The Tethered Girl

44 days until surgery.

I’m home. Resting. This has come to be my least favorite thing lately. I just want to be out. Living life. Loving life. But I’m home. Resting. Waiting for surgery. After several months of pain and losing more and more of my ability to move my legs normally I was diagnosed with Tethered Cord Syndrome. Long story short, my spinal cord is attached to a (benign) growth on my spine which is restricting its movement and causing my symptoms. Apparently it’s been that way all my life. The condition is normally discovered at birth or in childhood but mine went unnoticed until now.

I look back and wonder if there were signs and symptoms that I didn’t notice as a kid. How do you just not notice something like that? But it sort of makes sense to me now. Lots of things went unnoticed throughout my life. Mostly because I hid them. I hid them to do my best at appearing normal. I wasn’t ready to own the extraordinary nature of the person I was meant to be. So I willingly and purposefully hid my pain and went unnoticed. I did it in grade school when someone would call me weird or I would inevitably get left out of the invites for a birthday party. I did it in high school. Only letting a few people in and letting everyone else see the version of me that fit in better. It carried throughout my adulthood. Always holding back just enough to not come on to strong or be seen as too much.

My tethered cord seems almost symbolic of how my life has been really. I’ve been tethered by so many things. Tethered by the opinions of others. Always caring so much about what other people thought. More times than not caring more about what they thought than what I thought of myself. Tethered by my own fears and limiting beliefs. Keeping myself small for fear that I would lose or fail or not be enough. Tethered by past regrets, shame, anger, guilt… so many things I didn’t want to face so I went unnoticed. It always seemed easier that way.

If my condition is symbolic of my past then my surgery symbolizes my future. Finally cutting free from all of it. Free to do all of the wonderful things that I know I’m meant to do. Free to move about the cabin of life without fear or judgement. Without guilt or shame. Knowing that I am enough. I’m not normal. And that’s ok. I’m quirky and crazy and extraordinarily open minded and optimistic. I don’t wan to be normal. I don’t want to be unnoticed.

I’m ready.

Ready for surgery.

Ready to get back out there and take the world by storm.

Ready for what lies ahead.

Ready to be free.

Ready to embrace all that comes next.

44 more days.

I’m ready to no longer be the tethered girl.

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