“Self-compassion is a more effective motivator for change than self- criticism”, Kristin Neff
Those of us with a chronic health condition are generally very critical of ourselves. Our self talk is filled with anger for not “pulling ourselves up by the boot straps”and living life in a more positive way, instead of succumbing to anxiety and depression. We often feel like failures, particularly when we hear of others who might have the same degree of suffering that we have but who appear to be doing so much better than we are. We are much more kind to others than we are to ourselves.
“Nothing vivifies, and nothing kills, like emotions”, Joseph Roux
It’s almost the end of December already and I missed writing a blog in November. Seems I was trying to recover from the many crises (or at least perceived crises) in my life. The physiotherapist (Nick) said my nervous system was “completely exhausted” and to rest. For the past few weeks things have finally quieted down and I am having Feldenkrais movement treatments/activities (I am somewhat certain that Tai Chi would be equally as effective, or any kind of movement) to help revitalize me somewhat. The fatigue is slowly dissipating and with it some of the pain from all the hyperactivity and intense stressful emotions in my life. I am back on my recumbent bike a couple of times a week for about 20 minutes a day now (again!).
As I write this I watch little light snow flakes outside; there’s a fire in the fireplace; I have just spent 20 minutes meditating and I am at peace with my heating pad on my shoulders and hot tea to comfort me. The winter skylight is incredible at dusk. Now that we have had Solstice the days will be getting longer. If only there were more days like this, but of course, crises happen…stuff happens. I can’t stop the world. I am though working on focused practices such as mild exercise and meditation which is what my emotional roller coaster craves and my brain ( that darn amygdala!) has a difficult time understanding. My brain wants to go that well worn path to emotional chaos instead of the new calming pathways I am trying to cultivate. The stresses that many of us experience during the festive season create in us emotions that can make us sick, or conversely could make us well.
“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it”, George Carlin
To-day one of my favourite comedians died. I shall miss his humour and while I obviously agree with Carlin’s view that both men and women are from earth, I cannot be quite so cavalier about dealing with many known differences. Sensitivity and empathy, for example, are human emotions that are often expressed very differently among men and women and both of these affect or may even be responsible for fibromyalgia.
” Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse” , Lily Tomlin
I am weary. Try as much as I can, I cannot find many fibromyalgia researchers who are willing to stop this endless search for a medical cause of fibromyalgia! So many seem keen on trying to force the Cinderella slipper on the wrong foot! WHY IS THIS? It can’t be for research grants to enhance careers, but can it be that there is a naive hope of finding a ‘cure’. But, wait, I don’t mean to imply that all the researchers are cold hearted and don’t want to find a ‘cure’! Of course they do, who wouldn’t? But how about the ’cause’ question? Back and forth we go between cause and cure.
The pharmaceutical companies, for example, could not possibly want a social cause to be found or they might not be able to access the market profitably. But as a vaccine for a disease entity, that cure might make profits rise. Doctors would love findings that suggest there is a vaccine, or a medication to cure that would help them treat their patients more effectively. Nothing would make we sufferers happier than finding a medical cause that could be treated with a drug! So, why isn’t it happening?