The truth is falling hurts
^ The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up. This is one of my favorite quotes from author Brene Brown.
Today we are proud to show the scars we bare from tumbling down and standing back up again as a story of triumph and as a form of inspiration. In stories we tell others we have a brief beginning, a minimal section dedicated to "i pushed through the storm" and then an extra long 30 minute speech on the wonders we learnt, what the universe delivered and how happy we are now thats its all done and dusted.
Rarely do we see the wounds of others fresh and open and in the long process of healing or share our own process of this with others. We have become ashamed to lay bare our journey overcoming hurt at our deepest and darkest and maybe it is because society today tends to cringe away when we muster the courage to speak openly about the demons in our heads, the tremulous thoughts and our own failures. Mindfulness and speaking openly and truthfully has grown from its "taboo" status but not enough i believe. We really have to start taking a stand, being brave and recognizing the strength and beauty in truth and telling our honest accounts of showing up and tackling our adversity. We need to create environments where people will feel supported to lay naked their monsters and throw back their pride and ask for help. I Hope that if you are experiencing any moment where you feel suffocated in a mountain of rubble and are trying to pull yourself up that this journal will help you be honest with your hurt, find and open up to support and to stand tall again owning your entire story. Heres to a generation where we no longer act out our hurt but instead sit in it and say "damn. I am not ok and i need your help".
Ok enough blabbering Tash, lets get to the experience of my first week post-op. This week entailed 3 sessions with my Fabulous physiotherapist Denny at Hills Street Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Centre (If you are on the central coast and injured this is the place to be ) . Week 1 post op from an ACL reconstruction is all about regaining your motion and mobility, waking up those tiny quadriceps and of course relieving pain and minimizing swelling. My life has consisted of RICER day in and day out and exercises with my physio and at home. They say that by 1 week you should be aiming to reach around 90 degrees in flexion and almost your full extension. It is very important to get your quadriceps fired up and awake so that they can be in control of this mobility and so that your progress isn't delayed. As most little dancers I have quite extreme hyper extension so my extension at week one is almost what most would call "straight" however i need to take my time getting to my usual Hyperextension so that my ACL isn't over stretched in early days but my physio has assured me that my arabesque (as low as it is these days ) will still be as pretty as ever... awww denny!.
I won't lie- my pain on the first day was unbearable. My younger sister Gabii couldn't help laugh in pity as my body shivered and tears wouldn't stop flowing from the pain. I wish I had been given morphine but my surgeon doesn't believe in it (maybe he would if he saw the pain I was in ). From day 2 onwards the pain definitely eased off thank the gods but damn it hurts to get that little stiff leg moving. My anxiety was in full swing as I tried to move my leg as much as I should but any moment i would feel a pinch i thought "great i've broken it already" "why is it hurting" and off I went into a frenzy hyperventilating that I needed surgery again and it was over. Luckily my physio and parents have been all types of incredible at easing my over productive mind and soothing me through my rehab exercises . At 6 days in i had 87 degrees of flexion and a straight leg so I'm one happy chappy at that.
I am onto one crutch now and have walking exercises to practice my gait ( a persons manner of walking) because its turned into a sort of zombie high hipped peg leg show that absolutely must be changed. I find it crazy how something as simple as walking can be forgotten in days and how hard it is to focus your mind on getting back to "what is normal" . Our body subconsciously creates any habit to try and protect itself. As I hobble to get to the bathroom, to sit in pain from my hamstring, and need assistance up stairs I became so grateful for all the daily tasks that I seemed to take fore granted before. How lucky we are to simply walk, jog, run, swim, cross our legs everyday!
This week was rough guys. Many tears, many numb moments of feeling worthless, lost, heartbroken, not enough, and incapable. I felt every emotion from shame, guilt, failure, unloved, anxiety and deep sadness to feeling happy, unstoppable, inspired and proud. It really is a whirlwind to filter through a different emotion every 10 minutes or to sit deeply in one that eats you alive for a little too long. The most important thing I know is that even at its worst I absolutely allowed myself to live and breathe in that emotion, to fully absorb and understand it and then get curious as to why I am feeling it and what I can do that is in my control from there. I know that this healing will takes its time but I will conclude it as a whole hearted, courageous, loving, honest and open person as i have not run away from my feelings, I have not off loaded them and I have not acted against my integrity and my values. I let myself feel those feelings and then use my thoughts as I read an incredible book, sip a delicious coffee or breath in the salty air to bring me back up to the positive, radiant, determined thing I am. Our thoughts have an incredible power over our reality and our happiness and it can be really easy to surrender into what feels safe and comfortable. Speaking for myself I know that as much as it can hurt sometimes I need my support system to snap me out of it, and see my situations through another perspective. I have to be stern with myself and tell myself I am over reacting, focusing on the negative or that its time now to look up and forward.
As I head into my second week I am so grateful for every friend who has come down to the coast to keep my spirits high, every message and phone call, flowers and especially my family and Morgan whom have been at my side every wonderful and not so wonderful day. Ready to kick Week 2 in the butt with some positivity and sunshine.