I'm moving into a better phase. The trauma I've been processing has become less pressing and the Summer has arrived - result = more activity. As always, when that happens I get more pain. I forget not to fill the watering can to the brim but to half fill it. I forget to ask someone else to inflate the paddling pool and I forget to take breaks when I'm hunched over my crochet. It's because I'm revelling in the doing and I don't want to stop. And in the evenings and first thing in the morning I pay for it with sickening nerve pain mostly in my shoulders and arms. I'm strapped up to my TENS machine and dosed with paracetamol berating myself for being so stupid.
Anyway, with beautiful timing, my friend Katie sent me this book. Fibromyalgia; Simple Relief through Movement by Stacie L Bigelow. It's full of common sense wisdom such as - there is a difference between exercise and activity - and - you don't have to feel like exercising in order to do it. So with that, I made a 'choice' this morning to get up and do my stretches before I had any coffee. I've been stretching, patchily for maybe ten years now. I know when I'm in a good routine it definitely helps with the pain. I'm also starting to understand my resistance to physicality. This sounds whacko if you haven't experienced it, but memory gets stored in the body as well as the brain. The brain stores memory pretty well, and it's an organism made of much the same stuff as the rest of our body - so why is it such a leap to think the body can record events? I'm probably preaching to the converted here, but I'm thinking back to a time, not so long ago, when I found this concept very difficult to understand.
My way of coping with all the trauma I experienced over the years was to bury it, to lock it up in my body and pretend it wasn't there. This kind of dissociation is not done out of choice, it just happens, it's a defence mechanism. A little like an emotional immune system that protects the brain from complete meltdown through shock. So, of course, if I do anything physical it stirs it all up, I feel uncomfortable emotionally AND physically, so I stop. Or not start at all.
Avoidance and dissociation have been, up to now, my emotional processing styles of choice. My body has been the kitchen bin for my unwanted and toxic feelings. It is over full. Flies are buzzing around it and the smell is quite overpowering. Time to don the rubber gloves and do some serious cleaning. And then I have to make sure I don't allow it to get in that state again. I need a different style of emotional processing which allows me to express and transform my feelings. I'm developing this through my creativity. It's hard work. I move forward and slip back and move forward and slip back.