Don’t you love it when you’ve had a really good time somewhere and the fun of the event stays with you for days afterward? Bathing in the happy memories that I have been creating has been my method for dealing with the recovery time and pain that comes after physical exertion.
My huge effort last Saturday resulted in a very quiet week for me. There has been plenty of extra pain, but whenever I start to feel down about how sore I am, I consciously make an effort to think about what it felt like when I was having a good time and to really consolidate those memories as useful and important. The more I practise this, the less effort it takes. I have faith that, with time, I can train myself to recall happy moments in the way that anxiety can cause me to repeatedly recall painful ones. You know that feeling, Audy, the one where you get all amped up and stressed and your mind keeps focusing on small things as though they are important? I want to do that in reverse.
I am pleased to say that by resting all week, I was able to find the energy to go out to a friend’s hen’s day on the weekend. It was an action packed Saturday including a lot of food and champagne, some painting, a Bollywood dance and some pretty damn awesome karaoke performances. Yes, the Backstreet Boys are good for something…
Sunday morning brought pain galore! But you know what it didn’t bring? Regret. I don’t, for a second, regret pushing myself so hard to participate in activities that I knew would bring painful repercussions. How could I regret having such a good time? Even as the day was progressing (especially whilst dancing) I could feel my pain levels rising and I just kept choosing to mentally rise higher as well. If the pain can do it, so can I. “I can be in pain and still have fun”, I told myself, as many times as I needed to.
I don’t recommend pushing chronic pain this far on a regular basis, but thankfully, my friends don’t get married regularly and so that’s not going to be a problem. Special occasions can sometimes require special effort, that’s part of what makes them special. I don’t mind that, in my case, special effort can mean enduring extra pain. Life is far too dull without the special parts, they are well worth the effort.
I’ll spend this week resting and I am confident that I’ll be ready to go out and enjoy the actual wedding next weekend! Thinking positively about upcoming events is another part of my strategy; I can’t control what the pain will be like on a particular day, but I can decide that no matter what my body feels like, I am going to go and do something. I simply need to have a backup plan for if things are really bad. I call that backup plan “The Fonz” (my wheelchair). I am discovering how to think positively and realistically at the same time, it is quite the challenge but one that I think is worth taking on!
Love & More Partying,