Resistance is Futile.

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I have been thinking a lot about change and resistance to change. When I look at where I am in my life right now, I can’t believe how content I am.  I’m living with and managing chronic pain and I am having more fun than I have in years.  When I found out what all was going on with my body, I was somewhat in shock. Then, the fear that consumed me took over from there.  All I could think about was everything I was losing-like running, for example. People with hip dysplasia are not encouraged to run if we want our hips to last. In my mind, everything I knew was being taken from me.  I felt my career slipping away from me when standing on a ladder for hours became impossible.  I learned about the surgeries and parts of my body that would never be the same.  Things like loss of mobility and scars would permanently change my body and then I would need to grieve those, as well.  Income, independence, relationship dynamics, volunteer work and hobbies, and what had always been, were all slipping away from me.

I failed to accept that some good may come from this transitional time in my life. See, god can bring good from a seemingly bad situation any day.  I really underestimated the power of my god. Now, I am not going to lie, changing all the things I listed above has not been easy.  There has, however, been so much good to come from it.  I am more in tune with my body and have learned how to listen to it.  I don’t feel guilty when I say I can’t attend or won’t make it or if I need to leave early.  I am comfortable being still and lost in thought.  I am comfortable and at peace when I am alone.

Since quitting my career, I have been able to excel in areas of my life that desperately needed attention.  I have focused on learning to cook and provide my family with healthy meals. I also have taken control over our finances and monthly budgeting is now occurring.  I get to be involved in my daughter’s school and extracurricular activities.  Life goes much slower and my stress is much lower.

I find myself with more time to spend in prayers for others. Being less busy means I get to know what is going on with family, friends and loved ones.  I feel like I was not present in my own life. I feel hopeful and excited for the future.  I am willing to try new things today.  I get to have all of this, even with my pain.  I feel so blessed when at the end of a long day I relax on bags of ice, finally grateful because I see what is in my life and not what is missing.

If only I would have had more faith, I think the mental anguish I had put myself in could have been avoided.  There was a time where I felt helpless, hopeless and broken.  I felt like I was losing everything.  That was not the case.  Yes, my life was changing, and there was nothing I could do about it.  No, I don’t like all of the changes that have had to occur.  Now, I know that god did not drop me.  I can see that god was carrying me. I do grasp the silver lining of this whole experience.  I am in a new beginning, not an end.

 

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Acceptance is Where Healing Begins

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I have been reflecting on acceptance and how it relates to my body.  I listened to a wise lady who works with people who are overweight.  She shared that people who are overweight never want to accept their body as it is, because they are afraid they will be stuck in that state forever. Like so many other things in life, this works in reverse.  People need to accept their body and its weight the way it is before they can make the changes they want.  I have to accept myself and my body at point A, so I can then get to point B, who I want to become.  I have been pondering what this means to me with my medical issues and pain. I did not want to accept my body with all the pain and problems. I was sure that some surgeon was going to wave his magic doctor wand over me and fix me. I just refused to accept that this was my body.

In my career, I worked with so many people who suffered from their bodies deteriorating.  When I struggled, they offered up many little solutions I could implement that would help. Like stretching, icing, relaxing, diet, yoga, pressure points and hot showers.  There are actually too many to list. I was unwilling to try their ideas, because they seemed too small to help the severity of my problem.  I was just going to fix it, not learn how to live with it.  Well, two back surgeries down the road, and at least two more major surgeries to go, I have begun to accept my situation and body the way it is.  I’m not saying that doctors or surgeries are not a solution. I am not a medical professional. I am saying that I may always have some level of pain and that is ok.

I have accepted my body in its entirety and that has given me the power to accommodate it and make small adjustments without leaving myself in emotional anguish. When I looked at myself as broken or flawed, I felt burdensome and guilty for how I was being forced to live. When I accept myself and god’s plan for me, I find peace in honoring my body.  I don’t feel guilty if my body needs to rest.  I am implementing all of those small suggestions and each one brings my pain level down a little bit. A multitude of small reductions of pain over time adds up to a big difference. Due to lack of acceptance, I was unwilling to hear, let alone try different suggestions. By the way, thank you to everyone who has offered up ideas and suggestions!

If I want to live a pain-free life and I want my loved ones to understand. I want to get back to work. I want to be able to do the things I did before this. If want to be less tired and irritable, I am going to have to accept my body the way it is right now. Accept it and be willing to accommodate my situation. Try ideas and suggestions that seem silly. This will not mean I will be stuck like this forever. This is actually the first step of change.  If I’m miserable and I desire change, I must accept myself as I am. Then, adjust my sails accordingly.