Feeling Better

I am almost afraid to write this, but my pain has been down for a little over a week. It’s not gone, but I am not in pain 100% of the time! I went for a 20 minute walk outside today and listened to music like I used to. It was a beautiful day too, nice and cool and sunny. My massage therapist is the only one who has helped me reduce the pain in a significant way. I truly underestimated the seriousness of soft tissue pain and how extreme the pain from tight or injured muscle and fascia can be. It can grab a nerve and not let go. Exercising and stretching couldn’t release it, no matter how many people told me to exercise. At least, it didn’t for me. I can’t overstate how important the right massage therapist has been to my healing. Thank you Erin Leigh!

I’ve also started my novel and have written 42 pages! It took me almost a year to figure out how I could start writing again when sitting is so painful (especially sitting upright, which you need to do at a computer). Eventually, I found that the best way for me to write is lying down. I use this stand called Laptop Laidback. It’s genius. You lie down, and put the stand over your body and put your laptop on it. You can velcro it to the stand, but I don’t do that. It sits on the stand just fine without it.

Telling you about my novel will help me keep writing. It would be too embarrassing to stop part way! When I write, I feel so much better! It plugs me back in to the experience of life, connecting me to myself, to the world and maybe to something even greater. When I write, I take myself off the shelf. I count. I matter. I exist. I am living again.

This Fragile Balance

I have been wanting to write all week, but feel like I am fighting off a cold or the flu. My energy is low and feels so fragile. I am taking the day off today to rest, take vitamins, drink lots of water, and try to relax. It is a weird predicament to be always resting but seldom relaxed, lying down but never restored. Sometimes I know that the lack of energy comes from being so sedentary, but today it feels like fighting off the flu. Self care has become very, very confusing. I try to pay attention to what I need each day. Perhaps 5 minutes on the elliptical will boost my energy (on a good day I can do up to 15) – or will I push myself too hard and get sick?

This fragile balance is a daily struggle. I am grateful for the concept of Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. It validates this feeling that energy is limited and even the smallest activity must be part of a plan for the day. Do I have the energy to take a shower, blow-dry my hair, leave the house, put gas in the car? I can’t take any of these activities for granted.

So how do I balance the need for rest with the need for meaning and productivity? Today it means doing the best I can with writing this post. There are some things other things I can do: I am trying to write a novel. I have never done that before! So today, as I rest, I can read a book on novel-writing, learn about plot and structure, and then just watch some darn TV.