2016 was a rough year for me. I suffered illness after illness caused by lack of sleep due to major pain from an internal injury. For months, it hurt to breath, let alone do my two favorite things: singing and yoga. I struggled to continue to teach through the pain. The simplest of tasks was daunting– from washing the dishes to getting dressed, I had to prepare myself to breathe through the inevitable pain. I put a good face on it. Most of my students didn’t know how I was feeling or they only vaguely noticed that my energy and vivaciousness had decreased. I showed up to teach each day and counted the minutes until I could go home and lay on the couch again, too exhausted to move. There was nothing to be done but wait for my body to heal itself… but I’m not very good at being patient. The 8 months it took for me to become myself again felt like a lifetime. There were moments when I was lying on the floor at 3 am with tears streaming down my eyes from the electric shock of pain when I didn’t know how I could carry on with this life. But, slowly my body did heal. What once was debilitating pain turned into minor discomfort and then finally faded away.
While I sincerely hope that I never have to live through such pain again, I can still feel gratitude for this period of my life. I now know true suffering and how difficult it is to function with that kind of pain. I have so much more compassion and understanding for those who suffer from chronic pain or depression. As a chipper optimist growing up, I never understood how someone could live under such a black cloud. I now get it. I lived through it. Thankfully, I survived. And I enter into my 30s the wiser for the trials I have endured.