I started walking through the parking lot, extremely slowly, not because of the pain but because I was paying attention to my posture, my muscles and shifting my focus to what it would look like to move without pain. Did it drop my pain level? Nope, not really. In fact if someone saw me moving so slowly and carefully they might even see someone that was in pain. It simply gave me something to focus on, it gave me the opportunity to visualize and work towards that physiology that didn't hold chronic pain.
I spent months in a ton of pain, and a lot of that time I spent curled up in a little tight ball, protecting myself and finding a position that was safe. Unfortunately my body tends to hold on to patterns, and there are days that I don't know if I am in pain because of my disorder or because I am still working to open up those muscles, to stretch those ligaments that contracted to help protect me, to help comfort me. There are days I have no doubt that the pain is because of my bladder and I do the best I can, I still do the best I can with moving and breathing into the areas that hurt.
It takes work, it takes practice and sometimes it takes all the focus that I have to move, to keep moving slowly and allowing the body to work with me instead of fighting it. Then there are the times I fight the pain, when I am fighting myself, when I feel bitter, when I push people away. Those times are valuable, they give me a chance to break a pattern, to observe a pattern or simply understand patterns in general.
Yes I have a lot of techniques, and medication to help with pain. They only work if I use them, if I practice them and if I use them correctly. As I work on visualizing a straight spine, as I work on feeling what that would be like and I practice what I think it looks like. I have to ignore the little voice in my head that tells me "how do you know you are doing correctly?" I am rebuilding a relationship of trust with my body, that as I gain awareness I will slowly be able to correct little tiny imbalances, which may or not lead to less pain. I know that working slowly and with determination is what will cause the larger changes, and continue to give me information about what works for me.
I long for the day that I feel "normal" and yet when I fell asleep last night I was so grateful for this body that carried me through my day of grocery shopping, body work, martial arts class, yoga class and giving hugs to people I love. I was so grateful for all the healers, doctors and teachers that have taken time and energy to help me understand my body so that I have a toolbox to draw from. At the end of the day the pain didn't matter so much, I am still able to move. It serves as a good reminder for me that progress is happening, and no matter how much time it takes I am grateful that I am able to keep going.
Question of the day: What progress are you grateful for today? What have you been nurturing in your life that you are proud of?