I’ve only seen the movie Groundhog Day once. Even as a young kid, watching it gave me a pretty real sense of anxiety. The thought of repeating the same day over and over terrified me. I mean, I was taught that each day brings a fresh start, a blank canvas of sorts, for new experiences, hopes, and adventures. I couldn’t imaging the hell Phil Connors (Bill Murray’s character) was going though, and in the end, I was thankful it was just a movie!
Now, at 31 years old, in my very real, unscripted life, I can’t help but feel like I’m living a parallel story. For nearly 503 days, no matter what day it is, what I have on the agenda, or even what new or exciting things I have to look forward to, everyday is the same because of pain.
Much like in the movie, I wake up everyday to the same song, only it’s not “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher. Instead it’s the screaching sounds of fear and anxiety brought to you by chronic pain. You see, the pain itself isn’t what wakes me up out of a deep sleep anymore, it’s the panic attacks, the fear of making it through another day with not only limitations and pain, but grace. Thank the Lord I have 2 gorgeous boys, that are most likely already in my bed by that point, so I try to compose myself before the see. But they see. They see their once strong Mommy struggle just to get dressed. They have grown up fast because of it, and it kills me, but they are excellent caretakers now. We manage to get out the door, and go about our days, but not without more struggle, and more pain.
Whether I’m volunteering in my son’s class, working as a hairstylist, hanging with friends, caring for my family, doing laundry, grocery shopping, school drop off/pick up, cooking dinner, a date night with my hubs…whatever I’m doing, no matter how much I try to ignore it, the pain is there. One spoon 🥄 at a time, one wobbly foot in front of the other, I make it through my day and eventually, back into the comfort of my bed. I take my medication, position my pillows and ice packs just right, crank up my TENS unit and make myself “comfortable”. I say my prayers. I plead for help. I toss and turn. I search for answers online, or maybe just a friend. I research new medical procedures and write poetry. I cry and then pray some more. I eventually fall asleep, only to wake up to the same anxiety, fear and pain the next day.
Every morning. Everyday. Every night.
I am living my own personal Groundhog Day and it’s absolutely terrifying.
I know many of you out there can relate. I wish you couldn’t! I’m not sure what it is that’s worse, the pain or the relentlessness of it all? Either way, I’ll continue on my journey, bravely, despite my fears and in spite of my pain. I know one day I’ll wake up to a different story line, I just have to!