At the very beginning of July, I tore a major muscle in my lower back. I was hoping it was only a bad strain and pushed myself to do my regular yoga practice, which had me in tears on the floor. By pushing to do my yoga instead of listening my body and resting, I further inflamed the injury and was functionally immobilized, in agony, for two months. All I could do was wait for the muscle to repair itself and do the most basic stretches when I could manage them. The muscle healed very well, but I lost a lot of strength and I am now slowly building up to 100%. I went two months without Asana (yoga postures), the longest I've ever been without it in the 13 years I've practiced. Suffice to say, it was extremely depressing and my joints still ache from the long Asana drought.
Just as I was regaining the use of my back, my husband was beset by a flare-up of the disease he suffers from, but rears its nasty head rarely, every 1.5 years or so. He suffers from cluster headaches, the grand poobah of all migraines. They are extremely rare and very little is understood about them, besides the expert belief that it may very well be, without exaggeration, the most painful condition known to medical science. When Ben gets them, he is knocked out of life for 4-6 weeks. No work, no friends, no loud noises, no lights, no conversation. Imagine living in dark, boring agony with nothing to distract from mind-breaking pain for a month at a time. I can only speak from my perspective, but as a care-giving wife during "headache season," it's frightening, lonely and sleepless. A deep helplessness and rage grows in me that does not happen when it's just me suffering. Cluster headaches are so strange and mysterious, causing so much terror with no explanation, and there is nothing I can do to make the demon go away. I can only hold his hand, hold down the fort and wait. As is always the case though, just as we both begin to fear that maybe this time the headache won't go away, it does. Tuesday, just as quickly as it came, the headache is gone and my husband is back. Tuesday was also his birthday, so we have many things to celebrate in the following weeks.
All is well and all will be well. I am full to overflowing with gratitude for an end to this particular season of suffering and gratitude also for the lessons taught by pain, like grace, endurance, selflessness and appreciation for victories great and small. In that joy, I feel comfortable setting real goals for October, goals mostly involving a return to joyful normalcy.
- Try ecstatic dance and if I like it, make it a weekly habit
- Work back up to an hour a day of Asana
- Re-establish a weekly date night with my husband
- Work back up to going to the gym 4 days a week
- Invest time in my friendships
- Become a morning person
What are your goals for October?