Monday, August 22, 2011

It only took 18 years to get there

Have you ever had a pivotal moment in life. One that felt so profound that it took your breath away or where your heart skipped a beat in anticipation over something you couldn’t quite comprehend?

I have and this past Saturday, was my day.

My mom and I had decided to finally catch the latest and last Harry Potter flick about an hour away from home. I had been looking forward to it for some time.

Strangely though, I had woken up somewhat on the sad side that morning. And what was worse, is that I wasn’t quite sure why. The sun was out, it was a beautiful day and my loveable pooch was all wiggly happy as per his usual self. In my mind, I couldn’t wait to get up and get going, but in my heart I felt disturbed.

As I drove to my mom’s place, I could feel my face grow hot as tears welled up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks. I felt at a lost as I couldn’t figure out the reason why.

Finding composure, I pushed it from my mind, crawled into my mom’s car where I aimlessly stared out the window at the scenery going by on our way to the show.

In a moment, I will never forget, a surge of panic hit me so hard that it knocked the breath out of me. It was a moment that made my heart miss a beat. My chest grew instantly tight and my heart hurt so much that I couldn’t breathe. I could feel panic spreading to every fibre of my being. My mind raced and raced around and I felt frightened of my future. A number flashed before my eyes. It was the number 18.

It was the number of years I had been living with chronic pain. It was the number of years of adventures that chronic pain had stolen from me. It was 18 years of pain free living that I had not experienced. It was 18 years of declining invitations or bowing out of things at the last moment because I hurt so much. Eighteen years of ice packs, pain medications, and heating pads. Eighteen years of massage therapy, physiotherapy and acupuncture. Eighteen years of constant research on how to live a pain free life. Eighteen years of doctors and specialists. Eighteen years of getting up stiff and sore and walking like an old woman. Eighteen years of moments lying in beds unable to move. Eighteen years of wishing I was like other women my age. Eighteen years of being jealous of people riding their bikes, or running or walking or living. Eighteen years of being too scared to try different things in case they aggravated my injuries. Eighteen years of pushing myself and suffering the consequences. Eighteen years of giving up dreams I had. Eighteen years. Eighteen years. Oh my gawd, it was 18 years of my life.

Feeling like a deer caught in the headlights, and in my panic, I searched for what I wanted to say that would describe exactly how I felt at that moment, that translated all that I felt, that said what my heart was screaming, but the only thing that bubbled out from my lips as I looked at my mom was “is this my life?”

I couldn’t tell you what my mom had said to me, as my pulse was beating so hard in my ears that I couldn’t hear her.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and let out a long sad sigh and realized that I was mourning. I was mourning for me. I was morning for the Tracy at age 25 and for the Tracy at age 32 and mostly for the Tracy at age 43 who was sitting there reflecting with sadness on the losses of her life. I finally let myself feel those losses that I had so neatly tucked away as far from me as possible. Those losses that haunted me and that perhaps if I actually confronted would do more damage to me than the chronic pain had.

I went home that night tired and drained and sat staring at my blog wanting to pour my heart out, but frightened to put it into writing. And as I sat there staring at the monitor, I let Tracy have a very long hard cry. I let her mourn, I told her it was okay to feel sorry for herself. I told her she could have that moment as it was hers to own and then I told her that she would have to move on.

As I write this though, I can tell you that I still feel raw and teary some two days later, but I suppose that grieving for the things I cannot have or cannot do is all part of the healing process, well at least for me anyways. 

And to think, it only took me 18 years to get there.

Until Next Time.



  1. 18 years is a very long time to feel like your life isn't what you wanted. to feel stifled and limited.
    i'm glad you decided to let yourself mourn and it's okay to share it on your blog. i was right there with you today with the raw weepiness.
    i can't just show sunshine & rainbows on my blog every day & neither can you & it's okay. this is real life.
    i love you!

  2. I had a moment somewhat similar to that when I realized last year just how unhappy where I was - living in a city and working crappy job that just ate away at my soul. I cried for hours. That was when I made my decision to chuck it and move to the middle of nowhere. And I haven't regretted a moment of it. Sometimes you just have to let it out so the healing can begin.

  3. Oh Tracy, 18 years is such a long time to be in so much pain and to be carrying such grief! My heart goes out to you. But you know that letting it out , especially through tears, is good for the soul and heart. Take care my friend. Be good to yourself. xo

  4. I have no idea about what you must go through each day but to me you are one of the sweetest caring people I have met here in blog land.
    You have so many talents that you share with us, talents perhaps that may not ave revealed themselves if your life had taken another path.
    I am so happy to have met you (and yes I am taking your suggestion)

  5. A huge hug to you, my dear friend. May the life that lies ahead of you compensate greatly for the moments you didn't get to live before.I wish you great joy, enormous happiness and, most of all, a 100% pain free future.

  6. This is so heartbreaking! I'm so sorry :(

    Though now that you've let yourself have a good cry about it, I'm sure you'll feel better.

    Thinking of you *hugs*

  7. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is acknowledge the grief and bawl your eyes out. It's a great release and leaves you feeling lighter.

  8. I hear you.
    I keep will be gone for you.
    I am hoping it is happening slowly so you are not noticing it right now.
    I am hoping your prayers will be answered.

  9. Mourning is always so difficult. Often more so than pretending the pain is not there in the first place. I do think that you can only ignore it for so long before it insists on having its due. Now that you've not denied yourself from feeling sad, you can begin to heal. You're a strong woman, Tracy. I know that you will become even stronger from this, too. Here if you need me, doll. *hugs*

  10. I am constantly grieving for my son and the life he never had and the life I never had with him and coming to terms with the life we have now. It is not the life you thought you were going to have so you've had to adapt, makes sacrifices and that is hard. (((hugs)))

  11. Reading this was difficult because I can't imagine living a life with that much physical pain. Sometimes having a good cry and letting it all out is the only thing we can do.

  12. To say the least,I am in awe of your honesty and awesomeness. I'm 25. And this post hit me harder than I think you'll ever really know. I take so much for granted. I can't even imagine what I'd do if I woke up tomorrow and started 18 years of pain. You're a rockstar Tracy. Definitely one of my heroes.

  13. Well, for what it's worth I think you're very brave to share so much of yourself with the world, and I reckon you're an inspiration to a lot of other people out there too. I really hope that things get better soon. love and hugs xx

  14. Thank you for all the kind words... really have touched me heart so much... You have no idea what your comments have meant to me! xxoo

  15. Wow. An old friend of mine would call that an "epiphanous moment". I had a faint glimpse of that when I finally admitted to myself I was on the "down" side of the hill. But its a hell of a lot different when you look back and feel what you have. In my prayers and heart as always.

  16. Sometimes we deny our feelings of emotional pain and loss for many reasons, but they do find their way to the surface eventually, one way or the other. Hopefully, acknowledging and honoring your feelings will bring you some peace. I hope so.

  17. Gosh. Tracy. I am welling up tears here, your post is a very touching account of having to life with chronic pain. I cant begin to understand how you feel inside, but letting it all out when it rises to the top, it always a good thing.

    In Chinese medicine, dancing is recommended for frustration, as it helps move this particular emotion out of the body. Sending you big huge cyber hugs and hoping you feel ok soon. :)

  18. Thank you so much Galen and Mandy for the words and the dancing advice!

  19. Every time my back goes into pain mode I always think about people that have to live that way all the time. No one should have to go through life in pain. It's not fair and it sucks.

  20. I gave you the Liebster Award.
    Come and get it.


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