I finally realized why this injury has been so frustrating an experience for me. Is it because I couldn’t run and/or hike the way I wanted to this summer? Yeah, that’s part of it, but it’s not the whole story. Is it because I’ve had to shell out half my net worth to a team of people all trying to make me better? I admit, that really sucks and I fear I will be living in a cardboard box by the end of the year but, again, it’s not the biggest point of contention. Or is it because I am not getting better? That’s a little bit closer but it’s still not quite hitting the nail on the head.
The real reason I’m such a ball of frustration and negativity: this whole injury is just not fair. Do I sound like a five year old? Well, maybe that’s because some aspects of my five year old self are very alive and well, and my need for fairness is one of them. It always infuriated me to no end when my dad would say “life’s not fair.” While this may be true, I do not have to like it.
I don’t know why it took me so long to see that my perception that my injury is wholly unfair is why I am so very angry about it. In my mind, fairness dictates:
- If you do the right things, you should get the right result.
- If you take care of your body and live an active lifestyle, you should be less prone to injury.
- If you are fit and continue to invest in building strength, your injury should heal faster.
- If you are doing the right things to fix your injury, it shouldn’t come back with random, everyday movements.
But none of these things have been true in my scenario–none–which leads me to believe that the basic principles of fairness, which I hold to be of the utmost importance, have been drastically violated. Every time someone tells me “you’re doing all the right things” and “sometimes these injuries are just like this”, it strikes a nerve and my fairness meter flies off the charts. Then I get angry, really angry, which is largely how I’ve felt for the past couple of months.
On a positive side, if I recall correctly, anger is the last stage of grief before acceptance, so maybe I’m actually one step closer to coming to terms with the reality of this injury…