A/N: This isn't a positive polly blog post, so readers beware.
I am a firm believer in the whole, "Everything happens for a reason" philosophy. The reasoning occurs in times of struggle, healing, happiness, disasters, and when an extra jar of peanut butter mysteriously appears in my grocery cart.
While I am a firm believer in this philosophy, I often struggle to see the reasoning. You see, I'm a very impatient person. When I want something, I want it now. I get easily annoyed with slow drivers, people often ask me, "where's the fire?" when walking with me, and honestly just waiting in general is not one of my favorite things to do. I don't believe in the, "Good things come to those who wait" theory. I do however believe in the, "Good things come to those who work for them" theory. As you all know, I'm very open about my struggles, past and present. I'm not going to sit behind the computer screen and write blog posts that make my life/recovery process appear struggle free. Because that would be nothing but a load of crap. The last two months or so have been anything but easy. I am currently in a pretty deep relapse, and it has taken a huge toll on not only my mental well-being, but my physical well-being. Ed has crept his way back into my life, and as hard as it is for me to admit, I let him. He didn't just come knocking on my door one day out of the blue. He had been knocking on my door for a while, but I pretended like I wasn't home and just ignored him. Until one day, I was tired of ignoring him, so I cracked open the door in my mind so I could hear what he had to say.
"You're very uncomfortable in your body right now, aren't you, Lauryn?" Ed questioned.
"More than I've ever been in my whole life, Ed. It feels like a nightmare." I answered.
"I can take that pain away. I'll only stay for a short amount of time, just until you're comfortable again." Ed reassured.
I hesitated before responding, knowing that he's told me this countless times before, but enough was enough. I wanted to feel better about myself. "Okay, but just for a little bit." And with that, I opened the door all the way to let him make himself at home, yet again.
Ever since I let him in, nothing has gotten better. The pain hasn't gone away like he promised, instead he continues to inflict it upon me. I have become a victim to obsessing about calories, exercising, and body image. This has been going on for the last two months-ish, and I believe God sliced and served me a big slice of karma for letting Ed back into my life. With my disordered behaviors comes the constant cycle of restricting and over-exercising. About three weeks ago, I was pushing myself harder than I should have during a leg workout, and tweaked something in my lower back. But being as stubborn as I am, I continued training and pushed through the pain. No pain, no gain...right? Those three weeks went by, and the pain was still prevalent. As much as I was told to "just take it easy" from many people and physical therapists, I did just the opposite and continued to train, even though I was in pain. Being the impatient person I am as I refused to take it easy, earlier this week, I was in the gym (shocker) cleaning up some plates that had been left on the ground. As I squatted down to pick up the weight, I felt a POP! in the lower right side of my back. I immediately shot straight up as my hands flew to the source of pain to support whatever had just popped. I couldn't take a deep breath, I could barely walk, and I was scared of out my mind. Long story short, after a trip to the emergency room, a shot right in my peach, and some heavy duty doses of a muscle relaxer, it's come down to having a terribly strained lower back, much worse than the first time three weeks ago. The past week has been without a doubt the most pain my body has ever been in, ever. I've never had to deal with something like this. I always neglected taking care of my body before/after a workout because I figured, "Oh yeah, it'll never happen to me. I've never been injured so I can skip stretching". I'm supposed to be super-recovery woman, right?
Riiiiiight *she says with extreme sarcasm*.
So obviously, I haven't been in the gym training like I usually do. Mentally, I am not handling that very well. I know, I know, you're reading this thinking, "It's only been like three days, get over it". Actually, it's been more like three weeks and three days, sooooooo. But in all seriousness, this is extremely challenging for me. I feel like a drug addict who has had their drug of choice taken away from them. The gym is my heroin, as it keeps me sane. Imagine having the one thing you love to do ripped away from you, and you're not sure if you'll ever have it back. That's how I feel. I know I have a long recovery road ahead of me for my lower back, and it's going to be a true test of strength for me. I've already thrown multiple pity parties (and continue to do so...hey, I'm only human), but I think everyone needs to throw one once in a while. My brain is constantly on overload, flooded with thoughts like,
"Who am I without the gym? If I can't lift heavy, or at all, am I even Lauryn? I shouldn't be eating as much since I'm not burning as many calories. Is all of my hard-earned muscle going to turn to flab? Am I ever going to heal?"
I tend to identify myself with the gym. Most athletes do, but for me, I feel as if it's all I am. I wake up every morning hopeful that this injury is healed, and I can sit up out of bed on my own without pain. Obviously, that hasn't happened yet.
This blog post isn't to try to make people feel sorry for me, or make people think I'm an ungrateful little brat. I'm very grateful of the things I can do and the support system I possess. Yes, I realize that this could be so much worse, but I've never had to deal with an injury before. I've never had one of my passions ripped away from me. I can only try my best to stay strong. This injury has me itching to get back into the gym harder than ever, so until then, I will try to focus on what I can do, and just hang on tight. God only gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers, right?