What It Looks Like to Be So Happy It Hurts

Last night at Bible study, in a moment of desperation, I called upon one of my friends to crack my back in hopes that it would relieve a stabbing pain I had been dealing with since the day before. In the next moment, I was settling myself on my stomach on the dining room floor, forehead pillowed on my arms, while she knelt next to me.

She commented later to Jo that she had never before heard anyone’s spine make noises like that.

I am a dedicated advocate of chiropractors. I believe that many common human ailments, from headaches to allergies, are tied to nerve issues and thus to the spine. I have seen the proof that a good chiropractor and a little patience can alleviate and eliminate these complaints. Take my mother, with her hereditary joint problems, as my prime example.

But despite my wholehearted support of chiropractors, I have never actually visited one personally. I’ve never been that desperate. I absolutely hate people touching my back.

Until last night, I can’t recall the last time I ever begged someone to try and crack my back. I have to be breathless in pain before I will look for someone to even massage a knot or tight muscle.

What’s weird about this, aside from my stance on chiropractors, is that I enjoy giving other people back massages. I think I’m quite good at it, actually.

So there I was, already tense with pain and now tensing with apprehension, as my friend pressed the heels of her hands to my upper spine and started to work her way down. She was three presses in when the weird noise came.


She pulled away and I curled up on my side, forcing myself to laugh even though I couldn’t breathe.

“Are you ok?” she asked carefully.

“Yeah. Fine.” Before I could lose my nerve (ha ha) I rolled back onto my stomach so she could finish. No more weird noises, but I was stiff when I stood up and the pain at my shoulder blade returned the moment I sat down.

The last time I had severe back pain, I found a yoga routine on Pinterest that, over the course of a few days, made the pain go away. Before Bible study last night I pulled out that routine and went through it.

This morning, my entire abdomen and back were a mess of sore muscles, though this time the good kind of sore. (Mostly, because I had to contort myself around the shoulder pain all night long.)

I’m not sure if my recurring back pain is just because I’m a weakling or because of stress. Given the course of my life lately, I’m inclined to think it’s the latter.

We got some heavy snow Saturday night through Sunday. Jo drove us girls to church, but I was as tense as she the whole time, so that may have contributed. However, I’m pretty sure the stressing out started two weeks ago when I decided to submit an application to my dream job.

Yeah. Being happy makes me stressed.

The position had currently been held by a church friend, who just quit to study abroad for the next 6 months. I could barely contain myself when I sent her a message asking for details about possibly applying, and she was more than happy to help. She’s currently my number one cheerleader when it comes to the application, saying she thinks I’m perfect for the position.

She’s a hopeless optimist, but I appreciate the sentiment.

I was already musing about submitting my resume to various stores after my talk with Mom a couple weeks ago. I had also been musing about actually updating my resume, and now I didn’t have a choice because the open applications closed this past Friday.

So all that week I slaved over that resume and cover letter (no kidding, I spent more than 12 hours on it all; admittedly, some of that was internet “research”) and a week ago I submitted it. Now I get to wait, pretending like I’m not bursting at the seams, because the entire process can take up to a month.

Good thing I’m working on my patience, right?

Meanwhile, the stabbing pain in my shoulder has settled in as a dull throb and promises it won’t leave without a fight.





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