I stumbled upon this quote and completely had an “A-ha” moment. For the last 18 months, I seem like I’ve gone to the depths of places unknown to me and have finally turned around to see the light that was behind me as I started down the rabbit hole. This was exactly what I needed!
When I was diagnosed with myelopathy in my neck, I fell into disbelief. How can this happen when I just woke up one morning in 2009 with a kink in my neck that never went away!?! Shortly after that fateful morning, I blamed the pain on stress. In the first 2 years of that neck pain I was certain it was stress related. In the first 18 months of the neck pain, my first marriage collapsed, went through the divorce process which is never pleasant especially when small children are involved and to top it off – 4 family members died in 6 months. No sooner than after I buried my uncle who helped raise me, I came back to a pink slip – right in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I literatelly thought I had the worst luck in the world.
So looking back on it, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked at the surprise diagnosis. In true Rikki fashion (I’m convinced I have the worst luck) – by the time I got promoted to IT architecture, I hadn’t even been in my new position for 2 full weeks when I learned that I would need immediate surgery.
I ventured down the rabbit hole thinking positive thoughts – No big deal; I’ll be fine; those types of ideaologies which were great for the actual surgery and slow recovery. Within 3 months I made it back to work and back to my life, at least I thought I was back.
Then I came to a point in my recovery where things became stagnant. At that point the rabbit hole started to swallow me up emotionally – and yet i barely said a word. Typical replies when people would ask how I was – tired and in pain. I was constantly in pain. My body ballooned up to where I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror. I had incredible support from friends and family – but I still wasn’t grateful. I wasn’t grateful I was still alive let alone still had the use of my limbs.
There were times I absolutely loathed God – hadn’t I suffered enough? Surely the amount of loss I had experienced in my life was more than enough for one person! I didn’t want to live in pain everyday. The idea of being released from this hell to be with some of the people I miss the most was far more appealing. Even though there’s a side of me that could never take my own life, there was a side of me that didn’t wish to wake up.
That’s when the quiet came in. I became a recluse, didn’t want to venture out since it was hard enough on me physically, not even taking the emotional into consideration which in itself was its own 2 ton elephant.
Inside my emotions where all over the board. Medical appointments were a temporary distraction, but i ultimately sit in silence day after day wondering where did this all go wrong.
When I wasn’t wallowing in self pity I became very angry. I was angry that it didn’t get caught sooner so I’d at least have a chance at reversing the damage, I was angry at my ex for taking the best years of my life away, I was angry at myself for no longer being the active parent I used to be, I was angry that my husband got the short end of the stick in my diagnosis because I thought he deserved better than what I could give him, I got angry at the kids for no real reason, I got angry at passed loved ones that should have been here to help but weren’t, and the list dragged on.
Thankfully the anger stage only lasted a couple of weeks – bad news is in the span on Christmas Eve into New Years I soaked bedsheets with my tears and ripped into everyone who crossed my path – and I didn’t discriminate.
So once again I’ve turned a corner in the stages of grief and have entered bargaining – hence the goals for the year. I’m absolutely dreading the Depression stage and secretly hoping to skip that one but luck is not a friend of mine.
Lesson Learned: Don’t Stew In Silence