Elisabeth Kübler-Ross identified the stages people go through when grieving. After three weeks of no jiu jitsu due to my knee injury and no immediately foreseeable return, I’m confident I’ve made the rounds with these stages.
- Shock stage: (Initial paralysis at hearing the bad news) I literally “heard” the bad news. Pop! Pop! Pop! In a matter of fact manner, I simply said, “Ooh, that’s not good.”
- Denial stage: (Trying to avoid the inevitable) Mustering a fake smile I concede, “It’s not so bad,” despite the disgusting noise it made seconds earlier. “Look, I can squat and walk without limping. I’m fine!” In the back of my mind, however, I knew the lack of pain was due to the endorphins that were already there while rolling with Miles (DragonEagle).
- Anger stage: (Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion) “Stupid Miles (DragonEagle) and his dirty, leg lock counters! I F***in’ suck! Life sucks! My knee sucks! F***! F***!!!!! F***!!!!!!!!!” The anger came once my endorphins wore off, and I realized my knee was worse than I had hoped. I stormed/limped around the house with a cold Fat Tire in one hand, while pressing an ice bag to my knee with the other hand.
- Bargaining stage: (Seeking in vain for a way out) “It’s just a sprain, not so bad. I just need a knee brace and I’ll be back at it in two days, tops. Maybe if I stretch it a little…. Ow shit! God, are you there?” (Two weeks go by, knee still hurts) “Crap.”
- Depression stage: (Final realization of the inevitable) Nobody really sees the depression. I hide it pretty well. It’s there, though, and it’s a bitch.
- Testing stage: (Seeking realistic solutions) “Yeah, is this doctor ….’s office? I need to schedule an appointment.”
- Acceptance stage: (Finally finding the way forward) I haven’t reached acceptance yet. A diagnosis will do that for me. My appointment is on June 23rd, so I have a while to vacillate between the aforementioned stages. For now, I hit the weights and stretch.