When you get injured, people often think that the injury is only physical, but what they don’t realize is that it can affect you mentally and emotionally, as well. The degree of injury does play a part in the degree of that effect, but it does not shield it completely.
Example, in October 2016, I fell and had a significant injury to my lower back. I went from being active to inactive in a matter of seconds. Physical activity, physical fitness, or exercise in any shape or form does help moderate of mental and emotional states, even for those who struggle with mental illness. When you suddenly take away that barrier, you lose the ability to help moderate your emotional and mental state.
The struggle becomes real.
When I was initially injured, just the ability to do everyday activities became a burden. Even standing at the sink for a minute was too much. I was broken. By taking away the simplest of tasks, my mental and emotional state began to crumble away, as did my ability to function in society, and in truth – reality.
It was at that moment that I knew I had to do something, so I drove myself to the local stress center and entered into an intensive outpatient program. It was there that I began to deconstruct what was wrong with me. I was able to analyze what was happening and begin to make a plan of attack on how to rebuild my life around my pain.
But it wasn’t easy. It would take time. But I did not know that at that time. I thought it would be a much shorter amount of time. And that led to a much darker time.
The truth is that the deeper the pain, the harder it will be to dig ourselves out of the trenches, but we need to do it and make ourselves stick to it. Yes, we’ll have days where we’ll want to stay in bed and not live, but we have to do it.
It is now the waning days of February 2018, and I’m just now starting to see the light of day since that injury in October 2016. I actually had to take a sabbatical from work in order to take care of myself first, because the mental part was deteriorated so badly that I could not function. But I’m getting better. I know it. I feel it. I can see it. I want it. I taste it. I desire it.
That is what it takes.