A new year has begun and more and more I struggle with keeping me calm and just going with the flow, which is something I have worked on really hard this past year. As my shoulder injury drags on and my patience on waiting for insurance decisions is starting to wear really thin, I find myself getting into my old anxiety riddled habits.

Chewing nails, restless and sleepless nights, comfort eating, double and triple checking my finances and budgeting and re-budgeting in my head. And worrying, endless worrying! That I will run out of money, won’t be able to pay my rent and bills, will end up homeless, and now with my injury this nagging sense of not having a purpose, not knowing what to do next, career wise. It is so tiring.

I just spent a beautiful week in Mexico, courtesy of a dear friend, and got to sit on beautiful beaches, soaking in the sun, observing a myriad of different birds, dappling with my photography and eating yummy food. So why I am complaining you say?

On my third day there it was quite hot and I decided to go for a nice refreshing swim. I slowly waded into the water, working up the courage to completely dip in. When I finally did and started to swim, stabbing pains went through my shoulder to the point of almost locking up my joint. I immediately stopped, breathless not from exertion, but the sharpness of the pain. The water was still quite shallow and I just sat down, submerged up to my chin. I let the reality of my situation sink in, yet another enjoyable thing I apparently cannot do right now.

Since that moment in Mexico I have been working hard to stifle the raising panic in me. The panic I had finally successfully rid myself last year. It is knocking on the door, trying to weasel its way back in, relentless. This gnawing fear of being useless and powerless, the fear of not being able to do things I love anymore. The fear of being a slave to my own body.

One thing I learnt through all this is to never ever judge somebody that has a disablity or affliction that limits their activities or their sense of joy. We cannot always see what afflicts someone, which is what I have to deal with. My shoulder looks just fine from the outside. I learnt to be more tolerant of other people and have a whole new appreciation for anyone with a serious handicap. I found that it is not just the physical pain that wears me down, even more so I tire from the emotional and mental chatter in my head.




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