Self-Caring Your Way Out of the Pit of Despair: Step #2 Body, Mind, Spirit

Welcome back to my neurotic take on self-care. If you want to read these posts in order and missed the first two weeks you can find them here and here. Be forewarned, I am no expert on self-care. In fact, I pretty much fail at it. I’ve only become aware of this sorry fact recently, and I’ve decided to share my stumbling steps to better health on my blog (lucky you!). These post are mostly musings, so if you want a day-by-day update, go follow my Acts of Bravery page. While you’re there, say hi and share your daily brave with me. 

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I’m disconnected from my body.

Settle down. I’m not practicing astro travel or having out-of-body experiences. I’ve just disconnected, disassociated. I don’t listen to its basic needs. I don’t rest it. I don’t feed it right all the time. I push it to exhaustion, then drink caffeine to get more done. I stress it out. And I work it too much.

Then, I get mad at it when it gets sick.

Always at the worst time, right?

Like at my kids’ robotics tournament last weekend. I ended up live-streaming the majority of their matches from my hotel bed. Lame.

Time out.

I’m taking a few lines to brag about my kids’ and their superior minds. Here’s the info on FRC. Basically, they have 6 weeks to build a robot to compete against other robots in a game. This year’s theme was steampunk. Must share pictures: (Left) Jake and Emma all dressed up. Aren’t they awesome? (Right) Donavan, one of their team members, working on the robot. We ended up ranked 4th, behind two world champs. Not too shabby.

 

Game on.

Some of you might not know I battle a severe gluten intolerance. When I discovered it almost five years ago, I managed it with food. But since my last “poisoning” in November, I’ve had flare-ups like crazy. Which means,  I’ve been in moderate discomfort to severe pain for five month straight.

Most everyone asks what it feels like. Imagine this . . .

I can’t stand up straight because some invisible sadist has stabbed me through with a broad sword, which also prevents me from sitting. And, as if that wasn’t enough, it burns like some torture-loving-tyrannt poured hot acid on it.

Now you know. You’re welcome.

In the past, modern medicine has been no help. So, I’ve toddled through on my own, researching, playing with food, exercise/no exersise, trying to find patterns, etc. It worked mostly. But the last five months have been brutal.

I’m so done.

Done, trying this and that. Done, hoping I’m eating the right things. Done, winging my way through this. Done, not being able to fully engage in my life because I know that either I’m going to have to bail because of pain, or muscle my way through it.

Thank God for homeopathy. It’s cut my torture times in half, sometimes by more. But still, I’m getting worse. Not to mention the rib pain (or is it my liver? or scar tissue from gallbladder surgery), my wrist pain for the last decade, neck pain, shoulder pain, and deep fatigue.

I tell you this, not to complain, but so you understand the extent to which I feel my body has betrayed me.

Yes, betrayed me.

I am not being dramatic. I am being honest.

Is it any wonder why I’ve disassociated from it?

But I know this body is a gift in which I get to experience the wonders of the world. This body can bring me pleasure as much as it can bring me pain. Without this body I have no physical life.

It is time to reconnect.

Probably, overdue.

But to reconnect I have to be brave.

I have to get answers. I have to go to a doctor. I have to be honest. I have to go to tests and get stuck with needles.

But even more than that, I need to pay attention to my body, because a diagnosis doesn’t really help with the reconnection problem.

Our culture thrives on busy-ness and living on the go. We’ve made it socially unacceptable to have weakness, and god forbid you mention those weaknesses to anyone, because you will either be exploited, made fun of, or judged by them.

Why is our performance rated mountains above our health?

Why do we applaud the unbalanced, busy woman?

Why do we admire the man who works eighty hours a week?

Why do we kill ourselves to make sure we appear a certain way?

No matter who you are I bet you can find a way you fall into the performance trap.

Mine? I don’t want to let people down. I will “should” myself to literal physical and mental illness to make sure I don’t disappoint you. I’m getting better at not falling into this trap. I’m still not stellar at it, but I’m leaps and bounds beyond where I was even a year ago.

I can discuss this subject all day, but it comes down to putting in place practical ways to reconnect to my body.

But how?

I’ve heard yoga and massage help.

I’m already getting massages once a month, but I end up chatting with my massage therapist because I like her so much. Here’s a way you can hold me accountable. During my next massage (coming up April 6th), instead of chatting it up, I will concentrate on connecting with my body. This will be a double whammy, because I’ll have to overcome possibly hurting her feelings.

Yoga. Oh yoga. A few weeks ago, I found a class I want to try. It uses meditation too. I think it might have even said something about connecting mind and spirit to body. Have I done it?

No.

What if I hate it? What if it gives me a flare-up? What if it’s too New Age-y for me?

What if it helps?

Sigh.

I can do this. I will do this. And so can you!

Have you disconnected from your body? What’s your poison for running yourself ragged? Do you have a performance trap? Dare to be honest with yourself. Only when we’re dead honest and tear away all the excuses, can we really move forward and start to heal. I’m right here with you!

Let me know about your journey. Comment below or head over to Acts of Bravery. And if you like this post share it! It’ll mean a lot to me.


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