Acceptance Is The Answer...For Dealing With 6 Knee Surgeries

I've had a million ideas for blog posts and website redesigns for my site lately and I've been feeling guilty for not putting the time and attention I want into it. I blame it mostly on more self-care and homework I'm doing for my 12 step study group. Excuses aside, I pushed my topic ideas to the back to write about something more pressing that's on my mind. Next Thursday, a week from today I'll be having my sixth knee surgery. Yes, you read that correctly, 6 knee surgeries. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, my favorite sport in the world is soccer, and although I almost love it more than life itself, it has provided me with quite a few injuries along the way. I have what's known as the curse of the ACL injury and I'm sure if you've played soccer sometime in your life, you know about this injury. It has haunted me since the age of 16. My most recent injury isn't an ACL tear, so I feel like I should be thankful. This time around, I tore my medial meniscus in my left knee. Also in there is a cyst and a random piece hanging off of my patellar tendon. So next week I'll go under the knife for the 6th time and undergo an arthroscopy to fix these 3 small issues. Obviously, I won't be able to play soccer or do much of anything for a while following the surgery. Approximately 6-12 weeks without soccer, but who's counting?

This situation has had me a little bit depressed. I am 100% self-pitying and asking: Why? Why? Why? Why me? Why again? Why now? It's just not fair. Poor me. Now that I am more enlightened and have been learning so much about myself through a 12-step program, I recognize these feelings, and I know I won't feel like this forever. I am also completely aware that I'm fighting tooth and nail against my reality. My sponsor told me that I have to accept that maybe my body is trying to tell me something. Maybe I am supposed to be done playing soccer; that I am going against the will of the universe. But how can this be true If I have been undergoing knee surgeries since the age of 16? I refuse to believe I wasn't meant to play soccer. I've been playing since the age of 5. I've had a great career. I played NCAA Division II soccer for 4 seasons. I played in Mexico. I'm completely in love and dependent on this sport.

I can wish all I want. I can ask why a thousand times, but it won't change my situation. Sometimes I feel as though I've been dealt quite a hand in this life. In fact, I had to listen to my orthopedic doctor give me a speech about how I need to remove the word "normal" from my vocabulary when it comes to my knees. He went on to tell me they will never be normal, I'll never have a quick fix, and it's something I have to deal with because I've had so many surgeries beginning at such a young age. I felt like I skyrocketed back to when I stopped drinking. Only that time, I was crying to my mom about how I couldn't keep living my life the way I was and I didn't know what was wrong with me. I didn't feel normal. That's when my mom told me, "You're not a bad person Kel, you're an alcoholic." I know I'm not normal. I never was and I never will be. But that didn't make it any easier to hear it again in the doctor's office two weeks ago.

Although I don't agree with every single thing I hear in AA, today this part from the Big Book makes me feel better: "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life - unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. "

So I'll have surgery again. I'll sit out from soccer AGAIN. I'm not saying I am ready to retire. But for today I am accepting that this is my fate. I am a fighter. I know I'll recover, just like I am from alcoholism. I just need to feed my self confidence and self worth instead of self pity and self doubt.

 A photo of my knees

A photo of my knees