It has been pretty quiet around here. I know.
First of all, I hope you are all doing okay. Not great, maybe not even okay, but at least you are reading right now and that is something.
I started a couple of articles, rewrote them, but, eventually, deleted them.
I was unsure what to share and what not to share, what to talk about and what not to talk about. I do not want to post something and not be honest. That is not me. I do not want to pretend everything is fine, when I am actually struggling.
Too many accounts and blogs when people just upload photoshopped pictures and nice texts.
That’s not how life works.
I got a few negative comments for my last article (What you should maybe not say to an injured athlete), so I deleted most of it although I never intended it to be an offensive post but rather food for thought. I do not want anyone to feel bad while reading my articles. However, I am writing about how I perceive situations and just want others to understand how I and maybe others in a similar situation feel. Maybe someone can relate to what I am writing about and, many times, that’s all we need. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.
After I got my MRI diagnosis and learned that I had a pelvic stress fracture, I gone through a really depressive episode. The doctor told me he had never seen anyone that young with such a fracture. That is not something you should tell your patient. I felt helpless and alone and miserable.
I did not see a point in doing anything. Some mornings it was a success to get out of bed. School was the only thing that actually kept me going.
It is hard to explain if you have never experienced it but I could not think of ANYTHING to look forward to. My thoughts spiraled downwards and got to pretty dark places.
Things changed when my mum told me that she would visit for Spring break. Still a few weeks to go but it was something. I picked up swimming again. Every morning I went to the pool at 6am. Even if it was just for 30min it just made me feel so much better.
Finally, it was Spring Break and my mum came! Yeah
We spend all time together…well, I was sick the first few days, but I had someone to take care of me, which I really appreciated.
She left and the corona outbreak started to sink in. I still had one more week of school before classes went online two weeks ago (way too late).
I saw the doctor again, who told me without neither an x-ray nor an MRI that I could do whatever as long as I am pain free. Great. That is not really helpful.
Gyms and the pool started closing…and I am okay with that. A few months ago, I would have freaked out. I don’t even want to think about what my eating disordered brain would have done to me. I enjoy to be able to eat with less and less guilt even though I don’t exercise. Yes, my body image is not great every day but I do not look at myself and just want to cry. That’s not happening anymore.
I go on daily walks and lift at home. I never thought I would be so looking forward to WALKS.
I do what I can do and that’s okay. I lost fitness, I gained weight. It’s not going to be like that forever. I will be back but now is not the time. Now it is okay to stay in bed longer and just do whatever you want to do (as long as you’re staying home or away from people). There are way more important things than sport and fitness.
I had to learn this the hard way. Through this whole injury I learned something really importance: ACCEPTANCE. I can accept changes, I can accept uncontrollable situations, and I can accept myself.
I am currently reading the book “Rebound” from Carrie Jackson Cheadle and Cindy Kuzma (2019). It is a must-read for all injured athletes (so, basically for all athletes at some point).
I finally understand what I have been and still go through. Grieve. When you are injured, you are grieving. I realize the same is true for eating disorders.
First, you are in denial. I denied to be severely underweight and I also denied to have pain.
Second, you are angry. Yes, I can relate. I got angry at everyone (including myself) who mentioned something about my weight or my injury.
Third, you are bargaining. I have spent a lot of time in that stage. You are making compromises. “Yeah, I will gain 7lbs but not more” or “Okay, I won’t run anymore but I can do tons of cross training”. Long story short: It doesn’t work for overcoming and eating disorder nor healing a serious injury. I have been cross training for 2 months with the result that my fracture did not heal at all (well, I did not know it was a fracture though).
Then you become depressed. I already mentioned that part. I hated the way I look and I had difficulties getting up in the morning. I felt like I was letting myself go, not using my time efficiently enough, and just not being myself and I felt alone. Really alone. Everyone is busy, I get that but a kind word or even a smile can make another person’s day.
But, lastly, you are accepting.
And that is truly a relief after the struggle you have been going through the last couple of weeks, months, or even years. It is okay to still have “bad” days but, overall, you are okay.
That’s where I am at right now and I am proud of that because it takes a lot of effort to get there. I am looking forward to the day, the world is a little bit more normal again, I can see my family, and, of course, run again.
No matter what stage you are at right now:
Stay strong. (and stay home!)
Take care of yourself.
It is okay to feel how you feel.
It’s all temporary.