I’ve taken physical therapy twice in my life. Once for a torn ligament and another after surgery and 3 months rest after breaking my fibula and detaching my deltoid ligament. The first time came from falling down almost a full staircase when no one else was home, the second from falling down about two or three steps out of a trailer and onto the ground. Both happened on the right foot/leg. Those weren’t the only times I fell down stairs, by the way. I fell down the stairs at my old house tons of times and I fell up them a couple, but only once did it end up in something more than bruises and hurt pride. After that second fall, I had to have surgery or a mere trip over something would have caused the break to come back. I still remember after my surgery, laying in the hospital bed, and feeling intense pain all through my foot. It felt like my skin was being stretched, torn, ripped apart and sewn back together inside the cast. Next to me was a Morphine drip with a button I could push for relief. It would only work once every 15 minutes, but it seemed like forever as I was stabbing that button every few seconds. You would think sleep would help, but even when the nurses weren’t in and out and I finally drifting off, I would still awake and jump out on the bed scared to death. Every time I fell asleep, I dreamed of stairs. I dreamed of walking down stairs and falling and as I fell, I would jump awake. My mom was there and she would ask me what was wrong and I told her that I was having nightmares of falling down stairs over and over and then I would awake to the intense shooting pain of it all….over and over again. The nightmares eventually went away but my fear of falling down stairs, ANY stairs, never did.
They gave me physical therapy but there was never any mental or emotional therapy for the trauma. Every time I get scared when I see a bunch of steps with no railings, people look at me like I’m crazy because I will just avoid them or ask for someone’s hand to help. It’s like a mental block when I stand before the steps and realize there’s nothing to hold on to. All of a sudden, my whole body just completely freezes and I start to step, but then back away. My mind says I can’t do it; it tells me I am no longer able to. If steps HAVE a railing, I can walk up them and barely hold on or just keep my hand right above so people don’t GET why I can’t just do it without. Well, it’s just having a railing there…it’s like a reassurance that there’s something there if I NEED it. I can physically walk up or down them if I COULD get my mind to obey but I have to have faith that I lost. What if I start to fall again? Will I be able to catch myself or stop myself? Without something or someone there to help, I risk reliving the pain all over again. I have a fear of falling down stairs. To others, it’s as silly as a fear of clowns, but to those who have THAT fear, it’s for real and no joke.
I started out this post to just tell about how blogging for me as a therapeutic release. Sometimes I just post things that aren’t that hard to talk about, but sometimes I delve in deep and discuss things that are hard for me. My depression, the sexual abuse I went through for three years as a kid, my struggle with my weight, the bullying I went through in school,my fear of falling down stairs, etc. These are all HARD things for me to talk about and honestly, I can’t afford to go talk them all through with a professional. Over time, these things either keep getting held inside where they pull me back into a depressed life of sleeping and eating and never living the house again OR I talk about them and they get a little easier each day. A lot of these topics are very hard for me to talk about out loud. Especially the sexual abuse…when I talk about it, I want to cry. But when I blog about them, it feels cathartic. It feels like I am releasing all the inner demons and throwing them out of my mind and into the universe. Little by little, my blogging becomes a means of therapy for me. Very cheap therapy that I won’t spend the rest of my life paying off!
I know I’m not the only one that blogs as a form of therapy. It’s obvious that I’m not the first to realize how good it is for you to write out your feelings and struggles; People have been doing it forever in diaries, right? The only difference in blogging versus writing is that there’s a wider audience. I think the audience thing has made it take longer for me to expose SOME of my struggles through blogging instead of just writing, but I feel like by talking about and speaking out on the HARD stuff, maybe, just maybe I will be able to reach the hearts of someone else who has been through what I have been through. Maybe by hearing my stories, they will find a kindred spirit in me. Maybe they will start speaking out, too and stop being afraid. Maybe they will realize they’re not alone. If I can help ONE person in this world that has gone or IS going through what I HAVE, I think that would be the best therapy of all. It would be the ultimate reward for spilling my heart out on typed page. 🙂