I’ve been dealing with massively awful pain for the last couple of weeks or so.
Thanks for being so understanding-you guys are the best!
Harnessing the healing power of snark
So lately, I have not been doing all that well. There has just been a lot of shit going on around here lately:
-many, many, MANY days of spiking an 8, 9, or 10 on the pain scale
-helping my husband prepare for his job interview, and then waiting to see whether or not he got the job
-two weeks without any sun
-the Atlanta flood
-and the worst migraine I have had in years
And given the fact that I was on shaky ground to being with, it’s been re-a-ll-y hard for me not to go to the dark place in my thoughts and in my feelings. Especially since I was recently diagnosed with “rapid mood cycling”, something which falls somewhere along the bipolar spectrum. I haven’t wanted to talk about that here, because for some reason, even though I talk about everything else I have to deal with, I thought that if I mentioned this, then it would be the final nail on my crazy coffin.
So I’ve pretty much been at ground zero as far as participating in life goes-hitting the bottom and then s-l-o-w-l-y coming back up again.
And it’s particularly hard right now because it seems like everyone around me is making huge strides on their big dreams, and I am so far away from that place that my dreams are really painful. There’s nothing to say that I can’t have them at some point in my life, but I can’t have them right now. And that is really, really hard. I’m happy for those people, AND I am sad for me. Because the things I can do right now are so small, and feel so inconsequential, that it feels like nothing I do really matters or is in any way contributing to life.
So these things that I can do, I’ve heard them called many different things-connecting the dots, doing the next logical step, reaching for the thought that feels better, doing what’s in front of you. And so that is where I started this morning.
First, I was inspired to go and sit in the sun, the sun which I am especially grateful for after the week we had (because, did I mention there was a FLOOD? Here in THE CITY! A city which HAS NO PLACE FOR FLOOD WATERS TO GO!)
And then I did a little EFT: “Even though I feel so disconnected from myself, from God, from life, and from the creative flow, I’d really like to see if I can find a way to reconnect just a little bit.” “Even though I feel so empty and used up, I woke up this morning, and I’m still breathing, and still thinking, so I guess there’s some more for me here somewhere. I guess this isn’t ‘it’ for me.”
I just had to lay it all down-dreams, ideas, wishes, relationships, meaning, purpose, illness-I just had to put it all on the altar and let it go, because gripping onto these things so tightly was preventing me from being able to hear my next step, and from being able to find any peace or relief.
So after I had soaked up some sun, and surrendered, I looked over and thought, “Huh-I guess I could pull the dead leaves off of this chamomile plant.” And there it was-my next step.
And then as I was trimming the plant I heard, “I think you would probably feel a little better if you took a shower and got dressed in some of your cute new clothes.” Once again-there was my next step.
And then after I was clean and dressed I heard, “You know, it might just perk you up a little bit to do a load of laundry. But, hey-make sure you pay attention to me on this. I AM NOT TELLING YOU TO GO AND CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE, DO YOU HEAR ME? One load of laundry, that’s it.”
And then I remembered that today is the day the new episode of my favorite podcast comes out.
And so it has gone today.
And eventually it will be time for my husband to come home, and I’ll have some company. And then it will be time for pizza Friday. And then it will be time to watch last night’s episode of “The Mentalist”. And then it will be time to watch my husband play his current video game, even though the music makes me want to rupture my own ear drums, (which I’ve actually done before-but not on purpose). And then it will be time to go to bed.
And then I will not only have survived, and made it through today, but I will have actually have thrived. Just a little bit.
Image courtesy of Free Foto.
He is quite the Renaissance Man.
He can receive the following text from me:
“If I’m asking myself, ‘How much pain should I be able to tolerate before I take any meds?’, is that a sign that I should be taking some meds?
and be just as happy to hear the one (that I am asking for help in taking care of myself) as he is to hear the other (signs of the return of spring).
Do you remember this commercial from the 80’s?
Picture of an egg: “This is your brain.”
Picture of an egg frying in a pan: “This is your brain on drugs.”
Well, I’m feeling a real affinity for that commercial this morning. and I’m thinking that I could revive that ad campaign by making my own, updated version of that commercial. Only mine would not be about substance abuse. Mine would say, “This is my brain after four days of an extremely inflamed shoulder muscle, which was then poked with what felt like really sharp sticks, but was actually a licensed health care professional using medically approved health care tools.” Catchy, huh?
The purpose of my commercial would be to illustrate the process my mind undergoes as it searches for the perfect, most articulate, most precise method of utilizing swear words to describe this particular pain. (Hey, I never said my commercial would have any deep or meaningful purpose.)
Step 1: I mentally inventory all the “bad” words I know, often trying them out in a Fill-In-The-Blank, Complete The Following Sentence With The Best Word sort of situation.
For example, “_____, my shoulder hurts!” Or, “My shoulder hurts like_____!” (This is where all my years as a language teacher really come in handy.)
Step 2: Once I’ve settled on the perfect word I play around with it a bit, to see if there are any ways that I can embellish it.
For example, Can I string it out by adding extra syllables? Can I stress it in a different way? Can I pronounce it in a funny accent?
Step 3: Next I look for a catchy theme song or a kicky advertising jingle, in order to set my words to music.
I don’t need to provide an example here, because I know that if you’re reading this post, you’re already experimenting with this process for yourself.
Step 4: Generally by this time the pain meds have begun to kick in, so my song drifts down to the level of a mantra, or a tribal chant.
For example, “BUM, bum, bum, bum, BUM, bum, bum, bum, BU-um, BUM.”
I’m not really sure what happens next because, if all has gone according to plan, at this point I am finally asleep. Or, at the very least, I am enjoying the benefits of a heavily medicated stupor, cradled by this gentle lullaby: “BUM, bum, bum, bum, BUM, bum, bum, bum, BU-um, BUM.”