Monday, February 06, 2006

For Idiots :)

"What's encouraging about meditation is that even if we shut down, we can no longer shut down in ignorance. We see very clearly that we're closing off. That in itself begins to illuminate the darkness of ignorance."

-Pema Chodron

I am beginning a little light winter reading, lol, "The Idiots Guide To Fibromyalgia," and, "The Idiots Guide to Tai-Chi & Qi Gong." LOL. Both are a part of my new lifestyle changes that are required since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia last December. I don't know, sometimes it all seems so overwhelming, but then I try to remind myself that this isn't the first time I have had to reinvent myself. The last time I had to start all over was when I went nuts a few years ago. At that time it was a matter of working on a more healthy thought process, this time it will involve the whole of my being. Mind, body and spirit.

I bought these books, on the recommendation of my medical doctor, because they are so easy to read, written in plain English and contain exactly what I need to begin this new journey. I am thinking of them as a road map. Along with the books, I am also beginning some meditation and yoga, plus doing some aromatherapy. I have done some mediation in the past, that isn't really new to me. I did some Qi-Gong when first went a little nuts back in 1999. I didn't appreciate it as much back then as a tool to help me heal. That was short-sided on my part. I had become profoundly ill, very quickly and I didn't understand how that particular philosophy would help me heal. I think I wasn't ready to give up the overwhelming pain I was in. See, pain had become safe somehow.

My bad. I, of course, became even more the point I couldn't talk anymore. Ok, lesson learned. LOL. I see my therapist once a week, she has helped me find my voice. It isn't always so painful to go to those sessions. Sometimes it's ok to just go in, sit down and laugh our asses off for the hour. That helps make it ok for when I need to work really hard on the stuff that has lived inside me, tormenting me for my whole life. Those sessions are a little like pulling my spleen out my armpit. LOL. It's unfortunately true..."No Pain, No Gain." Someday, it won't hurt anymore, if I can just face it today.

The unfair part, the part that makes me want to whine, and throw things, and get really mad, is that stress tends to exacerbate the Fibromaylgia. "So what is Fibromayalgia anyway?" you ask. Good question. I don't actually know too much about it myself, but I will explain to you the way the good book explains it. Fibromyalgia comes from the Latin words fibro, my, algia. Which translated means fibrous tissues, muscles, and pain. Yep...that's it! My body feels like I have been in some kind of accident. My joints hurt, my hands swell sometimes so much it feels like they will burst. I can't type, I can't hold a book to read. Sometimes I wake up and my hands and legs will be asleep, but the tingling feeling that happens when a limb will fall asleep with be amplified. LARGE. My right foot swells. Just my right foot, not my left one. That's irritating because my shoes don't feel too good most of the time, although the shoes I bought off an EBAY auction feel really good on my feet, and they used to belong to Alyssa Milano. LOL. They are Charmed. LOL. We both wear a size 6. :)

Ok, so, chronic pain in my tendons, ligaments, and the muscles, that run throughout my body. Swelling in my joints. Migraines, Restless Leg syndrome, which feels like there are bugs running up and down my legs, that causes a strange twitching and painful sensations. It sometimes it hurts to have someone just touch my skin. A hug, a kiss, even the slightest caress. That part hurts my feelings because I am a touch person. It feels good to have human contact. They say you live longer, when you are open to human contact like hugging and holding hands, or paws. :) Elvis and I would sleep holding paws...not so much anymore. :( I think he understands, because he curls up with me after Alan leaves in the morning. He will scoot under the covers and rest on Alan's pillow.

It's the cognitive difficulties that hurt my feelings the most. I forget words, I lose my train of thought. I make loads of spelling errors. Errors I wouldn't have made ten years ago. Sometimes, when I realize how often I make mistakes writing in my blog, I can't believe you still read me. Sigh. I am working on it. I have to, I can't just give up...right? I have had to fix a lot of deep crap in my life, in order to get up and keep going, but isn't that the way it is? Challenges come along for everyone, and we have two choices on our course of action. Whine, give up, put ourselves down and insist we will never be better then we are right now, embrace every negative notion we can about ourselves we can find. "I am fat and will never look any different." "I am a loser who can't do any better with my life." I have to second guess myself, because I am not able to choose a proper path for myself." Or care enough about ourselves to get up, and do what we have to do to keep going.

I have to say, it infuriates me to hear negative things coming from people I find impressive. It is like they are saying, "You have terrible taste in people you admire, because you choose to admire me." It is lazy of people to give up on themselves and accept the path of least resistance. Will we EVER reach perfection? Hell no! But trust me, I have been down in the deepest of wells, believing that I couldn't get up, but I did finally get back up because once you realize that you must go through winter to reach can find that inner drive to get well. Now mental illness is a lot different then chronic physical ailments...or is it? Depression is ususally chronic. Oh, you find ways of coping, and you will go for long periods of time where things are very normal, even blissful, but there will be relapses which can occur for many reasons. And we always have that choice to make. Will I get back up? It only took one time to figure out I had the perfect suicide plan, to realize how completely selfish it is to even think about going through with it. Never again.

So, like with mental illness, I will educate myself on why I feel so full of pain all the time. I will meditate and clear myself of negativity. I will learn to cope with how I feel honestly. I will make the effort for myself first, so I can care for those who love me. I will give myself a break. I will let myself learn new things. God I love the view of new things! I will enjoy the hell out of the new practicing yoga in the park this next spring and summer. Sleeping with a lavender scented mask on, that Alan says is sexy ;)Making fabulous new meals that are good for the body and soul. Don't ya just love whole fruit smoothies? And more then anything I plan to love...a lot. Myself and others. And if one day I am too tired to embrace it with all my senses...well that's ok too. :) I hope you don't mind if I share this journey I am on with you once in a while. Tell me what you think.

Berkeley, California
February 5th, 2005
Late Evening


Celeste said...

The journey that you take with fibro is part of you. We are here for the good and the bad. That is what friends are for.

Nancy said...

Wow Carly...what a deep, poignant and beautiful entry. Thank you for letting us know you better. Yes, it is a journey, and no..we must not give tempting as it is at times. You have so much to offer others...but more importantly, so much to give to yourself. It's endless.

Gannet Girl said...

Well, the challenges of life are the places where we learn. I will be honored to read the story of your journey,

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Dang, Carly, this is inspiring as heck. I have never admired you more than I do at this moment. You have exactly the right attitude, and exactly the right plan for moving forward. Bless you, and may all your hard work pay off!


Dave said...

I suppose the journeys that make the best changes in our lives are the ones that we least want to take. That's intentional, I think.

Positivity counts for a lot, and you have that! God bless you as you strive forward!

Barb Pinion said...

I'm a touch person too, hon, so know how much you must miss it. my Johnny has Fibromyalgia too so I can understand a little of how you feel. I am glad you chose to share your journey. If one can't touch with the hands one can always embrace through the heart. Looking forward to traveling alongside you. Am here for you and you're always in my prayers.

Steven said...

My favorite metaphor for a journey is take three steps forward and then two back so at least you know you are going somewhere. A direction, a path and a plan.

Sounds like you are set :-)

V said...

The Mindfulness Approach to chronic pain seems to be quite helpful to many. I`m glad you`re practicing meditation, Carly. Has to help.