Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Physical vs. Mental

Those cramps that I was so happy not to be feeling yesterday came in today with a vengeance and had me doubled over in pain. This time I'm determined not to let it get me mentally down because it can be so demoralizing and depressing. I want to keep the physical pain separate from the mental anguish. When the two go together, I really do fall into a miserable state.

I think making this distinction was a very important step for me, especially when I know that this pain is something I'll have to endure on a regular basis. I know that some days (like today) the pain will truly be too much for me to push through. On these kinds of days I plan on resting and making the best choices possible in all other areas of my life.

I've definitely gotten better at listening to my body. Sometimes there's a fine line between feeling pain/discomfort but pushing through any way and feeling pain/discomfort but knowing it's time to back off. I can't always tell the difference. I do think that it's easy to fall into the trap of backing off without giving it your all. Still, I'm trying. I know that I would much rather be exercising than resting, so I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that I get my workout in whenever possible.

The other part of this lesson is what I mentioned above - distinguishing between physical pain and mental anguish. I need to keep the two separate. Falling into depression and remembering all those things that brought me down post-surgery is dangerous. This time I'm trying not to let my mind wander into that dark place. I feel pain. Fine. I feel pain. I do not need to let the negative thoughts add to the pain.

I know that I cannot keep letting myself spiral downwards on a monthly basis. It takes way too much effort to pick myself up again. I don't want to waste that type of time anymore. There are so many other things that need my attention.

Today marks the start of my attempt at this new attitude.

When I woke up this morning, I was in so much pain - I couldn't even rank it on a scale. Still, I put my clothes together in my gym bag, just in case. I took it easy leaving the house and told myself - get some errands done. They'll be a distraction. If I can make it to the gym, great. If not, then at least get other things done. That's what ended up happening. I managed to cross of eleven things on my list of things to do. I rested this afternoon, and then made some Marrakesh Vegetable 'Curry' as well as some quinoa mixed with peas and carrots for dinner. I did have to take 6 painkillers to get me through the day, but other than that, I feel like I accomplished a lot. I'm taking my final 2 painkillers now and heading to bed for an early night. Fingers crossed that I feel both physically and mentally strong tomorrow.

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