my new “normal”

I hit a lot of roadblocks this week, and I’m pretty sure that I’m responsible for each one. Let’s start with my unrealistic expectation of trying to maintain everything I was doing at Silver Hill while also keeping up with a house, a job, and my insatiable need to please others. The “Silver Hill behaviors” include daily physical therapy, meditation, maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet, and sleeping at least seven hours a night. And don’t forget about doing something that will enhance my spiritual life, my social life, and my need to make money and maintain my home.

Yes, my list is long and full of a lot of behaviors that are new and a bit unnatural right now. Nevertheless, I placed this expectation on myself and, unsurprisingly, fell short. Let’s explore how shall we?

  • Diet : I’ve consumed too much sugar this past week and I’ve allowed my caffeine intake to creep upwards. I’ve also eaten meals that lack the foods I know my body needs [i.e. raw almond butter on a gluten-free bagel is not lunch]. And I ate Chick-Fil-A the other day so…
  • Sleep : My sleep quality [and quantity] is trending downwards. To combat my tiredness I’ve allowed myself extra caffeine, but I’m confident that this variable is now the culprit for my unrestful nights. I need to resist the urge to replace an earlier bedtime with an extra cup of coffee.
  • Exercise : I have pacing issues when I’m working out, and my physical therapy is no exception. I worked on this a lot with my team at Silver Hill, particularly the physical therapist, but I’m far from mastering the skill. I’m currently bouncing somewhere between “too tired to work out” and feeling so good I have to eventually force myself to stop.
  • Meditation : I have meditated a grand total of one time in the past two weeks, yet this is something I should be doing daily.
  • Spirituality : Big fat zero on this one.

One of my many goals is to create an existence where my pain is a reality but not a lifestyle. I want to accept it but not focus on it. For this to happen, the behaviors for which I’m struggling to find time are going to have to become my new normal. My meditation practice needs to be as automatic as brushing my teeth. My bedtime won’t be a point of negotiation but rather an assumption. I’m hoping that by establishing these healthy patterns my focus on any physical discomfort will shift to the back burner. That may seem illogical, especially if I’m describing it as poorly as I feel I am, but I’m going all in.

So…that’s my little plan. Easy, right?

 

7 Comments

  1. linda maumus

    I would totally fail at what you’re supposed to be doing unless I felt a huge decrease in pain. Do you? I can’t say more bc I don’t know all the details, but I am rooting for you. xo

    Like

    • anne doussan

      The payoff is definitely not automatic, but I know it’s on the way!

      Like

  2. Veronique

    Hi Anne,

    I found your blog on Chronic Illness Bloggers just as you had left for your month retreat. I’m so excited for you about all you learned and how it was helpful to boot. And, after 20 years of chronic fatigue that is gradually improving with similar approaches plus, I completely understand and relate to how it takes time to implement and maintain these kinds of new practices. Thx for sharing all the “real” stuff of the process and so very happy for you for all that you’ve discovered!

    Liked by 1 person

    • anne doussan

      thank you, veronique! i can’t tell you how helpful your kind words are. i’m wishing you all the best, as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ben Aqiba

    Hi Anne,great post

    Liked by 1 person

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