husband. Yes, it’s been a hellacious week for all concerned. As Tobe Hanson says, “almost all accidents and injuries happen when an individual is not being present and not paying attention to what they are doing.”

The problem with rib injuries is you can never find a comfortable position to rest and recover. If I’m standing, sitting, or lying down I’m in pain. I just want to cry all the time. Is that weird?

I didn’t think so. 

Recently a friend recommended CBD lotion and apparently it is miraculous? And here I’ve been depending on Tylenol and ice?  I’ll be on the hunt for some miracle lotion this afternoon. Seriously, I would hand over any password, trade secret, or treasure map (if I had one) if you promised me relief. What happened to my moral standards?

They broke.  

What I’m finding out about myself as I struggle through the day is I have very little patience for discomfort and my own inability to accomplish even the most basic tasks. I’m used to doing what needs to be done, no whining, or asking for help. I’d rather pull out my fingernails one by one than ask for help. I really am my own worst enemy and maybe it’s time to adjust these self-limiting beliefs. 

There may or may not be a few lessons embedded in this whole ordeal if I’m willing to look beyond the pain and into the validity of the experience. Which I’m not, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m willing to stretch myself. 

1. I’m human, I break, and as I age I’m becoming more and more brittle both physically and mentally. That’s even more painful to write. Slowing down and taking a few precautions might be sage advice to my future self, not just me, but my husband included. We no longer bounce when thrown to the ground so acknowledging the laws of gravity might be a good place to start. Mistakes are costly at any age but they build equity as we age.

2. Our bodies are miraculous, much more intelligent than I give her credit for, she heals without my input or assistance. It might feel as if I will never exist without pain but I need to trust my body and what it’s telling me, “slow the hell down, take it easy, let someone else do the cooking, cleaning, and shopping,” without feeling guilt or total defeat. When you slow down you also tend to see a lot more so maybe this is a good time to be observant.

3. I have to find my inner strength, this means stop whining, moaning, and looking as if death is just around the corner. I really don’t want to be dragging everyone around me into this vortex of suffering and pain (my husband excluded). There’s nothing they can to do relieve the pain so they end up feeling exasperated and that’s extremely unfair of me.

“Do not complain to others of a wound that is hurting you; The wound will only hurt the one who is injured. Complaining to others will only add to your pain.” Nadine Sadaka Boulos

4. This is a good time to get to know not only my injuries but my body as well. I’m sure there’s a lot I can learn about promoting healing from a quick google search. And then take the time and initiative to care for my injury properly and with patience. What a concept. 

“In rehabilitation, there is no elevator. You have to take every step meaning one step at a time.” Joerg Teichmann

5. Learning to control my fears because at this point I think I might never want to get in a boat again. That’s not going to work with my family and our lifestyle. So I’m going to have to overcome my own anxiety and trust others can and will deliver me safely from one point to the next. Although there will be no more goosing the engine when I’m on board and I’ll have to be clear about my boundaries. 

6. That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Without a doubt, our injuries change us and influence our character. I’ve suffered and overcome dog bites, motorcycle accidents, burns, broken bones, four pregnancies (although not officially an injury but nonetheless painful), and sprang ankles. I am who I am today because I was able to persevere through the experience and trust me when I claim these misfortunes have informed my character in ways I am only beginning to understand. 

I read somewhere not to say “why is this happening to me, but what am I supposed to be learning from this injury that has befallen me?”

I could be learning to ask for help, that I’m not invincible, and I'm really interdependent as opposed to independent. Without this kind of opposition, I might not recognize my full potential, push myself, or strive to be more even under extreme duress. 

When we are at the lowest points in our life is where we can learn the most about ourselves. I can look for the silver lining, dig a little deeper for inner strength, and become a better person for the experience. “Your attitude will either make or break you, we cannot change fate and the tragedies that enter our lives but we can choose how we want them to change us," says Nikki Rowe.

When I'm not writing for Across the Board, I'm Living in the Gap, drop by anytime.

Please leave a few comments on how you heal after an injury or any other sage advice when suffering an ailment.

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