As you all know, I hit my six-month mark of injury on June 30. I cannot believe it's been six months, and it seems like so much shorter… Like only yesterday that I was injured. Being at the half-year mark has caused me to reflect upon what I have or haven't accomplished in that amount of time, or how I have or haven't recovered.
In terms of physical recovery, I have much more feeling all over the right side of my torso and left foot. I have back muscles all along my spine and down to my pelvis that are working or firing, some obliques and abs, and some upper glutes. The back muscles are definitely stronger than before, while the others I mentioned are just coming on, or are barely twitching as I struggle to accomplish an exercise. Unfortunately, most of those muscles are not even close to being strong enough yet for functionality. Yet.
Emotionally speaking, I have to admit that I thought that things would have settled much more than they already have. I would have believed that over the course of six months some things would normalize, and that the emotional trauma of such a significant and negative life change would have faded some. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened the way I have wanted it to.
I had a text conversation with a friend about it just last night actually.
Me: "I wonder how many times I can feel it all over again just like it's brand new… My whole life? Well at least I don't have to think too much while I'm asleep. It's my only break."
Friend: "Yeah, what a way to live, right? Looking forward to sleep as an escape."
Friend: "Sorry, I'm not helping. I hope you dream about something wonderful."
Dreams actually happen to be some of the only moments when I feel like I did before… let me explain. A few weeks ago I had a terribly difficult day, and went to bed pretty depressed. When I have feelings that are overwhelming, it helps me to write them down and so that's what I did that night. I debated for a while as to whether or not I would share it, but it adequately describes how I feel in some aspects, and especially how I have felt over these past months. I have been tempted to edit some of the things I wrote, but I have decided to share it as it is in my journal, with very few alterations. I'm constantly tempted to sugar-coat things in writing, but I want to stay as real and genuine as possible.
"Despite reality, there still exists a Carson who is strong, tall, happy, and faith-filled. He lives on as he did before, just as passionate, hopeful, and loving as ever... he's happy. He's happy. But you will not find him at the home where he used to live because he no longer lives there. He's not at school and he's not at work... There's really only one place he can be found. This Carson only lives, only runs and dances through the temporary mists of sleep. He lives in dreams alone. The sight of him is glorious, as he is exactly as he should be. He is kind and funny. He cares about you and the light of life shines in his eyes. He is, of course, standing, but rarely standing still. He loves to run and leap and tumble through the meadows. This is the Carson of dreams. The true Carson, but one of the past.
As quickly as he is to be found, he is to be lost, disappearing with rise of every sun. A sun which ushers in the morning, when wakefulness presents, yet again, the true nightmare of reality. The fading of the Dream Carson invites the existing Carson. Only, the existing one hardly seems Carson at all. He is none of the things the Carson of dreams is made of. In fact, it is as though they are opposites in so many ways.
This Carson is not happy. He has no hope. Not in life, not in himself, and not in God. He is a hostage to a broken life, haunted forever by the Carson of his dreams. His life seems quite a tragedy. The tragedy is that he was once the Dream Carson . Born with gifts and passion to give, but crushed by the cruelty of life, injured in a brutal way.
Opportunity and potential were his future, blessed with the tools to succeed... But success never came and he was thwarted in his life's mission. The simple mission to find peace and happiness. Unfulfilled dreams became his reality. As if given the desire to sing, but never the voice to do so; given the desire to soar, but never the wings to fly. The individual once filled with vitality and happiness slowly, and over time, faded away... The once ever present smile on his face is now marred by the permanent stains of despair. A voice once filled with laughter and joy is now replaced by wails, and pathetic sputtering sobs. Once grinning eyes are now lifeless, dark-circled and bloodshot. An immobile body lays in the place of a mobile one, crippled and atrified.
Hope is now hopelessness. Faith is now faithlessness. From trust to distrust, and from desire to apathy. Imploring to live replaced by the pleading to die. This is Carson of Life. He wanders aimlessly, miserably. He seeks in vain that which he cannot have, but so desperately wants. He goes day to day, hoping against hope to find Carson of dreams while the sun still shines. Could ever a human desire something so badly? He exhausts his strength and all resources in his search, but no matter the day or outcome, he is always left with a familiar sense of loss as the day slips into night... For Dream Carson only dances through the quiet of sleep, and is not found while the sun shines. Only when reality succumbs to dreamland, does he run through the grass again. He laughs until he cries. He plays the everlasting day away. He stands and he is happy... He is finally happy again, and the relief of finding him again in such a joyful state goes beyond expression.
But Dream Carson fades quickly alongside the mist of slumber, always evaporating with the impending arrival of the sun. A sun that brings pain. A sun that brings the execution of hope... A sun that brings Hell. For the sun brings with it dawn... and another day of the reality that murdered the Carson of my dreams."
Now, because I wondered if this were too much to share, I sent it to a few people for feedback before posting, and there are a couple of things that I wanted to explain. What I was really trying to express was that the Carson I used to know was happy, and the loss at feeling like that very Carson has been destroyed. These feeling stem in most part from my injury and the difficulty I have had in finding things that bring me happiness. I wasn't trying to say that I don't feel like I have worth, but that I long to feel inside like I used to. I still feel passionate about many things and I still care about and love people. Admittedly, I was a bit worried that by posting this some would feel like I was fishing for certain comments or feedback. Not the case.
These feelings have been the common theme of these first six months. I suppose that the reason I get up every morning is because I am determined to find that Carson again. It's similar to what I wrote about in my "Shattered Pearls" entry. I wake up every day hoping to find pieces to my shattered pearl. Sometimes I feel deeply that I seek an impossibility, but I still seek. I recognize that with time comes experience, recovery, and possibility. I also recognize that my happiness must come separately from my recovery. If my happiness relies on my physical recovery, then it is dependent upon something that is out of my control, and that simply cannot be. I must be the one in control of my happiness.
I hope that the next six months are more fruitful in recovery and purpose than the first, and you better believe that I'll do everything within my power to make that a reality. So, here's to the next chapter!