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Healing My Spine and My Heart

I've been thinking hard about what to write here. A student gave me this link and said I should write something here.

I could write something on the wheel but I thought instead to write a personal story and what I learned from it. Or I should say, what I am learning from it.

I was trying to sleep but began to cry instead.

Almost three short years ago, I was such a different person. I did things easily. Then I had an \"accident\" which changed everything.

I always pushed things a little too far. Mostly I did because people were forever coming to me for help. I didn\'t think much about what they asked. I just did it. I gave in other ways that really hurt. I was the type of person who gave whatever small amount of food she had.

I was overworked, chronically tired, and malnourished. For years.

I spent a lot of time in the gym. I ran. I danced. I moved too many people lifting things I shouldn\'t have lifted.

Then one night I had a powerful seizure that flipped a cervical disk onto my spine. I\'ve been in agony since. I had no use of my right arm for 8 months.

And most of those people who I literally gave spine too, they disappeared on me. I couldn\'t help them anymore.

A couple was fighting underneath me. Loudly. Banging things. It\'s what set off my seizure that forever changed my life.

I used to do one-handed push-ups. I used to do back flips. It was how I woke in the morning.

Sometimes I kid myself. I tell myself that I\'m not angry. I am very angry. I want to scream to all the people I\'ve helped without a thought of myself, \"Look at what you\'ve done to me!\"

I think what really gets me is, I did it to myself.

I stare at myself in the mirror and I ask myself, \"Will I ever be what I once was?\"

And I look at the old me from such a long distance.

Someone said to me a couple of weeks ago, \"Through your daughter\'s illness, have you stopped to think what you have lost? You were an exceptional athlete. Talk about change.\"


What I did physically was magical. It was power. It WAS spiritual. Call me a \"dumb jock\" but at an age where many have lost most flexibility I was leaping over things and landing in center splits with perfect point. I flew.

I keep saying, \"I\'ve go to get it back.\"

But that\'s insane. Right? I guess the bigger question is why I want it back? Why would be enough?

And that\'s the question. What is enough? I think I need to make a list. And get it.

But then I need to be angry. And cry. And say thinks like, \"Damn it, why didn\'t I take my damn calcium?\"

\"Why did I lift a FRIDGE up stairs?\"

\"I hate that boyfriend for beating me up.\"

\"Why didn\'t child protective take me out of the house sooner?\"

I do need to say those things. I do need to be angry before I can understand that if those things hadn\'t happened, I might not be where I am right now.

And where am I right now? What have those experiences brought me?

I would NEVER wish I hadn\'t been a gymnast or dancer. All those falls were worth it. The broken bones. That time I tore my hamstring. Those were the good days.

I know that the days I have a good limp going, it has more to do with the dancing and the gymnastics then the abuse. I remember being told I\'d walk like this when I was a certain age. I didn\'t believe it.

Where would I be without that \"accident\"?

Probably still saying yes to every request. I\'m sure I wouldn\'t be moving in the direction I am with so many things in so many areas. My eyes would be closed to so much....

The answers are there. I haven\'t found them all. I\'ve really learned some things the hard way and I will feel it for decades. Probably until the end of my life. I will hobble around and hurt and remember that because of my pain I am where I am which is in a much better place then three years ago.

I hope this was okay for a first. :)

About the author:
I teach indigenous dreaming. I was born into tradition and was fortunate to be born to people who live it. My Maliseet elder calls me a sacred dreamer... I kind of like it. I guess it fits.


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