Accepting a situation is not the equivalent of conceding or admitting defeat. It simply means choosing to control what you can and letting go of what you can't. Trying to control something that you cannot will make you insane.
Right now, on another window on my laptop, I've got a picture of my lumbar spine open.
"Hey, L5, have you met your neighbor downstairs? S1? Oh, wait...I see you two are already intimate. Never mind."
There are a lot of reasons why I haven't been here. Or on my horse. SG being gone is part of it, work too for certain. But mostly I've just been hiding because frankly a lot of the time I'm in pain. I thought it was my hip and knee. I tried injections on the bursa and then in the hip joint. They didn't touch the pain, and the pain got worse. Some days driving to work has been so intense that I cry without wanting to. My knee and my foot will throb and nothing except something that would keep me from driving or working will touch that pain. Many nights I sleep in fits and starts or not at all.
I haven't been riding my horse, not more than a couple of times over the last few months. If I ride it hurts, if I ride I pay for it for days, measure for measure of amplified pain multiplied by minutes spent in the saddle.
My doctor finally ordered an MRI of my lumbar spine. The images contain no surprises. Bulging discs. Herniated discs. Torn discs. Nerve impingement. L5 resting squarely on S1 with nary a smidge of disc to be seen between them. I've been seeing the chiropractor a couple of times a week, and next week I will also start physical therapy. I'm waiting for a return call from the office that does the targeted injection to see if we can get the nerve to quiet down. In the meantime, nothing else has changed, really, nothing except my approach.
Short of taking pills I don't want to take, not many things help when the nerve flares. Since I can't control it, I have to find a way to accept it. I'm reminded in some ways of childbirth, when you are caught up in something that is relentless and inexorable, where there is no way out but to endure through it. During my MRI, I was positioned in such a way that the sciatica flared and my whole leg felt like it was on fire. Between the pain and being enclosed in a very small space, not able to move, I took the only option that I felt was available to me: I fell asleep.
All these months it was right there in front of me and I couldn't see it. Just...let go. No, the pain doesn't stop. But I can let go. I have to learn how to keep letting it go. I am not defeated, the pain doesn't win. Its just that its here with me, and instead of being the thing I push against, it becomes simply a part of my life for now. Just for now.