I will never forget the pain. I would lie awake, night after night, and all I could remember was how much everything hurt. The blood that ran through my legs had never felt so thick. My legs felt so heavy that I just couldn’t move them anymore, I’d try... but they wouldn’t move.
There is this story, about a boy who loved to run. He would run so fast that the world around him would spin until he couldn’t see it anymore. One day his legs felt strange. Different. They pulsed, and ached, growing heavy with every movement. No one believed him. Well one day he just ran.
He had no idea where he was going, his legs were getting heavier and heavier. He was scared, didn’t know where to go. And the world was spinning, the sky was swirling, he didn’t know where to go...
So he climbed this huge tree, he was so lost. He stopped for a moment, but his legs wouldn’t work. The sky was dark, and stars were pouring over him like rain.
He is falling. And as he hits the ground he knows, his legs don’t work anymore...
Cluttered in my head are these memories, each with a common denominator of an overwhelming fear of falling and pain. In one of them I fall down an escalator because I can't get both of my crutches onto it fast enough.
I used to want my mind to be clear. I wanted to pick through every single idea that popped into my head. If there was one word I knew well it was Pain. Pain with a capital P,
Considering it existed in my life as a character, someone I hung out with at recess while I watched all of the other kids play outside as I played a deranged, albeit slightly amusing, computer game called math circus.
This all started when I was 9-years old.
While all of the other 9 year olds were exploring playgrounds, I was being probed and studied by doctors and x ray machines. The rare leg disease I possessed was causing my right hip to deteriorate and separate from my skeletal system. I was in and out of a children's hospital for the next 5 years, and any friends I made slowly died off, as if it were some cruel soap opera.
At school, the identity I had was associated with what I had, never who I was. I was my disease.
By 14 doctors had me try physiotherapy, mild exercise and alternative treatments. Most of which had me feeling taped together. Scans of my body still littered with scar tissue, there was just enough of it healed for me to lead a "normal" life again...
MADE BY SCARS...
My writing professor had me write a play about it and in the play my character sawed off his own legs. I had never felt more disconnected from my body.
As a last resort a friend and me started doing yoga as a New Years resolution. I was amazed at the quick results and looked at it initially as my shortcut back to running.
The first class was in this big room fully mirrored, only no sticky notes. I learned to develop a healthy detachment from what happened to me. I learned that I am not my injuries or disease. I also learned that running wasn't the thing that was destructive to my health, rather the thing that taught me how unhealthy and unsustainable my outlook and lifestyle were.
I am now 25 years old and have been able to avoid hip replacements, medications and produce incredible x rays that make it very hard for doctors to tell which hip is the "bad one".
Yes, yoga can be an amazing tool for the human body and spirit, but that's not what the moral of my story is here.
Healing is hard work.
It is challenging, frustrating, demanding and slow. It requires you to completely surrender to the process, forfeiting any identity and relationship you once had with pain and being a victim of circumstance.
The scars on my hip, the memories I have of falling, and the respect I have for my body are all important reminders that pain is equally as important to my quality of life.
Pain doesn't equal fear or weakness. It exhibits strength and transformation.
Where I am today and who I am today is directly a result of the scars I have, they tell my story best..
Excerpts from Steve's Story
Made By Scars ( Real Men's Stories)
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