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It’s been 5 months since my 2018 plan was stripped from under me
I’m referring to my ski accident in case you didn’t realise. Now I must first day, I’m not saying that this was a near-death experience. I know people are worse off than I was, and that’s not the point of this piece. The point I am writing this is because I want you to realise that everything happens for a reason and you MUST believe in the process.
For those that are new here, I had a ski accident last year on Christmas Eve (ripper I know), which was also the second day of a 5 week ski holiday (the cherry on top). Now whilst I’m not skiing champion, I have dome my skiing instructor certificate and I know how to ski. Very well. This could have happened to anyone.
A snowboarder ran into me and it didn’t end well. My ACL ripped off a chunk of my tibia plateau (so basically my ACL ripped off a chunk of my shin bone), I tore my MCL, had a fluid pocket, enamel damage, and cartilage damage. Then 2.5 months down the track I got an abscess from one of the stitches that didn’t dissolve properly (so I was walking around with a hole in my leg) and so I had to have another surgery. Just over 6 months have passed and I’m finally about to start going on longer walks …. But this doesn’t come without its complications. And no I can’t run, skip or jump yet.
I wanted to write this because today I forgot how far I have come. Yesterday I wanted to cry in yoga because I couldn’t stand on my left leg because my leg goes numb from my nerve damage (the surgeons had to move my nerve out of the way for them to cut my calf muscle off my tibia to then screw the plates into place) and I get a lot of pain in it. I also was comparing myself to the others in the room and having the typical bitch talk from my brain of ‘you’re fat, you’re not good enough, you’re unfit’ etc etc. Today I could barely walk, and couldn’t bend my leg to walk up the stairs. Today was a bawling my eyes out morning because I could barely move.
So I went onto my phone and went back to my accident and started watching all the videos my mum took of me lying around crying, unable to move, unable to pee without help and wanting to just be able to stand up. At that point, I couldn’t even have my leg down. It always had to be above my heart. The word ‘pain’ wasn’t even a good description. This wasn’t pain, this was a wanting-to-die sensation. Where my whole body would be shaking from the cortisol. It was like someone had a hammer and was constantly belting the hammer onto my shin and knee. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
From the moment I had the accident, I trusted that I was happening for a reason. I really do believe this as I have been able to see that so many ‘bad’ things have happened for a reason and this was just another. HOWEVER, there was a lot of moments throughout this where I lost faith for a bit and hated everything and everyone. Now, over 6 months out, I want to share just some of the incredible things that I have learned and gained from this. If I didn’t have this experience I wouldn’t have been doing a lot of what I am today.
If I didn’t have my ski accident, I wouldn’t be going to the physio that I am now and spending so much time in the beautiful gym and café in Bondi. I have formed some awesome friendships from it that I otherwise wouldn’t have formed.
If I didn’t have a leg brace, I probs wouldn’t get so much attention when out on the town!! Hahahahaha okay, not a serious one I know, but let’s cut to the chase.
I have always been grateful for my life, but hell this is a whole new level. I understand perspective to a whole new dimension and I really remember what it was like to just want to be able to walk to the toilet. Now I can walk 5 km (not well, but I can do it!).
I am grateful for the planet I live on, the freedom we have, my ability to see, cook (lol food is #1), eat, love, feel, touch, hold, wipe my ass (my mum had to do that for quite a while….thank god we are close).
WHAT YOU RESIST PERSISTS. This has happened with a few other things since the accident. But on the topic of my knee. When I found out (and saw) my beautiful delicious abscess, I was SO AGAINST having more surgery. I was having tantrums, hating on life and so fricken angry to say the least. Guess what….because I resisted the surgery so much…..I ended up HAVING to have it. Other things I live have since happened, and instead of hating on life, I have gone with it, and guess what – the bad thing didn’t end up happening!!
I learnt that you are capable of SO MUCH MORE than you give yourself credit for. You have strength like nothing else and you CAN get through literally anything. And guess, what, you DO come out stronger, with a better mindset and with a bigger heart.
I learned to love my body for its STRENGHT, ability to hold me up, breathe, laugh, pump blood around my heart (but not yet to my vagina lol), despite me being in the most stressed state possible. Despite my brain going into fight or flight and thinking I was dying, my body loved me enough to KEEP ON GOING. How cool is that?
I have a whole new appreciation for the fact that every. damn. day. My body keeps going despite the pain. Fuck I’m getting really teary writing this.
It’s true though, I’m often in pain, and my body doesn’t give out. It doesn’t just stop. It keeps fighting. How EPIC.
This journey helped me to appreciate my body for what it CAN do and not just for how it looks. Sure, I want to feel strong and look toned, but I want to FEEL strong more than look it. I remember lying around one day and just having the goal of being able to hold a plank for 1 minute. All I wanted was to be able to move my body. That was a whole new appreciation.
I also learned about the power of the mind. I had so many opportunities to say ‘fuck this’ and give up or to create more pain in my mind, but 90% of the time, I would tell myself, ‘no pain,’ ‘I’m safe,’ ‘I’m strong’ etc to calm the physical pain I was experiencing.
I also REALLY began to trust in the universe and the fact that everything happens for a reason. And actually I really now understand the importance of having some belief system because it helps you take the weight off your shoulders. It reduces your stress and anxiety for the future because you know that it is not in your control and you can surrender. Not having that would have driven me insane. Thinking that the world was out to get me probs would have led me to depression and even suicide. If I have that sort of outlook, then I don’t know how I would be able to put up with the constant pain.
Being able to surrender allows you to be LESS hard on yourself and what you can’t do, because you know in your heart that everything is happening exactly as it should.
Just ONE prime example of this from my accident is that I got out of a relationship that wasn’t serving me. It was exhausting me and it was making me question my personality and my character (a relationship shouldn’t do this). If I didn’t have this accident, we would probably still be together and I would have gotten more invested. Thank FUCK that didn’t happen.
And I’ll wrap it up, but one of the other things that it taught me is that LIFE IS FUCKING SHORT. Your life can be ripped out from under you, or flipped upside down in the blink of an eye. Don’t take your days for granted. Enjoy them. Enjoy taking yourself to the toilet and wiping your own ass, enjoy making yourself dinner, enjoy sleeping on your side (I couldn’t do that for months - was horrible haha), enjoy getting yourself dressed.
I think we are so often grateful for the BIG things in life, but not often for the really little things like standing in the shower. Recognising those small things, makes your life a million times better and helps you to ALWAYS have a positive outlook in things.
Oh wait one LAST THING, so when I planned to get my tattoo and book my appointment after my accident, I nearly didn’t go and get it because of the fear of it being painful. Stupid right??? I had smashed my knee in a way that the American Ski Surgeon hadn’t seen done before, and I was concerned about a fucking needle. Okay Monica.
Well, I got the tattoo and it didn’t fricken hurt. Again, I was making crap up in my head. We do this SO often. Whether it is about a boy, or what so-and-so is saying about you, or how big your thighs are, or what you think your boss is saying about you…blah blah. It’s this dumb dialogue that we play in our heads about ‘what it is’ BEFORE we even know if it’s true!!! STOP making up what it’s “gonna be” when you don’t fucking know. Just FLOW with it, play it out and trust in the process.
TRUST. Oh boy, that’s been my word for the year. Trust in the process.
p.s. excuse all grammar and spelling errors, I type fast and hate editing.