I finally turned a corner towards improvement again, and this time without steroids. As I tapered off my course of prednisone, the pain of my herniated disc became worse every day. Things I’d started to get back were lost again, one by one: the ability to walk my dog, cook food, lie on my side. The next thing I was about to lose was my ability to sit on the toilet. It was dire.
I’ve been going to physical therapy, and I felt like it was making me worse. It could have been the timing of me going off the anti-inflammatories. I was honest. I told them it wasn’t helping. So they switched tactics, two days ago. That evening was awful, but yesterday, I washed my dishes.
I was overjoyed having my first “better” day in weeks. At last, not only did I have less pain, but I had hope.
Hope is such a big deal. My mood changed dramatically. Heck, I think I was in a better mood for the hope than I was for feeling less pain. Pain is pain. Lack of hope is a death.
This morning, I stood in the shower without pain. Then, I walked my dog around half a block for the first time in more than a week. More joy, more hope.
I think the healing is snowballing, and I think what started it on its roll is the blast of positivity I experienced yesterday. Traction at physical therapy, plus positive thinking, and I’m triplefold moving in a good direction!
Today, I want to share some of my medicine with you. Looking back on my past day and a half, I made a list of ideas to help you get more in a joyful state of mind to catapult yourself away from whatever pain you have. (Some of these I’ve mentioned in previous articles.)
With love, I hope you can find something in this list that can help you:
Count all the things you are grateful for, no matter how big or little and regardless of what they mean to anyone else. This is about you.
I’m grateful any time I can get my left sock on. I’m grateful I’m still in my own house with my dog. I’m grateful I have a number of neighbors who’ve been visiting to help me with my dog and household tasks. I’m grateful Season 9 of The Walking Dead is now on Netflix.
Go ahead and get lost in your imagination. Return to favorite places and really feel yourself there, with all five senses. Think of where you would love to go. Plan what you’ll do when you are having a better day. Create a fantasy world and wander in an otherworldly adventure. Dream up a romance. Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Focus on doing anything you want in your imagination–that beautiful place where there are no limits.
Right now, I’m thinking about walking my favorite local hiking trail, with my dog, when I’m able to walk again.
Laughter is so powerful! What do you find funny? Go get it! Read a funny novel. Punch up a comedy video on YouTube. Heck, I’ve got a couple comedy videos on my channel that you might like: www.ChristinaIreneTube.com.
I have certain friends whom I always laugh with when we talk. I spent an hour last night on the phone with one.
You might feel dark inside, but if you focus on shining your light outward, it will be reflected back to you. Give. You don’t need to have great means to do so. It could be visiting a friend who needs some company. It could be scratching your dog in her favorite spot. It could be picking up a piece of trash and making your street that little bit more pleasant.
This morning, I texted some notes of love to a few people that I thought might appreciate some light to begin their days. It made *me* glow.
Touch your faith.
If you’re a spiritual person, spend some time connecting to the diety or powers you believe in, including what resides within. Feel the bigger picture and the comfort of not being alone. Meditation is a wonderful practice for anyone of any belief; just think peaceful thoughts!
I like to begin my days by reading some scripture and a faith-based motivational book. They do wonders for my heart and brain.
Eat your vegetables.
Or, just feed yourself something good. Providing food for someone is a wonderful, universal way to show love, and you can use this method to love yourself. For your own body, show affection, forgiveness, and proactive kindness by eating something nourishing and nutritious.
I have a cozy afternoon snack of fresh blueberries, aged Irish cheese, pecans, and extra dark chocolate with hazelnut decaf coffee, black. It’s a delicious, soothing act of self care.
The ability to make something from nothing is a skill that spans humankind. Being creative is superbly empowering. When you’re done, something new exists and you get to see it before you. It’s the exact opposite of feeling helpless. You don’t need to be an artist. Just bring something into existence that didn’t exist before, or simply bring together things that weren’t together before. Rearrange the pictures on your wall if you like!
Last night, I tapped out one dinky little page of my novel, and it felt so good.
Surround yourself with positive people and things. Hold positive thoughts. Spare yourself from the gossip sessions with coworkers. Ignore that person who’s only ever complaining when she texts you. Choose a romcom instead of a horror movie (OK, look, my zombie show has *plenty* of romance and inspiration). Steer your mind away from anger and bitterness and guilt and worry and find your way to hope, fondness, happy memories, and big beautiful plans. Thumb through a sentimental photo album.
My personal best this week has been letting go of what others think of me (particularly needing validation that what I’m going through is real), and instead focusing on who I truly am and lovingly living out that best version of myself, as best as I can.