As I sit in my office and write about pain, it was the only thing on my mind this morning. My sciatic nerve in my back is pinched between the L3 & L5 vertebrae. The pain is now throbbing down my entire right leg and it's a pain I haven't had in years.
A car crash at 14 enrolled me in the "Oh My Back" club and I've been dealing with pain ever since. In 2016 I moved into the "Holy Sh*t, My Effing Back" club when a (sober) fall down a flight of stairs broke my toe and compressed the vertebrae more, and caused me to have sciatica.
The pain from the fall was insane! When I went to the Emergency Clinic I remember the doctor telling me "Because your chart says you're an Alcoholic, we can only give you Ibpruphon for pain." At the time I thought that was crazy because I had never had a problem with pills, as, like many alcoholics, I was never a fan of pills. But when the Ibpruphon and the Oxy I got from another doctor did nothing for the pain, I started using the pain as my major excuse to drink. Many times I would point out it was the only way I could get to sleep.
Eventually, the pain would go from 24/7 to every couple of weeks, then it was every few months. I had to really be mindful of how I moved and what I did to keep the pain from coming back.
It's been about 4 years since I've felt the pain radiate down my leg, but now it's back. I was able to schedule an appointment to hopefully move forward with a minor surgery that has shown great results, but I'm still a little way out on that.
The reason I chose to write about this today is to share how I prayed this morning. When I woke up in excruciating pain, I thanked God for allowing me to live and feel this pain. I thanked him for allowing me to feel pain because that meant I was alive. I thanked him for taking away my need for alcohol and teaching me how to live sober & in recovery. Today, taking a drink to numb the pain, or drinking myself to sleep isn't an option.
God saved me from liver & kidney failure and I don't think he did that just to have me go back to a life of destruction. The life I have today, (pain or no pain) I am very grateful for and it wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't asked for it. A lot of time people just assume that God knows what you want, and he probably does. But we often forget to actually ask him for those things.
I used to pray to God that he grant me the wisdom to figure out how not to drink, and to get me out of this mental & emotional pain. He did, and he let me figure it out the hard way because that's what I'd asked for.
On my knees, in a jail cell, I finally had the wisdom to ask for what I really wanted. I asked "God, please let that be the last drink of alcohol I ever take" and to this day, that has been the last drink. God willing, it will remain that way for the rest of my life.