Managing sadness, boredom, loneliness and depression as I heal from injury: Focusing on beauty, breath, and magic

When I’m down, one of the most useful exercises I’ve found is to look around me for something beautiful. Then I concentrate on that beauty, breathe into it, and ground myself.

The last 6 weeks have been hard. My favorite thing about myself is my optimism. I typically don’t let things get me down, at least not for long. My optimism and my ability to stay positive have been sorely taxed by my current predicament.

Because of the nature of my injuries, I am largely immobile. That means I’m alone much of the day while Andrew works and either on the couch or in bed. That also means I’m by myself. I can’t work on the computer long because the neon silver streaks and distortion in my eye cause blazing headaches and even blue blocker glasses don’t help. I have better luck with my phone but find correcting voice notes annoying and typing with one finger tedious.

I’ve been sad, lonely, depressed, and bored. I cry, a lot.

Then, out of the blue, chocolate covered strawberries, my favorite Starbucks drink, flowers, soap, lip mask and lip gloss, a lovely glass hummingbird, tea, chocolates, zatar seasoning, pita bread, and olive oil, or a DoorDash gift certificate arrive. My daughter, my son, a friend calls or texts at the perfect moment. Andrew takes a break to chat or just wrap me in his arms. I am reminded that I am loved, that I am connected.

Closer to home, a wheelchair has allowed me to go out and enjoy Korean BBQ with my daughter and lovely quick or quiet and relaxed dinners with my sweetie, as well as trips around grocery stores, Costco, and our local outdoor mall.

The slog isn’t over, but things are getting better. The surgeon estimates that the gas bubble in my eye will dissipate fully sometime within the next three weeks. That will stop the ongoing game of Pong in my eye that has constantly undermined my balance. It looks like in the spring I will probably need another surgery to remove scar tissue from my retina (which resulted from the first surgery and which is distorting and blurring my vision – think fun house mirror). I don’t know how much vision I’ll ultimately get back, but I am hopeful. I still don’t know what my knee will require to heal. I see a doctor in January. I hope this time in a brace with crutches will allow it to heal on its own. It is feeling better and I’m much more self reliant.

In one of his classes, Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvalley recommends ending every day by taking note of at least 3 moments of magic that happened during the day. This exercise and mindset help me balance and move forward.

These practices remind me that no matter what is happening in my life, I am always surrounded by beauty. There is always magic to be noticed and appreciated. There is much to be grateful for.

I have to admit that some days are easier than others. Some days it’s difficult to see the beauty, to find the magic, or to feel the gratitude. On those days, flowers, chocolate, the softness of my cat’s fur, a hug from Andrew, or a conversation with a friend or loved one help. Some days I just have to sleep on it and hope that the next day will be better.

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