My main physical symptom is pain in my lower back. No prizes for originality, I guess! When do I feel that pain? When I get out of my chair, especially after sitting for a while. OK, makes sense, I guess. When I get up after gardening, and I stand up after crouching for a while. OK, why not, that happens to many people. After leaving the house, I've been getting horrible back spasms after less than five steps lately. Hm, that's just... weird? Well, maybe not. See, as I leave my home, I can turn to the right, towards the city centre, where interesting things happen, where the people are (no crying where people can see it!), where the shops offer their distractions. Where the bus stops are for when my back gives out, and where there's seating for when I need a rest. It's the safe side. Or I can turn to the left. This is the road that leads to the forest, the forest with its trees, its silence, its predictability, dare I say, its boringness. So many trees, most of them green. Also, it sometimes makes me cry. It's quiet, nobody can see me, and somehow this turns on the waterworks. Not always, so I don't really let it stop me. I do always have Kleenex and my sun glasses with me when I go to the forest. Why do I cry? Could be anything. Could be general vague old grief, polished by time, could be newer, sharper stuff, could be anything, really. It's always sadness, never fear, and very rarely anger. It most certainly takes my attention away from the pain in my back. So, for a while, I stopped going to the forest, because the weather was bad and my back spasmed so badly whenever I left the house, and I was only willing to go where I could feel safe, as in take the bus home, or, if worse comes to worst, call a cab. (Or an ambulance. Or a hearse. Yes, that's how my mind works.) Needless to say, there are no cabs in the forest. There are no benches, no bus stops. There are two options: turn around or plod on. As the weather got better, I really wanted to go walk between the trees, I did not even really think about the crying, just wanted to breathe in some good old oxygen, so I forced myself to go, cramps and all. As soon as I found myself between the trees, the levy broke. I cried my eyes out, big fat tears of sadness, saved up for far too long. Next walks, same thing. And here's the thing: it took several teary walks before I even realised that my back had been trying to keep me away from the forest and the trees and the tears, and, just to be on the safe side, from walking in general. Except that I did keep on going to town, because there's stuff to do, things to buy, cramping back or not, so I fortunately did not give up walking altogether. Really, the mind is a weird thing.