Pain is sometimes worth it in the end

I've been hesitant to write this post because it's really close to my heart, but hey, what could possibly go wrong? Famous last words lol.

Some back story - literally.

In 2001 I left my home country for the first time to fly overseas and be with the person I was in love with. He and I got together knowing that he was leaving in 4 months but nothing ventured nothing gained right?

Off to London I flew. I settled in there kinda after a rather hectic culture shock and got the first job I interviewed for. It wasn't anything fancy, working at a CD store, but I love music and I worked with some awesome people in this little back water town called Luton (no offence to anyone in Luton). It was wonderful.

A while later we moved to a place a bit closer to London and I got a job at Camden Virgin Megastore. This place rocked. My team leader and manager were hilarious and we all loved our job, we got to jam to our favourite tracks every day and we gave it our all.

Apart from my credit card being secretly copied out of my locker and a plane ticket bought on it to Turkey (this is a weird story about Karma that deserves a post on it's own), it was one of the most light hearted and fun jobs I ever did.

We used to change up the sale racks once a month which meant many many hundreds of CDs being boxed up and replaced with a fresh batch. For this, we had to pull an all nighter. It was actually really cool because Camden Town was pretty quiet (except for the bars) and we could crank up the music. It got the vibe going for a long night.

I was young then - like fresh out of high school so I had a lot more energy than I do now and I probably also thought I was invincible because I'd happily pick up a crate of CDs 50cm x 30cm x 30cm and load it into the lift with me. I was such an idiot. In those days there weren't even "lift with your legs you moron" signs and I managed to pull/twist/damage my sciatic nerve.

Young and stupid, you take a day off and pop a few panados and then you crack right back on.

I returned to South Africa in 2002 when my father had a brain aneurysm. Due to my sob story I managed to get on the first emergency flight out of Heathrow with about 2 minutes to say goodbye to the person I had moved there to commence life with. He stayed there for a further 8 years to get his citizenship before returning to South Africa. Our relationship never resumed, but we're still good friends.

About 6 years later after I had completed my degree and started working in the environmental field, I again, was an idiot.
I always worked with an ethos of being a leader, not a manager or commander. Most days I would be out in the field with my team actively doing the hard stuff alongside them.

We were preparing an area of felled alien vegetation for a brush pile burn where you stack all the cut material into a massive heap, you chuck on the petrol and you set the sucker alight. It was really fun. We ate a lot of marshmallows on sticks while brush pile burning.

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Needless to say, I picked up a branch a bit heavier than I should have and as soon as I chucked it on the pile, I knew I was in shit. Same injury, different day. A LOT worse!

I quietly told my SIC what had happened and decided to hobble my way back to the office on foot (luckily we weren't working too remotely or I don't know if I would have made it back). I wasn't prepared to take the chance driving because of 1) The pain and 2) The chances of not being able to control the vehicle and ending up in the lake.

Needless to say, injury on duty forms in various different colours had to be completed and sent off to HQ for processing before I could get any treatment but I got through the time and managed to get to the hospital. I don't think they took the injury that seriously, I mean it obviously wasn't life threatening, but holy moly it was painful.

Months of physio therapy, deep tissue massage, it didn't alleviate it for more than a few days at a time because my nerve was actually being pinched and it was letting me know just how much of an idiot I was. I continued working, although on "light duty" until about my 10th session the lady asked me if I didn't want to try acupuncture. By this point I was willing to try anything.

It worked wonders. After that session I was able to return to normal work duty but I was careful.

Really careful. Once bitten twice shy kinda vibes. But - here we have these really annoying subterranean animals called Molerats. They are great ecologically and provide all sorts of ecosystem functions like aerating the soil, seed and bulb dispersal etc but they also make really big tunnels under the ground that you often don't see until you step on the surface of one and disappear to your knee underground.

And that is how I injured my back for the third time. Same injury. But this time, I could barely walk, I couldn't tie my shoe laces and I couldn't get to the second storey of my house because stairs were a killer.

This was probably the worst injury on duty I had had in my years in the field and it put me out for some time. You can't really have surgery or anything for it and because it was now a recurring injury, I remember being told it had built up scar tissue or some such which made it worse.

It was agony and I was desk ridden for a good couple of months. I was not a happy camper being office bound when the reserve was calling me. I somehow managed to get back on track but every so often it would act up, not even from me being stupid, just for small things like checking my blind spot while driving.

The last time that I had sciatic pain was when I went into childbirth. I didn't realize the injury at the time because I opted for no painkillers at all - and well, I basically became pain embodied. It made my previous sciatic injury pain seem small in comparison so I only noticed the following day when I tried to stand up and almost fell over.

This time though, it healed within days and strangely enough, four years later, I haven't had sciatic pain. Perhaps it was the rush of healing chemicals, perhaps it was something bigger. Perhaps it was the love for my first born child Lorelei that healed so much of me, perhaps it was just radical acceptance.

Love is a funny thing like that. It has immense healing powers. It can change your whole life in the blink of an eye and remove pain you've carried for years. It is the power of creation personified through you on this plane of existence.

The next time you are in pain, find a reminder of you feeling loved and wait a while, breathe a while, calm your mind and still your soul and you'll feel it. Warmth and softness and bright light - and then radiate that outwards in everything you do - because we all need healing and we all need love.

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**This is my narration of events from my own life experience. No NDA is or was in place with any of my previous employers to prevent the disclosure thereof.

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