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Etched In Ink IX: The Cast Is In The Past

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By Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

“Vivus: An Exposition Of A Volatile Mind” by Kevin Sheehan  is available in digital and in print on Amazon.com!

Regardless of weekly content, this column is designed to help others expand their way of thinking and promote creativity, empathy, and thought in general.

 

If you have been reading this column for some time, you may remember that I broke my ankle back in March (at least I rang the bell). Well, the walking boot came off what seems now forever ago, although I still wake up to some stiffness, my ankle included. Not able to leave myself well alone, I got a commemorative tattoo of this ankle-defying ninja occasion.

It also seemed like it took forever to heal, so the fact that my wound is now permanently wrapped for the rest of my life makes it feel a little more appropriate. But while a cute (yeah, that’s the adjective I chose) band-aid tattoo with a ninja mask is absolutely adorable in my eyes, it is representative of the issues I faced.

Breaking an ankle wasn’t just difficult because of the pain. It didn’t hurt at all compared to my kidney stone I had a few years back. What was difficult was the issues I faced internally, and even mentally while healing.

I never really realized how much I enjoyedbeing independent until this happened. Suddenly, every single task became 100x harder. I couldn’t carry a laundry basket while on crutches, I couldn’t stand at the sink and was dishes for any extended period of time and I couldn’t drive (my cast wouldn’t let me get my clutch all the way to the floor). Even simple things like showering became an extravagant effort on my part to maintain balance in a slippery area.

It is painful both physically and mentally when you have to accept that you can’t do something you were just previously able to do. It was painful being both reliant and dependent on others. The term “stir crazy” could even be applied when you are couch bound. It was taxing, and a battle I will not soon forget.

One of my favorite bands has a song in which the lyrics are, “The wounds I get, they will just collect, reminders of the battles that I’ve lost and that I’ve won.” This tattoo isn’t just a cute depiction of a wound while playing on a playground. This tattoo is a memory of having to overcome mental roadblocks, the emotionally draining process of relying on others, and the months of pushing myself in recovery instead of trying to let my body heal itself.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone who helped me, including Steve, Tony, Rodney, Matt, Justine, Kate, Jorge, DJ, and many others who picked my broken-self up and drove me somewhere to keep me from going insane and to keep me functioning (of course, Lori as well, for making sure the house kept running while I wasn’t). I may not be a ninja warrior, but I do have the best friends in the world, so I guess I still win.

It is a lesson I am sure I will have to learn again, in order to not be so dependent, but times like these help you learn who will be there for you when times get tough. Times like these help you learn who is really there for you in your life, and times like these is when you have to learn to let go and let others care for you. Times like these help you learn you have everything you need in life as long as you have the friends and love to help you heal, and the band-aid to cover your wound.

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