It’s been a very long two years, and so much has and hasn’t happened since that hot Thursday morning I drove myself to the hospital with two Chrises in the car.
First, there aren’t two Chrises anymore; there’s just one. My relationship ended and I’m flying solo; a difficult thing to cope with when you’re a two legged human, let alone an amputee.
Second, I’m walking upright which is so far from where I came from. I was wheelchair bound for 7 long months, fighting to heal from what was an extremely traumatic surgery.
When I’m sitting in the thick of it, it feels like I haven’t done much. I’m still not walking without a crutch, I never made it back to work as a therapist and I’m certainly not running. However, if I really stop and take a look back at everything piece by piece here is what I have done:
- Fought obstacle after obstacle post-surgery: up to and including a gruesome flesh eating bacteria on the leg I had left! I didn’t die!
- Suffered my first bought of debilitating depression, mostly medication induced because of intense phantom pain during the first six months after surgery. I conquered it and didn’t die!
- Got off all meds and handled phantom pain naturally. Superhero status! (also didn’t die)
- Eventually got a prosthetic. I used two crutches for ages, walking like a drunk baby giraffe, but was eventually brave enough to drop down to one after MONTHS of physical therapy. Nailed it! (And didn’t die)
- Suffered a second bout of debilitating depression. Once again: didn’t die!
- Ended a five year relationship. I was sad, angry and terrified I would die alone. But in keeping with the pattern: I didn’t die! Turns out I’m never alone, I’m okay, and gosh darn I like the person I’m becoming!
- Mastered walking WITHOUT a crutch ONLY in the privacy of my own home. I look like a baby T-Rex, but who doesn’t love babies!
- Dealt with the bombshell news that my adopted brother/friend/son—the one remaining Chris!—is moving away from me. I cried, and warned him I might die, but by this point I’d not died so many times he didn’t believe me. I’ll soon be down to zero Chrises, but I still didn’t die! I will however force him to do weekly calls as punishment for nearly causing my death.
- Went rock climbing. ROCK CLIMBING. Not only did I not die, I made it to the top and felt good as fuck!!!
- Realized my eldest will be going to college soon. I have subsequently ugly cried at every one of her school/dance/social events, even though none of them are her “last” events. (Judging by this trajectory, I am considering buying stock in waterproof mascara.)
It might seem like my most of my accomplishments involve not dying and I’m ok with that.
More importantly, I learned a lot, including:
- My inner circle is amazing (including the ex who endured a lot of shit in the beginning of my amputation) and after two years they haven’t dumped me and they will always hold my hand when I need to step up on a curb.
- I’m impatient and extremely hard on myself, but I can do more than I give myself credit for
- Meditation is the SHIT (especially when coupled with moon cycles #witch)
- I’m strong AF (well, emotionally speaking: not going to the gym anymore has made me a little pillsbury doughboyish)
- Changing your hair color helps lift your mood (I’ve done it at least 6 times in two years!)
- I still have a long way to go, but by being less hard on myself, I’m starting to enjoy the journey.
The road to walking has been a difficult journey to say the least. There has been panic, fear, sadness, more sadness and a growing realization that life is like if a massive ugly cry and euphoria had a baby: there is always relief and joy to make everything worth it.
Happy Two Years to meeeeeeee!