Running as a metaphor

I go out for a run. It is a holiday and I am aware that there are fewer cars on the road. Yet I keep in my place. At some point I realize that I could take the lane. Still, something keeps me on the line. When a car does come toward me I realize I am not safe. I have little right to be here.That car could be someone who is unable to see me for some reason. Or they could be angry at the world, and I am in the way. I must cede to my line for my own safety. Even on my line, am I safe? Do I have a right to this space? What part do I have a right to feel safe in?

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I want to be seen

I was in pain, but I was doing everything my life required. I just wanted someone to say…wow, you do so much and suffer from such pain. I wanted to be seen for the extraordinary soul I was. I actually wanted someone to show me my strength.

I sought a reason for the pain and fatigue. I was finally diagnosed with a fancy new term…Fibromyalgia. Anti-depressants were the cure. Well, that is what they said. I was excited for this new term. What I was doing and who I was would be recognized, finally. But the medications did not work and I felt others frustration with my apparent malingering. I was just weak and lazy.

The truth is, people could not see my pain. It is invisible as is/was my effort. I look normal as long as I pretend and do more than is good for me. I was not understood.

The trouble is, I also did not pay attention to myself. I also expected myself to produce as if I was not in pain or fatigued to the point of immobility. I was so mean to myself…still am sometimes. No one saw my heroism, not even me. I was lazy, broken, crazy, hopeless. Who do I talk to like that? Me.

It took me so long to learn to see how strong I am. I am still here after all. I raised my family, got through school and even more important, I learned to take care of myself. To speak with honor to my soul. I am so strong.

Who sees your pain? Likely no one. Do you? Who sees the strength of your soul? Not even you? Who gives you recognition? No one? What should we do about that?

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Always this

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How to Release Emotions Stuck in Your Body and Let Go of the Pain – Tiny Buddha

Unprocessed emotions get stored in our organs, muscles, and tissues. They lead to inflammation, chronic health problems, and emotional imbalance.
— Read on

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Memoirist: Evangelical Purity Movement Sees Women’s Bodies As A ‘Threat’ : NPR

In Pure, Linda Kay Klein reflects on the “deep, long-lasting shame” caused by churches that claim women and girls are responsible for the sexual desires of men.
— Read on

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Nocioplastic pain and its remedy

How to change your brain– increasing stamina and decreasing pain.

Nocioplastic pain (Central Sensitization Syndrome) It is not all in your head, but it is.

The old saying of pain being “all in your head” holds truth for all pain but it is not imagined. The signals for pain originate in the brain. Which kind of pain is the question, not “is it real?” Of course it is real. Never think I do not believe you are feeling pain. Why are you feeling pain though? There are three kinds of pain signals. Pain from something that is damaged, pain from nerves that are damaged and pain from a confused signaling system.

Clearly your brain communicates pain to your body. Sometimes it has a reason, but sometimes it is just confused. We think that the pain channel gets tied in with the anxiety alarm in the brain. Regardless of what is happening, the signal does not mean it is dangerous to move even though that is how we feel. The good news is that the body is able to change that message. Participating in certain activities can tell the brain we are not in danger, not harming ourselves or not needing to protect ourselves.

How do we create the message that we have no reason to experience pain or fatigue? By acting as if we are not in pain. The trick is to do it gently. Be active in a very progressive gentle way. Build up slowly. Act like an elite athlete but lower the goals. This is training just like an athlete trains.

How do we train? 1. Take note of current functioning levels, 2. Set goals for the next 3 mos, 3. Support your efforts with diet and healthy changes in behaviors, 4. Keep track of progress, 5. Join a group or find a coach, 6 increase goals slowly.

If we listen to pain without a critical view, we will avoid doing anything that triggers pain, but if the pain signal is confused, then it will not go away until we address the confusion. Reverse this by noticing pain, asking if it is from an identifiable source (broken toe) and if not, then move gently but progressively despite the pain.

Now, if we overdo it (which we all do on the good days) then we end up reinforcing the message that –exercise—behavioral changes– whatever are dangerous and we should play it safe. Back off and start again after a day of recovery. Moderate movement, moderate diet changes moderate changes in medication and chemicals (coffee for me) are the way toward recovery.

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The first step to change is suspending disbelief

in working with patients, I run up against so much disbelief. “Depression is a chemical imbalance” meaning what good is this CBT thing? And I will always hurt. Nevermind that science shows incredible responses to change in thinking or manipulating our neural pathways. Just look up the mirror experiment with phantom pain. Pain originates in the mind. See, there you go disbelieving. So how do I convince my patients to suspend their disbelief when they believe the result will be dissapointment.

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What causes depression?

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Fear of loving alone

I just realized this was a fear. I was learning alone was not so bad and then got involved with someone who was not right for me. Why? Because what if I stop looking. What if I give that up? I do not trust that what I need will be there. For now trust that being alone is what I need. Do it fully and with an open heart toward aloneness.

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