Well it’s the time of year I always try not to think about. The temperatures drop, the wind sneaks under my jacket, and water flows from the dark clouds as the barometric pressure drops. Despite keeping up my positive expectations for my life with fibro, the start of this change in our weather patterns brings a sense of fear in. Each year I believe I will do better when it hits, and each year I learn again that this is simply not how my body reacts.
While my body reacts with an increase in my pain levels, my mind begins the internal struggle of acceptance. I find my thoughts at war. The flares of pain put me back in bed making one part of my emotions lean towards hopeless. The mindful self jumps in and begins planning how to accept living well doing less. It’s interesting to observe.
I know my friends and family probably feel that I should be used to these increased pain changes and continue to get on with life. I could buy into this belief and get upset with myself, but to what end goal? Being angry at myself only serves to increase my pain by creating additional emotional stress.
Today I am in bed. I am observing these thoughts right now. I am not angry at my pain. Disappointed, yes. Tomorrow I will regroup my plans for my expectations of how much and where I can work, do household chores, and continue my exercise routine (one I just created). Today, I accept the need for rest.
This site was emailed to me today. It is a all encompassing brain site. It even solicits input from it’s subscribers. And, it is free.
This particular story I linked discusses mindfulness, with a Buddhist slant, however we can all use the idea of being mindful without being a Buddhist. The story can also just be useful as a reminder to stop being so hard on ourselves! I know that I create scenarios that are end-of-the-world all too easily. It takes awareness, which requires me to practice being aware of this state, in order to back off and give myself a break. Not to mention the other persons in this life! Pain tends to create both a stressed out mind and a understanding mind. I often find these sparring with each other in my thoughts.
Being aware, or mindful has really helped me to stop my thoughts from battling it out. It is, and was, a practice that I chose to use. Mindfulness has become a well researched concept over the last decade. Neuroscience and psychology are using this to understand and assist people in all walks of life. I teach a method of mindful relaxation; a group I developed ten years ago. This excerpt from Toni Berhard’s book is based on her experience of living with chronic pain and illness.
A piece of her story immediately jumped out at me; letting go of being the “title”. I returned to college two years after I began living with fibromyalgia. I spent the next ten years in college and universities achieving my MSW; Child and Family Therapy degree. Before I could begin my career, I was rear-ended at a stop light by a van going 30mph. I was devastated for the first 16 months! All the physical and mental problems this created in body stopped my dream of having a fulfilling career. While those problems are still ongoing, I have once again been given a gift; I slowed down (no option) and am now finding a new way to use all the academic and personal experiences in my own way, my own business. You may also find this comforting. Maybe not now, but down the path of your live lived Well.
Being able to use the tool of letting go of our negative thoughts that assist in reinforcing our worst fears is very useful for me. I hope you find it to be useful as well.
Note: It is a larger download, but a short, informative read. It can always be deleted when finished, or keep it for inspiration.
Lucinda, Fibromyalgia Peer Advocate/Life Coach Advisor