I can play soccer again. It makes me happy. Even when my team loses, I’m still pretty happy because I can play. Soccer is my drug of choice.
Just over two months ago, though, I sprained my ankle. It was a bad sprain, too, where it swelled up like a softball immediately, I couldn’t move my toes for several hours, I couldn’t bear weight, etc. It was a grade III sprain with complete tears of ligaments. The six weeks it took to attempt running on it again felt like six months. I still tape it AND wear a brace for soccer games. I even tape it up for softball, that sport where I have yet to break a sweat. Even still, I can’t point my foot, kneel, or sit cross-legged without pain. So I’m still healing and still doing exercises to regain range of motion, gain strength again and retrain proprioception*.
What I’m trying to get at is the TIME it takes to heal. I’m back to the point where I can do what I love again, but I’m definitely not 100% nor is it without pain yet. Eventually, I will get there, although I will always have a faint memory of how bad it hurt and how long it took to heal. But with time, memories become sweeter and more forgiving.
I’ve thought off and on lately about a friend of mine who is going through the healing process. But she’s not trying to heal a sprained ankle. Her pain isn’t physical. Her pain comes from the death of a loved one. There isn’t a doctor who can give her a timeline of when she will be healed. He can’t tell her, “don’t run for several weeks, then just wrap it up or wear a brace for another three months and eventually, if you do these exercises, you’ll feel great again.” My injury took time. Hers will take time. I knew how long mine would take. She doesn’t know. But her kind of pain won’t go away in 6-8 weeks. That doesn’t make it any easier to get up each day and remember there’s somebody missing in her life. But just like I’ll always have a memory of my injury, she’ll always have a memory of her family member and that memory will become sweeter with time.**
Sometimes I can pause this life. Mostly, though, it’s in fast forward.
*That’s my ankle’s ability to sense the position, location and orientation of itself, tell the brain and keep me from easily twisting or spraining my ankle again.
**Not sure why I got so serious on you there, internet, but I guess that just goes to show, sometimes, I have deeper thoughts than just whether or not something my coworker said was funny enough to blog about.