Imagine that you are in pain for days. For four or five days, you are in excruciating pain when you wake up and it lasts for hours until your Aleve kicks in. When the Aleve kicks in there is still a dull pain and aching in all your muscles because you have been trying not to clinch everything in yourself against the pain. So basically, your body has been in alarm for at least four days. When it is over what do you do? Do you rest? Do you relax and think, “I am so glad that’s over, I am going to be good to myself today after all that I have been through?”
The first couple of times I went through this, I am sure that was my response. I don’t remember because it was that long ago. After years of these episodes, I responded differently. I sulk. I have at least one day of sulking. It is pathetic I know. I somehow feel stupid for not knowing it is coming, and not being tougher when the pain does come. I feel sorry for myself for having to deal with the pain and then hate myself for feeling sorry for myself.
I am trying to have more compassion with myself. I think that yoga and mindfulness can help with that. Trying to be compassionate to yourself and then with others is important to all healing. I really am having a hard time with compassion and empathy lately. I think that I am just so tired of the pain that my subconscious is wanting to take it out on everyone else, especially republicans…(joking, kind of.) I think there is a sort of confluence of horrible news, family crazy, and bad health that is making me evil. I was even rude to someone who brings me groceries. I am NEVER rude to strangers unless they do something crazy like kick puppies. I know what it is like to be summarily be treated like crap because you work in the service industry. I do not approve of it at all. It is like a point of pride for me.
So, I have become something I hate and am having a really hard time with it. I want to be a nice person who doesn’t yell at my husband for sweeping crumbs off the counter onto the floor. I want to be the person that tips nicely and says things like, “Have a nice day.” I’ve begun to resent everyone, just because I feel shitty and they don’t. I think of other reasons, don’t be mistaken. If you are reading this and you know me, I am probably mad at you for something. That’s a problem if I am angry at all those who support me.
So how do I turn this around. Prayer can help, of course, but I feel like I need some extra help. I was talking to my physical therapist complaining about my recovery time and how it is hard to pull myself out of the depression/angst. So these feelings are bleeding into the time when I actually feel good. I get depressed, resentful and angry. I can’t just wake up and turn that off. It has never been easy to do, but now it’s just getting old. My gynecologist recommended a psychologist a long time ago, but I didn’t think I needed one then. Now that my physical therapist has recommended it too. I really think it’s the better choice than pushing all my friends away. She says that there are specialists that can give me techniques that I can use to recover more quickly. I guess a lot of people with chronic pain need recovery tips. I need a way to get over myself, or I am going to lose a lot more than just days with pain.
Husband and I took to the mat while listening to the sounds of a yoga Pandora channel. My apartment windows were open and the place fragranced with snow and bacon. It reminded me of my Grandma’s house. If I was lucky enough to get there after breakfast Grandma would scuttle me into the kitchen and load all the left overs in a big skillet. Then she’d give me a smile and say, “I need you to feed the birds for me, they’re really hungry.” I would feel so important to be given that job. I’d take the skillet out onto the porch down to the grass and spread the leftover breakfast. Then I’d come back in and get my reward bacon. Grandma had a way of making me feel so special. I think of how brilliant she was. She fed the birds, recycled breakfast, got me out of their hair for a little bit, and made me feel special at the same time. I loved her so much. I miss her. Thinking of her always makes me want to be a better person.
I want to go back to savoring being able to wake up, cuddle, cook breakfast, do the dishes, and do yoga all without pain. It should be glorious, like the feeling you get when a car alarm is going off outside for hours and it finally stops. The pain pushes me close to mania and then after three or four days of that I wake up and the sun is out and the birds are singing! I turned on my Pandora today and the song “Can you feel a brand new day,” from The Wiz came on. Every time I hear that song I feel goose bumps and want to dance. The message is amazing because it is like a fresh slate and a message of empowerment and renewal. I know essentially it is about the emancipation which to me is so powerful. To talk about something so horrible with empowerment and joy. I want to be that classy. I want to be a better person, the person who can recover quickly and be empowered for a new day.