I know that I am more than the limitations of my body, but sometimes it seems to be all that there is to me! Pretty “totalistic” thinking, I know, but I found myself through movement these past few years and I’m struggling with my inability to move as I’ve always moved.
During my teens and 20s, I had a really hard time identifying who “Shannon” really is. I struggled constantly with depression, which I’m sure many of you are intimately familiar with as well. I spent 10 years trying medication cocktails that really didn’t provide any long-term relief from the constant torment. I’d get so down that my focus was so caught up in what I wasn’t doing or wasn’t able to do, that I lost site of what I COULD do.
Fast forward to my early 30s and my discovery of exercise. WOW! What a difference! I could do all kinds of things I never thought possible! I could walk forever while I let my mind wander. I could jog for short distances without passing out. I could put in an exercise tape and throw punches at my frustrations and kick the living daylights out of the people who kept hurting me. I became empowered to change my life through exercise; I was limitless on what I could do. The key to it all was me.
As my physical fitness increased, so did my desire to push my physical limitations. I discovered that I could kick butt and take names. I grew a new facet of my identity: fitness and health conscious. As I took care of my physical being, my mental and emotional being began to relax and gain composure.
I found my freedom from the torment when I began running for exercise in 2011. The rhythm of running helped to slow my mental state back to baseline. I didn’t think it was possible, but I began to love running! I progressed in my physical fitness to the point that I never thought possible for someone like me. I ran a 5K! In fact, I loved it so much that I began to crave running on a daily basis! Certain music would increase my heart rate in excited anticipation of running! I was a “runner!”
But last fall, pain began taking away my freedom of running. I’ve had issues with my right hip ever since I ran my first race in October 2011, but it was manageable with massage and stretching. I’m not sure what was different this past fall, but running became increasingly painful and then I fell into a series of chronic injuries and illnesses. I became trapped by the limitations of my body.
You all know the progression 0f fibromyalgia; I don’t need to elaborate on that. My diagnosis came on February 15th, 2013. I have to admit, I am increasingly frustrated with my newest limitation in life, but I have to remember that I am not just a woman with fibromyalgia. I am more than the limitations of my body. I am even more than the “runner” I sorrowfully morn. I will find my freedom again, it may not be through running, but I won’t be trapped forever. I will find a way!
~Never Give Up!