Last night I stretched out on my back, with my knees butterflied on either side of me, like you do in yoga class. The tension in my lower back dislodged just enough for it to slip into my entire body. My whole body felt on edge as the burn radiated outward. It felt familiar, but I couldn’t figure out why. Until this morning.
This morning, as I woke up, I was familiarly achy and tired. Unlike most days in the last while, I had to get up early. I didn’t have a choice – I had a hospital volunteering shift.
I felt the pain sweep through me again, the pain that had released the night before from my back, mingling with the pain of anxiety. This mingling finally allowed me to truly acknowledge my anxiety as pain, and not laziness. To acknowledge it not only out loud or in print, as I have before, but all the way down to my heart.
I was, mentally, healthier than I’ve been in a long while this morning. I’ve had a lot of help, and so I’m not entirely sure why. Therapy? Boyfriend? Neurofeedback? Happy anticipation? Who knows?! They might all have contributed. I had the strength to get up and work through the pain. I’ve been so relieved but shaky all day since. Shaky, but victorious! Sort of the way you feel when you finally get up on a bike and pedal all by yourself, with no one pushing you along. The way I felt recently, when I finally learned to ride!
Boyfriend taught me, and believed in me all the way, through crashing his bike into trees and buildings, and eventually my own bike into a rocky wall that left “bicycle battle scars” on my arm. Boyfriend, who had me bike down a steep hill, bloody and covered in sand, right after that wall crash, because he knew, that the easiest and sometimes only way to keep the avoidance of pain from overtaking your life is to get back on the bike.