In A Void

January 27, 2010

I am in a void. Nothing feels good. I am powerless of the situations around me and I hate this feeling. I hate hating. My boss is a tyrant and I need to apply to other jobs. My dog is getting older and is having a very difficult time in lifting herself up and it is breaking my heart. Things with my man feel strained because I want him to fix it all, but he can’t. He shouldn’t because I am a big girl who has to take care of herself!!!

I can understand how one becomes an addict because tolerating these feelings is unbearable. But the sad thing is drinking a beer last night didn’t feel good either. If anything it tells me I want something very strong to completing numb my body.

I’ve started the movement class where my mind is learning to let my body act without thought. And I feel miserable. I am in a void. I am tired.


New Skin

January 16, 2010

So I’m feeling physically better but don’t know how to emotionally feel about it. I’m in bed on a lovely Saturday morning and don’t want to get out. I feel heavy but I know it is all emotional weight and not physical. My pain teacher tells me my mind is part of my body yet I don’t want to connect the two.

My infusion treatments are reduced to every 8 weeks instead of every 6 weeks. This is because I physically feel better. I Feel Good. No aches; no flare-up; no fatigue from the methotrexate. There is nothing physically wrong with me. I am healthy!! So why am I so blue? I am healthy physically but why can’t I emotionally experience it.

Terror. Ruled by the terror of not knowing what will be. Or possibly ruled by the terror of knowing I am happy but it will all be taken away. This feels like old repressed memory of possibly having my favorite doll or blanky ripped out of my hands and thrown away never to be seen again because I was told to be strong and not weak by seeking comfort? It sure as hell feels that way. And today it backfires, because I want to cling to what I know to be true – don’t seek comfort and support because it wont last – that which doesn’t serve me anymore the gray truth that I am not enough and will always suffer – I have to forge new skin and I need to grab onto new white truth that I am well I am happy I am blessed and even possibly I am beautiful and have something to offer? Ha!

Low Energy

January 10, 2010

I’m tired and don’t have much energy to write but don’t want to fall out of the routine of writing something often.  Quick note, tomorrow I have my Remicade infusion after 8 weeks instead of my usual 6 and I hope to have more energy after that and continue to write.

In working with my Pain Management therapist in the Grinberg Method, I have come to learn that when my mind feels pain in my body and interprets it as a possible flare-up, my mind and body suddenly become filled with the fear of what that pain means; lack of movement, heat to that joint, pain with any movement, continual pain,  feeling of helplessness,  fatigue, having to ask for help and the general malaise it will cause.  As I now compound the pain with all the layers of fear  the pain of a possible flare-up will cause I invest more energy and a clear channel existing pain, thus increasing it.

As long as I can minimize and not make my pain a catastrophe, I have a better opportunity not to have the pain at all.  I know it works because I had a flare-up in my right knee and when I stopped favoring that knee and simply accepted the pain, it went away.  Part of accepting the pain also meant surviving the pain and the clear understanding that the pain will not kill me.

This encourages me to keep facing my fears in hope of truly living a painfree life.

No Sleep

January 5, 2010

So today I returned to work after having 10 days off – 6 of which were furloughed.  I am not happy in my current position and I  find it difficult to wrangle myself to work after truly enjoying each of my days off.  Today’s energy level was at an even lower rate than usual because I woke up at 2 a.m. and did not succeed in falling back asleep.  I did slumber for about 40 mins between 5 and 6, otherwise I watched the clock tick by hour by hour.

My mind was engrossed in a constant one way communication with my boss about how unfair he is to my assistant;  about how he went back on his word when he hired her;  about how I don’t care about his life or divorce;  about how he never asks about my life or how I am doing; about how sorry and humiliated he will be when I leave him for another position; about a dear friend of mine going through a difficult episode with her husband.

After those conversations with other people were over, I then turned on myself and began to berate myself about how I know better and this should not be happening to me;  how I know about breathing and meditating and relaxation techniques and I should fall asleep now.  Just close my eyes take deep breaths, relax, clear the mind and simply fall asleep.  Easy as that.  Nope. 4 o’clock came and went.

I then turned on the TV – Turner Classic Movies – and there was a movie about Heidi the girl who lived in the Swiss Alps – perfect mindless TV to lull me back to slumber.  Nope it ended 5 or 6  o’clock rolled around.

All along though I  did not work my emotional self up and become frantic or desperate to get back to sleep.  Although feelings of hopelessness did filter through a few times and the agony of what this day would be like on only 4 hours sleep filled me with dread.   I tried to rationalize by believing that there are many people who survive on only 4 hours sleep and that I am being indulgent in needing 7 or 8.  (Mind you, I have a chronic condition that can cause inflammation “flare-ups” because of lack of sleep AND I work for an MD who does sleep research and is adamant that less than 7 hours of sleep can lead to inflammation).   So today the hours continued to pass by at a snail’s pace.  I was ready to leave work and come home feeling as if I had worked a full days by 10:30 a.m.

And where I am finding the energy to write this blog, I am truly surprised and perhaps this is supply an energy in myself that I did not know I possessed.  And probably tomorrow when I read this over, all my errors will be very apparent. (thank goodness for spell-check)  But for tonight I put no pressure on myself to have a full nights restorative sleep, but will put my faith in a sleep aid to assure my mind and body that tomorrow will be full of more energy because it is not up to me to make me sleep.  Just for tonight.

Sweet dreams!

The next 3 months

January 5, 2010

I believe that my auto-immune system has been in overdrive since 1967 when I was in utero.  I believe I can heal  my body by releasing all the stimulus it has carried and teach my body a new way of existing which is to simply exists = breath calmly;  both a physical and a soul’s journey.

My friends and teachers have encouraged me to write my voice of my journey through my past and of my present.  My primary focused today is in healing and ridding my body of  Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It is an auto-immune disease where my body attacks itself and eats away at all my joints, causing pain, inflammation, stiffness as well as night sweats and fatigue.  I was diagnosed in 2006 and have experienced the gamut of highs and lows of this degenerative disease.  My treatment has been both high and low weekly doses of  Methotrexate (chemo) and every 6th week an infusion treatment called Remicade.  Needless to say the weekly chemo makes me ill and fatigued, although I keep up a 40 hour work week.  I’ve only missed work a few days when I’ve had bad flare-ups or nights without sleep, but no more than two days in a row.

My first emotional stage was fear and yet validation because  finally there was something on the “outside” that identified how I felt all the time on the “inside.”  Stiff, swollen, lethargic and in pain all the time.  Although after I received the diagnosis, initially I vowed to not to let it stop my life and I continued with my set travel plans to ski in  Vail two weeks later.   I simply focused on trying to not be in pain and lived in the fear of when I would be in pain again.

Other emotional stages during flare-ups where  I was unable to move either shoulders, or my hip or my jaw to eat or speak where feelings of wanting to die, depression, as well as feelings of defeat, helplessness and failure.

My current emotional and physical belief stage is that my body will heal itself and I will be done with RA and RA will be done with me.  I’ve gained this insight by working with a Reiki master, receiving acupuncture, seeing therapists and for the past few months intensive weekly work with a practioner of the Grinberg Method.   I also have a wonderful MD – a Rheumatologist – whom I see every 6 weeks.  All of these individuals provide a bit of respite from either my physical dis-ease or my emotional dis-ease;  some do both.

Over the years I have worked on removing the internal emotional pain that my external body seems to mirror and thus the effect is RA.  I have made a further commitment to invest all my energy and resources to truly healing my body of RA.

For the next 3 months I am going to change my diet some more, write every day, exercise and truly delve into my bodies old pain, memories and fears with the goal of ridding my body of the disease of RA and heal it from the harmful side effects the medications which have served to stop the RA from wrecking my joints.

This will be a moment by moment journey and it will be what it will be.  For today I can choose to take another step and look forward to where the road will take me.

In reading some journal entries of past years, before I write a new entry in this new year, I see that I have a tendency to have a fear infused view of the world in my life.  Fear of loosing someone, fear of not being healthy, fear of not achieving what I am intended to achieve in this life time.  I don’t want to criticize my past however, there are too many of those entries and with a new perspective this year I want to calm those fears and try out a new way of viewing the world in terms of my life.   I’d like to take each day with less fear and with more hope in the realization of what really exists today.

Today I am loved and healthy and that is real.  What is there to be scared of?  Why is being loved and healthy not enough?  “NOT ENOUGH”  is the running undercurrent of my fears.  And the sure fact is, what is, simply is! Of course I can be slimmer, I can be more energetic, I can learn to exercise everyday and love it.  But the truth is I don’t have those attributes today AND I am still worthy of health and love.  And the beauty of being conscious person is that I can learn to have those attributes if I want them.  I always have that choice a choice.

Every day I can choose to focus on what exists and is true;  Not criticize what I don’t know and work on staying clear of the stagnant state of living in the fear of what I don’t know.   Today I know that I am enough.