I’ve gone through two open heart surgeries. I’ve gone through two surgeries to repair my chest wall – pectus excavatum repair. I’ve gone through a cardiac catheterization. I’ve done all the labs for my surgeries. I’ve gone through countless x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, echos, stress-tests, etc. I’ve done it all.
I’ve ran until I was blacking out, almost fainting. I remember the stress tests I had to do when I was younger. I remember vividly how nauseous I would be the day before. I remember dreading the sight of that treadmill. I remember running until I couldn’t breathe. I remember barely being able to walk to the chair a few steps away. I remember blacking in and out.
I’ve worn a cardiac monitor multiple times for various periods of time. I’ve had some bad cases of nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, and migraines. I’ve had trouble breathing. I’ve taken handfuls of medication.
I’ve woken up scared to move because my chest hurt so much. I’ve fallen down unable to get up because it hurt so bad. I’ve done pain blocking injections. I’ve been to physical therapy. I’ve had multiple pain management specialists. I’ve dealt with the side effects of multiple medications, testing out to see which one actually helped. I’ve discovered that it may be impossible to make the pain go away. I’ve learned that I have nerve damage…and it can’t be fixed.
Why am I so terrified when it comes to this new procedure I need to go do? Worst case scenario, I stay in the hospital for a few days and go back to school in a wheelchair a week or two after.
I laugh at myself sometimes. Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself, “What the hell are you doing with yourself?” Because sometimes, even though I know better, I retrace my steps within the new circumstances I’m facing.
I know better than to let someone this close to me. I know I get emotionally attached a little too easily and always end up getting hurt. But it seems like the more I walk down the same path and end up hurt, the more I don’t care about getting hurt. I know I’ll survive and I know I’ll recover from whatever trauma I might experience. But I also know that if I don’t take the chance and take a leap of faith when meeting someone new, I know there is the possibility of them making a hug difference in my life that I would be throwing away.
I know better than to get pulled back into the past. I know reminiscing will only make me yearn to relive the blissful moments just one more time. I know looking back at all the mistakes I’ve made will only make me regret them more and hold myself accountable yet again as if I hadn’t already hated myself one too many times. I know remembering all the hurtful comments will only make my brain keep them on a broken record that keeps running through my mind. I know allowing myself to feel all of that again will only hurt me even more.
I know better than to get distracted from my studies and let my guard down. I know that the more lean way I give myself to get my work done, the more I won’t want to get anything done. I know that the more time I give myself to work on my hobbies, the more I won’t want to stop working on the things that have become a second nature to me. I know that the more time I spend relaxing and letting my guard down, the more I will miss it when I’m in a tense environment. But the more I let myself live happily and the more I let myself be who I truly am, the more I get reminded that’s the true way to live despite what my life is.
I know I am independent and strong on my own. I know I can go through my days without someone needing to remind me of what to do, but I still ask him to remind me here and there when I can. I know I do perfectly fine without telling someone about my plans, but I still find some peace in letting him know what’s going down. I know I can deal with my life on my own, but I still find it soothing to know someone cares enough to get updated. I know I’ve gone through almost the entirety of my life without someone checking in on me, but I still find it so comforting when he asks me how I’m doing and genuinely cares to know. I know I am perfectly fine with being independent but the more I find reassurance in his presence and support, the more I find me telling myself that being a little dependent on him is okay.
I know turning off my emotions will only harm me in the future. I know I should deal with the emotions as they come, but I always find myself pushing them into a mental box when they come as intensely as they do. I know I will break one day when I’ve shoved too many emotions into the already-full bottle, but I always find myself going back to my old ways. I know I’ll pay in the future for the countless times I’ve used this defensive mechanism, but I have yet to learn better. I know I still haven’t learned how to deal with my emotions because of this, but I still haven’t found enough courage and support to start learning now.
I know better! …yet I don’t at the same time.