“When you change the way you think, you can change the way you feel“, David D. Burns
I have been pondering of late how I can change the nature of this website from that which focusses on symptoms and instead place more emphasis on neuroplasticity in action. Now as I write this 70th blog, for the time being at least, I want to write about living the experience of actively working on changing my brain, rather than espousing the rhetoric. After all these years I am finally fed up with defining myself, to myself, that I am “fibromyalgia”. I am bored with it. I have even become fed up with the word. What kind of a label have I given myself? It has become self fulfilling. I expect pain, fatigue and flare-ups. My brain, sleepy at times, crazy at others, jumps to the old pathways and keeps up the usual harangue. “Can’t do this, it will cause a flare-up”. “Too much excitement, I will be in pain tomorrow”. ” I shouldn’t do this long walk, I will be in a state of fatigue all week”. My brain eagerly accepts these depressing messages and goes down the well worn path. Strangely, it is so well travelled that it actually feels comfortable. New journeys into unfamiliar places in my brain means taking risks and cutting through the brush. So, why haven’t I taken this road before? Why do I have a mild flirtation with going a new route while trudging back into the boring, old worn out path? I have crept onto the unexplored by occasionally meditating, taking on a new, creative, repetitious craft (quilting), trying to remember how important movement is to changing the brain, but not in any disciplined way. I have not actively sought out joy in my life. When it happens I am thrilled but suspicious! The brain has amazing capacities and neural pathways, so why not bring the pathway to joy, rather than depression and anxiety?