Not a doctor just my stories…
Today is a new day I forgive myself for yesterday…
I have written about my moods, my mental state, brain chemistry and now I read about all these things in addition to my meds and therapy. Brain, brain, brain, childhood, teens, twenties, thirties, sad, bad, guilt, fault, better, happy.
I have never thought about the physical and I have a physical issue, scoliosis. I have never related it to any of my mental issues. It was and is a huge part of my life. It was traumatic and still affects how I view and think about my body.
I have had therapists note that when I talk about my body in regards to weight, exercise, clothes, physical activity I speak as if my body is outside of myself, something I have no control over. I think of myself as frail, not capable of being strong, or coordinated.
This is easy to trace back and discuss but what blew my hair back is that for my entire life I have discounted this issue in relation to my mental state. Instead I just beat myself up. I have no willpower, I am lazy, I am a clutz.
When I was seven I was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. I began to see a pediatric orthopedist. His office scared me, he would measure my spine and tell me to do leg lifts. I understood something was wrong with me and what it was and it was upsetting. I knew kids wore back braces and this scared me also.
When I was ten I was told I had to wear a back brace.. It was a new design made of plastic but it covered me from my hips to under my arms. I had to wear undershirts and clothes two sizes too big. To have the brace made they had to make a plaster cast of my body. I had to go to the Hospital for Special Surgery and hold onto these bars while technicians wrapped me in hot plaster like a mummy, it hardened and then they would cut it off with a cast cutter that made my whole body vibrate.
My parents and relatives told me I was brave. That made me feel good, most of the time I felt bad and scared and fragile because something was wrong with my back. My body looked weird with the brace and I had no flexibility.
I could not wear fun clothes or be a tween or a teen or play or do sports. Actually I could, the brace did not preclude me, but that kid I was not. Do and try everything brace or not or be confident never gonna happen. That is where my other problems came in.
I had a back operation when I was nineteen and seven of my vertebrae were fused. That was scary too, I was terrified of being paralyzed. It does limit my movement I can’t sit on the floor or climb very well.
I just realized what a perfect storm all this was, because now I want to walk. Walk for exercise. When I lived in Manhattan I could walk for miles. Now I am heavier, out of shape, older and have had some falls but I need to start moving. Except I can’t start. I start and stop like I always have with anything physical and fantasize about having a strong body that can run and jump and stretch.
I have limitations, note them, accept them, action plan. Get help. Trainer, nutritionist, chiropractor, orthopedist. I can’t do it alone and that’s not my fault. I am ready to ask for help, get strong and forgive myself.
Until next time,