Agony Overcome

December 18, 2011
At that very moment, I wanted to run away.
Or throw up. Or cry.
Or all of the above.
But I didn’t- I swallowed the bile that was rising up in my throat and accepted the fact that I had to take my recovery gently, I had to slowly ease back into what I’d had before. No, I thought solemnly, scratching the thought out of my head firmly. It was too much to think of before, but the tears were already welling up in my eyes, so I turned my head towards the floor and tried my best to blink them away.
Currently, I pursued the mental idea that I needed to be back, that I was perfectly ready. But that was a lie. It was all a lie. The only thing that held me back when I went to work out was myself. My entire being was afraid of inflicting that kind of pain against myself once more. As a matter of fact, it would be easier to forget about recovering at all, to just go home and pretend I had not been medically cleared to continue on.
It was a warring battle, the two inner sides of me protesting the neurotic ideas that a) I so desperately needed to be back, and b) once back; I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. These two ideas are what ate me up inside. I understand that I’m struggling with tenses, jumbling my past, present, and future, but that’s only because that’s exactly what my thoughts are like. The past, present, and future all mesh together into the troubled world that is my reality.
Most people are afraid of rational things, such as spiders, or robbers, or rapists. I, on the other hand, am deathly afraid of that small cracking sound in my knee. The sound chokes me up, and I stop everything that I am doing to make sure I have not injured it again. Deep down inside, I know I’m being idiotic, but I can’t help it. That deathly fear paralyzes me, and I need to check, I have to know. It’s harder to be that person: that girl who’s a fitness buff, whose athleticism is admired by all. As a matter of fact, most of my friends were those girls. I used to pride myself on being one of them. But no more. Now I was just that tortured cripple fighting to stay sane.
The worst part is seeing how everyone else is moving on, growing stronger and more skillful, while your muscles wither away, and the only thing you have left to stand on is your crutches. Until they take those away, too. Then you are never sure whether or not the ground is moving or entirely still. Sports are as much a part of me as my heart, my arm, or my leg. Having them taken away, if only for a couple months, was the most devastating agony I’ve ever had to endure. Day to day, I questioned whether I was schizophrenic, lazy, or friendless. Most days I mixed all three.
I hated the looks you’d get, the apologies and widened eyes. None were genuine. No one knew exactly what I was going through, and I resented them for pretending they did. I developed an ulcer, but refused therapy or a counselor. I bit back acid reflux that built up over the smallest of stresses. Each day that passed stretched into a despairing eternity, filled with the stark nothingness that I had to hold on to.
At that very moment, I wanted to run away.
Or throw up. Or cry.
Or all of the above.
Instead, I ignored the biting acid stinging at my throat, reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. I ignored that small clicking sound in my knee. I vetoed every protest that shook my body, every denial that screamed against everything I was about to do. Then I took off, bracing myself for the second my hands would hit the mat, and I would launch myself into the air. I was weightless. I was victorious.

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