Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mind Over Matter

I have always known that your mind and body are connected much further than simply telling your body to do things. And that your conscious and sub-conscious minds are often at odds. So goes the saying "mind over matter". If you THINK you can do something, you CAN. If you think you CAN'T... well, its very unlikely you will. This idea has been applied to motivational speeches time after time. And it's true... but today, I'm not referring to motivation. Today, I'm talking about pain induced depression.

If you dwell on any particular ailment you might have, your mind focuses in on it, enhances it. But if you distract yourself, you don't notice the pain as much and oftentimes forget about it completely. I've always had migraines, and I notice the pain less when I'm distracted from thing about it. but sometimes the pain is so severe you just can't distract yourself from it. Sometimes you just can't fathom a day without pain. And then comes depression swooping to to ruin the day.

About month after my accident, I remember laying in the recliner in the living room alone. My friend (whose house it was) was upstairs napping and my boyfriend who had stayed to help me was in the downstairs bedroom sleeping after just getting home(works night shift). I was completely alone, which usually I like. But that day was my rock bottom day. I just lay there and cried. I couldn't get up (hurt too much, and not allowed to anyway, docs orders). I couldn't get to the tv remote. I couldn't get to the laptop. I had absolutely nothing to do but stare up at the ceiling fan. I was in pain, miserable, and lonely. I felt a depression that day that I've never felt before. My boyfriend suggested getting a therapist. But I didn't need one. I just needed the pain to go away. To get my mobility back. And sure enough, with every day that my pain got better, my mind felt better. With every new task I was able to do again, I felt happier.

The whole time, everyone around me continually encouraged me to think happy, after all, none of my injuries were permanent. I WOULD get better. I refused to do this. I just couldn't imagine what it was like without pain anymore. I couldn't because I didn't try.

Now I look back thinking, dang. Why didn't I treat it like a migraine? Distract myself to lessen the pain. Pretend I was happy and ignore the pain until I actually was happy.

'Course I can't to back in time. But I can look to the future. I can practice mind over matter each and every day. I've learned a lot from this experience. I've learned who my true friends are, who would do anything for me. I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for (and my pain tolerance has jumped up a few levels lol).

And I've learned to REALLY check my blind spot before making a u-turn.

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