There are times in life when we will face some really difficult situations which can cause us to “worry” or to become “concerned” about the outcome. Anxiety is a perpetual worry and concern. It can come like a flood seemingly out of nowhere or it can come immediately when something foreseen or not begins to manifest right before our eyes. And many times it may never manifest or at least not to the full degree we allow ourselves to imagine. It is when our active imagination takes us out in the deep where we lose sight of the shore of hope and faith. We are no longer anchored to the shore. We are floating out on a sea of shaky thoughts. We become “see” sick by the things we imagine will happen.
I ran across this quote and I had this thought: “Oh, it’s like Kanye-ing thoughts which create anxiety.” Imagine anxiety with a mic and you run up on stage and say “Look, I’m not going to give the mic back. However, I would like to thank the Creator for all that I have. I am grateful for life. I am thankful for the breath I breathe. I am thankful for the clothes and shoes I have. I am happy I can see, walk, talk and taste the food I have. I am so very grateful for the lessons I am learning….” You know blah blah blah good stuff until Anxiety walks off the stage and has a seat.
In many cases it’s rude to interrupt but, it’s perfectly fine to interrupt negative thoughts and “what ifs” that create and build up negative emotions that send you into anxiety rap battles also know as anxiety attacks. I remember reading a book by Inyanla Vanzant that stated “If you are going to play the “what if” game, play the other side.” In other words, what about “what if” it doesn’t happen? Instead, use your imagination to create solutions and calm. Also, if you play the what if game, then ask yourself what can I do if that does happen. I know it’s not easy. I know from experience. However, it’s worth cutting off negative thoughts or anxiety and filling your mind with gratitude instead.
As I type this there is a shooting pain in my fingers. It was pain in my face and well as you may know, fibromyalgia pain can move around your body fast and sharp like lightening. I have swelling and I am tired. I don’t want to talk. However, it’s not easy to do when you have to be a parent and you must put on your parent face. Even if that face feels like it’s being electrocuted.
I am not surprised there is a link to chronic pain/illnesses and depression. The way the two chronic pain twins I have, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia wrecks havoc on my body, I can tell you it can be more than a battle. It can be a war.
Today I have experienced little sharp pains on and off. I did not rest well last night because of carpal tunnel in both of my hands and forearms. So, I am very tired. Later, this evening the sharp pains began to move around and intensify. Again, on and off. Add stress from an event today and my mind is on a roller coaster of I can handle it on the way up and I can’t take this @#$%! on the way down. I’m angry. I ‘m sad. I am hurting. My skin feels like something is crawling on it and it’s itchy at times. This is so annoying and it drives you nuts.
The mental whip of chronic pain is one with sharp objects attached to it. It rips away at your soul as it pulls out and damages your psyche as it comes back in for more. The thoughts to stay strong, when you really want to crash and burn, and sometimes, many times you do, is war. Your body and your mind, and your spirit is taking a beating.
I will pray for us tonight.
You have the courage and the strength to rise up again. Again means you have done it before and if you have done it before you can do it again. I know. it’s never been this devastating. I know, it’s never been this dark. I know it’s never been this hard. Still, you have it in you to rise once more and again if you have to. And when you rise, pray.
And when you rise up, TAKE courage. Sometimes you have to TAKE courage and do what needs to be done.
Muhammad Ali was a champion in many ways but, what made him a champion in those ways was his ability to champion his thoughts.
As I reflect on my life I look at the ways I use self defeating thoughts verses champion thoughts. Many of us have been preprogrammed with thoughts or conditioned to think certain thoughts through experiences. Either good or negative, we think. If I’m to be honest, my thought process didn’t begin to change until I was 30 (however, I woke up so to speak at 26) and here we have it 11 years later, finally taking root and blooming.
Champion thoughts requires hard, grueling, relentless and challenging work. Long hours at the spiritual gym within and a spiritual diet fit for a champion. You can’t eat (listen to, digest) anything that’s put on your plate. You will suffer some defeats, barely make rounds, but you will begin to win more than you lose when you learn to never change your champion mentality. But, you need only to adjust your approach, strategy, study your opposition and hit the spiritual gym more. Reflect.
A champion doesn’t become a champion by building the body only. Many men have lost relying on brute force alone. Many have lost the fight in this life with brute force alone. Champion thoughts help you get through the toughest times in your life. I look at Muhammad Ali and even though his body was attacked by Parkinson’s and it silenced him physically, HE WAS STILL SEEN AS THE CHAMP. Champion thoughts have no need be verbalized all the time. Champion thoughts don’t care about your pain, wins, losses or draw. Champion have a need to be lived. May we live out our lives from here on out with champion thoughts. May we not see the world as we have in our twenties but, as the champions we are. Are you not still standing? Raise your arms up high, fist to the sky, Champion.
Saturday Morning Coffee Musings
IN RELATION TO YOUR DREAMS, WHEN PEOPLE SAY YOU’RE CRAZY, THEY ARE SAYING YOUR DREAMS ARE BEYOND THEIR SCOPE OF POSSIBILITY, REALITY AND IMAGINATION. -NICOLE JACKSON
Yesterday, I talked to a publisher for one of my clients. He told me how it took him 3 years to leave HIS JOB as a top guy with 700 employees under him. He said people kept telling him MAN YOU’RE CRAZY. Then he said plus I was mid age. Then I just couldn’t fight it anymore and here I am. Sometimes, I pinch myself and can’t believe I’m living my dream.
Me: Usually when they say YOU’RE CRAZY, in relation to your dreams, it’s a sure thing you’re on the right path.
Him: I can see that!
Me: Yeah, just think of all the people with a success story, even in the Bible, (he’s Christian), who were told THAT’S CRAZY and things worked out.
Him: Right! It’s been 9 years. An unbelievable 9 years.
Me: YOU’RE CRAZY means it’s outside their scope of reality, possibility & imagination. That’s all.
Him: WOW. Are you in ministry?
Me: Something like that.
Temperamental much? You bet!!!! We don’t know if it’s the medication or the pain so “STAND DOWN” is what we are yelling in the inside to those around us that’s adding to the irritation or in our heads they are adding to it. I mean that’s only for you to determine.
It doesn’t matter if it’s that dull nagging pain in that one area that’s been going on all day or all week. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full fledge flare and it’s going from your hand to hip. It doesn’t matter if suddenly you snap and yell “I’M TIRED OF HURTING ALL THE —- TIME!!!!! You’re in the DR Jekyll and Mr. Hyde phase. It can sneak up on you when you’re trying to open up a container with a plastic top or you see someone jogging and you remember when you use to be able to do that. The MOOD suddenly swings and there you go. Hey, who pushed me???
What’s that noise?!!!!! Who’s running the water? Who left the light on? Are you getting smart with me? What are you looking at? And honestly, nothing more than a normal day and normal sounds and normal children/ teenagers or a spouse doing what they always do. It’s just 10 times as irritating because you’re in pain or your in reflection of the illness.
Here are my tips:
1. Hey, I’m in pain. (Well yeah, (they say), you’re in pain everyday). Here’s where you have to break it down to them I’m having a flare a high grade one or a low grade one (the nagging dull pain). So, could you keep the noise down or lose the attitude until further notice???
2. Retreat. Go to your room. Close the door. Turn the light off. I literally just did this and I’m typing this blog on my phone. My daughter seemed to get the picture right away.
3. If you have time off use it or see if you can come in later. (Honestly, I don’t know people that have this kind of job where they can come in later. But, if u do, do that!)
4. If you have a friend or relative that lives alone, and they have an extra room, run away to their home for a day or night. Tell them you just want peace ✌ and quiet.
5. Or, if I felt like getting up, I’d show u my sign for my door. It reads as follows: Flare. Enter at your own risk.
6. Find a quiet place outside, a walk if you can, the porch or patio and have your moment if you’re just feeling emotional about the changes your illness has put you through.
7. Many times I think of all the things I can do or still can do. That lifts your spirit.
8. I know it’s corny to some but, give thanks. Place to stay? Food to eat? Clothes to wear? People that care and love you? People that put up with your madness? In pain but can you see? Talk? Read? Walk? Taste good food?
So, as I lie here tonight in “I’m BATMAN” braces (they look like batman’s gloves. You know like I should be able to call for the bat car on my arm) for carpal tunnel syndrome, I hope your mood swing subsides… And mines too. I shouldn’t be typing but, I had to get this out! Free therapy!
Monday Morning WEEK POW WOW
It’s a productive week and the atmosphere is conducive for miracles & favor
I stand firm in my beliefs without stooping to low level energies
I choose peace to keep my creative ideas flowing
I feed my body good food and exercise
I operate in possibilities
I give my time and energy to worthy recipients
Money & Promotion is attracted to me like a magnet
Pain management? Like, what do you do? Give your pain a schedule? Tell it to stop? I’d like to see that happen!
The truth is I have never been to pain management classes and the truth is there are those of us who suffer from chronic pain that could benefit from it because another truth is…not everyone is good at managing pain.
In the beginning diagnoses of your illness you are learning and sometimes it takes a few years to match a method to the madness. There will never be a perfect method but, it can help tremendously to be armed with the knowledge and tools. Imagine being stranded…wouldn’t it be better to at least have the blanket, the extra water, the cellphone and to have watched a couple of episodes of Survivor (or know some MacGyver tricks…old old old show) or maybe a bottle of Frank’s Hot sauce since they “Put that — on everything!”
(Yeah that’ll fix your lupus!)
I learned through trial and error, research, listening to my body, intuition and knowledge of my illnesses/dis-ease how to manage it to the best of my ability. It’s about what works for you.
- It’s about knowing and understanding as much as you can about your illness or dis-ease. I had a difficult time reading about Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis because I am very sensitive and after 5 years I am still accepting it. You need to know what you are dealing with.
- Be prepared for EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE because most of our symptoms are UNPREDICTABLE and PREDICTABLE based on your body and schedule. I know if I am going to drive to a few places I have my gloves, I do hand exercises to keep my joints loose. I know if I am going to be the passenger to get out and stretch every chance I get! Take your hot/cold water thingy. I take mines everywhere. Especially if I am going to be at family functions, long rides and trips. (Beats dragging a heating pad and these are cute)
- Have your meds with you. Have extra pain meds until you can get back home. I have to take a Benadryl in my med pack because I never know if I will have a itching flare and that would be so embarrassing to me! (I’m a fashion diva and you can purchase cute pill boxes. I was never comfortable whipping out bottles or a big strip that may as well came with a neon sign reading SHE’S TAKING HER MEDS!!!!)
- Know your triggers. Is it a certain food? Is it after you exercise? Is it a certain person?Is it after a meeting at work you know is going to be stressful and drama filled? Is is the Wednesday soccer practice, football practice, dinner, get everyone to bed on time?
- I hear my body saying “Wow! You have how many things to do today?” or “I am tired. Can we go home now? Can we stop now?” and if you must push through be prepared. Get your hot soak ready, your cold pack, your hot pack, your pillows, is everything withing arms reach by your bedside?
- And say NO! No I can’t do that. No that is too much. No I will not push myself today. No it can wait.
I hope this helps you! ❤ < 3 Much love and less pain