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  • Writer's picturehopecaitlins

An injury

Today’s a special one for me, 7 years ago my life changed completely, this is a part of that story...

I don’t know how to begin this really, it’s something I’ve never talked about, something that speaks to the most vulnerable part of me. The beginning of my health journey will always remain the one that shaped me the most, emotionally I went from a normal 11 year old to a very confused, guilt ridden teenager seemingly out of nowhere. CRPS/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome was the eventual diagnosis I was given after months of unbelievable agony, stemming from an intact fracture to my heel bone that was never picked up. It should have healed, it did, but the pain never left and became more and more horrendous as the months went on. I was told by many that the pain wasn’t real, the knowing look was given to my parents by doctors countless times, the look that said, “she’s fine, she’s a drama queen, she’s attention seeking and needs the problem to be ignored.” When I tell you that this condition is one of the most painful conditions ever known, that many commit suicide and opt for elective amputations because of it, you may not believe me. But it happened and without the amazing help I managed to obtain by my persistent parents and a stroke of luck that led us to the right physio, I fear what may happen to others not as fortunate to have the same care and love as me. Saying it doesn’t feel real, I’ve never let myself properly process what I’ve gone through, “I’m fine” has been the word that’s gotten me through the day for as long as I can remember.

My friends don’t know the whole truth, even most of my family, because I’ve never told them, why would I when from being 11 I was told I was making a fuss. This is as vulnerable as it gets for me, admitting it all out here and maybe I won’t share this for a while, maybe I will on Tuesday, the day only the big guy upstairs could have picked for the inktober prompt to be “injury” on the 7 year anniversary of me jumping off the couch (yep, it really was that simple!). Just know it hurts, it really hurts, but I know the hurt isn’t all there is, and I’ve never been more happy and honest with myself in these recent months, finally processing it all to lead to a better life. I feel blessed to have been through a journey, how many people at 18 get to go to therapy and find out all their flaws and mistakes, every messy line of their life! At least I didn’t have to go through a midlife crisis to become self aware ;)

I also have been feeling rather trapped as of late, I think it’s been so long since I’ve had my own life, I forgotten I’m allowed to go my own way, getting a tattoo was a nice experiment of that! My life is mine and I’m finally owning it, for me. But not just for me, for those other 11 year olds feeling so lost in themselves. I’m not 11 anymore, she’s in me, but I’m stronger now, I don’t take things lying down and I won’t sit here and apologise for being a scared child. We all have that power in us, even the little girls you told the world would swallow up. Sensitivity is not a weakness and I will never apologise for trying to be gentle with myself again. This is for everyone who fights a battle, mental, physical or a messy combination of them both, I tell my story to give others hope and yes it might sound cheesy, but that’s my name, and this is what I chose to do with it.

Being brave with this one today, forever grateful x

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