We all have someone in our family that lives by principles (heck it might just be YOU).
Let’s just be honest about that. Hard-headed, stubborn, and will die by their principles because it is what MAKES them THEM. Sigh.
My husband is like that. Unrelentless.
Sure, it happens from time to time that I stand by a principle even though inside I know I’m better off being more flexible with my mindset.
Principles are hard to let go of. They are so intertwined with our values, our ego, and our pride. How dare we challenge them?! How dare ANYONE else challenge them?
My husband, for example, is a no medicine kind of guy. Not to the extreme of course where he’d rather do an incantation instead of going to the hospital for a burst appendix, but anytime he gets the flu, or a cold, he refuses any external help.
It was quite a sight to see him argue for 45 minutes with my gynecologist during one of my last office visits when she told me she will pump me full of antibiotics prior to labor “just in case” something happened. I felt for her as I saw her irritation climb to new levels having to deal with my husband.
But the reason I’m writing this week about principles is that it took me one year to get back surgery to fix a herniated disc.
It’s such a surreal feeling, after an entire year of chronic unbearable pain, to have my body back.
As if the pain never happened. As if I’ve always been able to walk more than 30 seconds without being stabbed with a knife. As if I’ve never had a sleepless night due to the pain.
It took me 12 months to pull the trigger on a surgery.
The first month I was like, oh it’s just a muscle strain.
The second month I was like, ok I’ll get an MRI.
The third month I was like, shit I have a herniated disc, wtf?
The fourth month I was like, ok let me try physical therapy.
The fifth month I was like, ok acupuncture is the way to go.
The sixth month I was like, let me take 4 weeks of disability leave.
The seventh month I was like, THIS IS MY LIFE FOREVER.
The eighth month I was like, I’m going to run this body to the ground.
The ninth month I was like, hmm maybe I need surgery.
The tenth month I was like, I’m fucking scheduling surgery.
And now here we are, a year later, post-op.
Wishing I had done it way earlier and saved myself the unnecessary pain.
The whole time I told myself that surgery would be the absolute LAST option and that I’d wait to make sure I tried everything I possibly could before getting to this point. Now I realize how silly that was.
I literally chose to walk like the hunchback of Notre-Dame for months at a time because I thought my body would fix itself.
And I’m not saying I should have done this the first month after I got the MRI results, but after 6 months of really trying almost everything, I should have gone under the knife, so that I could get my life back.
So what’s the moral of the story?
If you’re running into a fundamental truth that you’re holding on to with your dear life (for me it was never to have surgery), stop and ask yourself if it’s worth it.
What are you gaining and what are you losing by it?
Do what’s best for your well-being. I promise it’s worth letting go of your principle.