Emotions are powerful entities. They can exhaust us or they can push us to do things beyond our imagination. In “Honoring My Life” blog, I mentioned how anger drove me like a run away train. Recently, a friend asked, “How did you get through all of that when you fell?”
“Anger!” Although that answer was flippant, it was accurate.
At Little Grand Canyon, where I fell off the cliff, friends scurried to reach me. When my boyfriend arrived at my side he acknowledged my broken right wrist. I said, “There’s more and it’s bad!” To his credit, he chanted, “You’re going to be OK,” over and over again. Although that sounded good, his sentiment vanished along with my sense of feeling as his hands left my body. The next thing I knew, my ribcage seemed to swell and it was lights out from my chest down.
In my youth, swearing was always a part of my vocabulary. It didn’t go unnoticed by the medical staff. With the application of a body cast to secure a spinal fusion in my upper back I asked how long I’d be laying naked across two metal bars. One bar at my shoulders, the other supporting my pelvis. Dr. Tayob, my head surgeon, provided a timeframe. My spastic body continued to dig into the metal while cold, wet plaster was draped across my skin. I laid there passively. However, when the timer in my head chimed, I swore like a drunken sailor. My surgeon asked, “Is that what they teach you in college?”
“F_ _ _ _ yeah!” What I wanted to say was, let’s trade places and see how you react. The body cast procedure (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUzSLppxHJs) was by far the worst of the worst.That night, I froze as the wet plaster left me chilled to the core. It was a nasty ordeal.
At a university hospital in St. Louis, I had many doctors and interns who influenced my case, at least from my perspective. One said, “Why not wait and see if the swelling in the spine goes down and the paralysis lessens?” Thank you Dr. Rendee. Others endured my wrath. When one intern told me that I would be in a body cast for a year to a year and a half I said, “Get the F_ _ _ _ out of my room.” As you might guess, he and I were not on the best of terms. With no control over anything, my mouth was working overtime. EMOTING became my power.
In Polarity Therapy, anger aligns with the fire element. For me, it fired me up and drove me to recovery. A trail of wounded were left in my wake. To those closest to me, I’ve apologized for my actions. Lor, my mother, weathered the most punches. She said, “You were hurting so I just let it go.”
To the medical professionals, I hope it gave them pause. There were times when they were just “doing their job” but it was at my expense. Although anger may leave many casualties, it is a driving force. In my case, my emotional flurry paid off and I shifted gears to heal. I wanted my life back and no one was going to stand in my way.
It took me years to figure out that swearing was my way of controlling something, anything. When you lose all feeling, fear takes hold and shakes you like a rag doll. Of course, grief played its part as I laid flat on my back for months, staring at the ceiling and wondering, “Will I ever get my life back?”
Emotions, can push you to your limits. It’s not always a bad thing. Honestly, I was angry before I fell off the cliff. Looking back, I can now say that breaking open my heart by falling off a cliff was the best thing I could do for myself. In time, I was able to find more of me and let the rest go. I guess I do have more of my mother in me than I ever imagined. For that, I am so grateful. Be well… Nancy T
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- “One of Eight–my perspective on our brother’s suicide” is also available on my website: http://naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/