Learning how to live with difficulty, emotional or physical, is not easy. It all has to do with your mindset. What you believe, you will achieve.
I have managed to have a life filled with various challenges, and I am still here, a little battered and bruised, but still here. If you learn to listen to what your soul tells you it needs, you can learn to live with anything. I have come to see that for myself in my lifetime. I have managed to live with a lot of shit, good and bad. I am sure you have too! All we need is a little incentive!
When it comes to my physical ailments, especially the mobility issues I have, I came to see I can’t change any of it, so might as well learn to live with it and find new ways of doing things, and I did for many years, even managed to work a very physically demanding job! I do know the work I did, did wear out my joints a bit faster, but it’s all good to me. Back when I broke my legs in 1991, I was told I would end up in a wheelchair in 10 yrs, but that didn’t happen, as 31 yrs later I am still walking on my own 2 feet! I know my body, and what I can take, better than any doctor. I do take their advice tho, just not always take it to heart! I learned to live with my mobility issues, I am sure I can learn to live with emotional issues too! I already have in various situations, I know I can deal with this too!
In 2013, just before I had my last surgery to remove cancerous lesions, I had a headache for just over 3 months and nothing would get rid of it. I was referred to a neurologist who told me after numerous tests and scans, that it is stress related and all I had to do to eliminate my stress. I was living and working for a great company, in a beautiful building and we were doing a lot of renovations to all the hallways and we were short staffed, as it was just myself and hubby there. We were on call 24/7 for over 5 months there! It was hard for awhile and being told my cancer was back and I needed extensive surgery this time and would need to be off work for 3 months of recovery time, did not help. But, with the help of the management, we worked it out and I got the time off and they hired someone to replace me for a few months, and it worked out great. During my recovery time, my headache went away and still has not returned. I don’t get headaches anymore since that time!! I went back to work for them, but after being off so long, I couldn’t get back into the groove of it anymore and ended up leaving a few months later and taking a independent position in a office for awhile, till the cervical stenosis got me in 2015. The previous company even rented an apartment to us for a year while I adjusted to this new thing and learned to live with it. Then we moved to Kennedy and while it was a shitshow there, I still learned a lot about human nature.
I will never regret any of my choices, as it taught me a lot, not just about myself, but also about others.
Being told I have cervical spinal stenosis was one of the hardest diagnoses I got, even of the cancer and my bad legs, as it will eventually lead to total paralysis for me of the neck down. My bad legs don’t matter in that scenarios, as I won’t be able to walk anyway. Accepting this, is very hard. Knowing I will be dependent on my husband for everything will not be easy, but he says he is up for it, then so am I. My husband is very healthy and still very active. He does things for me now that I can’t do for myself anymore! I saw 2 surgeons in Toronto about it, only to be told by both that they can’t operate as to where it is, they could paralyse me as a result and they would rather I get there on my own.
So I have numbness and burning pain from the left side of my neck into my left arm and hand. I take gabapentin for the nerve pain and it works good for that. My pinky and ring finger are numb and useless. I have cut myself, even burned myself, and didn’t even know it till later. I broke my left ankle a couple of months ago and didn’t use any pain meds, as the numbness is going down into my left leg and I didn’t feel any real pain. My left side is on its way out and sometimes feels like it is not mine. This stenosis affects all aspects of my bodily functions, from incontinence to drooling out of the left side of my mouth at times. It is hard but always manageable. I will beat it, like I do everything else, with determination and constant vigilance. Learning to adjust to what it gives me is something I will deal with every day and I am okay with that.
This result will take a long time to happen, as disc degeneration in your neck is a really slow process and as they shrink and collapse on each other, the nerve roots coming out them, get pinched. This pinching of my nerves is what causes issues, but eventually the nerves will get so pinched, they will die and the pain will go away. Once the pain goes away, I know my extremities will start to quit working for me.
I see a Orthopedic Specialist next week so I will see what I need to do to maintain my mobility that I do have at the moment and see how long I can keep it. Knee replacements, hips replacements, I don’t care what it takes for me to be able to still drive and walk around this beautiful scenery I live in! I will do it all, anything I need too!
It works the same way for my mental health issues and PTSD. I will do whatever it takes, for me to live the rest of my life with peace of mind. I look forward to many more good experiences to come my way and I am open to new and wonderful things!
Anything is manageable, as long as you can accept and learn to live with it. I am living with it.
If I want any kind of life, what choice do I have? I will never give up, nor give in. I love living too much!
Same goes for mental distress. If you want to get better and are willing to do the work needed to get there, you can get to a place where it is all manageable. I know I will never be all healed, physically or mentally, I am able to maintain it and that is good enough for me. I live in gratitude, always. It allows me to appreciate what I have, and can do, not what I can’t.
Maintenance allows me to stay on top of my issues and the tricks I have learned this past few years help me stay focused on the here and now. Forget about the past, it is over, don’t think about tomorrow, it isn’t here yet so you don’t know what it will hold. All you have is today. Make it matter and make it count. I try every day, to make it count!
With today, you have a lot. It is 10 am here now so I know I have the day to do with as I please. I plan on doing not much of anything today, as the weekend was so exciting! I need a recovery day and will take it. Why not?
I truly do not mind spending so much time alone. It gave me the chance to really get to know myself and what I need to live a full and happy life. I spent the past couple of months mostly by myself and I enjoyed it. I have taken the time I needed, for myself, and feel so much better for it.
I am loving my life and I love where I live!
Acceptance Isn’t for the Faint of Heart
Learning how to live with difficulty.
- The first step toward acceptance is to be aware of how angry and unaccepting you may be.
- The second is to stop judging yourself and others.
- Forgive others, or the world, for whatever haunts you. You’re not doing it for them; you’re doing it to help yourself.
One thing has been bothering me for years: How do people cope emotionally with their health challenges? I consult the digital health industry, so I have an insider’s view on existing solutions. What can I say; they just aren’t good enough.
So I reached out to people who live a full, successful life while coping with a medical condition, to learn how they do this.
One such person is Angela Marie Christian, personal development and business coach, who also teaches mindfulness. But her life wasn’t always quite so serene.
I asked her, “Tell me about your medical challenges, and how you’ve dealt with them.”
Angela Marie was very generous in responding. “In 2015 I had a toxic mold issue that left my children and me very sick and homeless. While extremely difficult, it actually ended up being the fork in the road I needed. When Western medicine wasn’t working, I began seeking alternative forms of healing, which led me to my life’s purpose: shamanism, energy work, and mindfulness. While going through the actual experience, at first I was beyond angry, but then…once I accepted the situation for what it was and saw the “gift” in the circumstance, I was able to find an inner peace that got me through and helped me heal faster.”
So, this was great, but almost too good to be true. I probed further. I asked: “I’m intrigued. Acceptance is one of the topics I explore, as a means of dealing with medical conditions. So I asked her to elaborate, because this was not obvious. You were in a hard place, and she chose acceptance. How? What facilitated this?”
Angela Marie’s answer blew my mind:
“Acceptance is not for the faint of heart. Acceptance is hard work. It does not just happen. It is a conscious effort to control the degree to which external circumstances control you. I’m grateful for my years of mindfulness studies, which provided me with the grit required to accept such drastic situations. If it weren’t for my years of practicing meditation, breathwork, and energy healing, I surely would’ve let it destroy me, which it almost did.
“In my situation, I ‘heard’ the calling for peace when I would meditate. My higher self would shine through and remind me of what “gifts” these hard knocks provided. I certainly couldn’t connect the dots looking forward, but I can connect them now looking back. My ‘mess’ became my message and my hope is that others will choose acceptance instead of living a life of pain, fear, and hatred.
“Here’s how I chose to accept:
- I decided I could either allow the anger to win (which was ultimately a loss) or I could have faith that there was a bigger plan in place in which this had to happen first. I could feel deep inside that I had a bigger calling and couldn’t allow this to get in my way.
- I wanted to be a good role model for my kids and teach them how to overcome obstacles, not let them destroy their life. I watched my mother be a victim her whole life and decided one day to release victimhood. I fell to my knees and prayed: ‘I don’t want to be the one people feel sorry for anymore. I want to step into my power and release the shackles of shame and defeat.’ The very next day I felt like a different person. I was energetically lighter and felt genuinely happy.
- With the urging of my therapist and shaman, we wrote out all the ‘benefits’ and ‘gifts’ that came from the disasters.
- I went through a positive intelligence coaching program and then became a positive intelligence coach myself once I saw how much it helped me quiet the negative self-talk in my brain, turn up the voice of my higher self, and then find the ‘gift’ in my hardships. This has been key to maintaining acceptance and peace.
- I understood that I could use these obstacles as ‘my story’ to help others with similar situations of anger and rage. I felt like that was a calling and felt like that was bigger than the pain I was experiencing, so I let it guide me.”