Mind-Spirit

In my recent blog series of ways to treat fibromyalgia holistically, we covered Nutrition, Intestinal health, Inflammation, Quality of sleep and today we will cover Mind-Spirit.
The Mind-Spirit is any way you are able to connect with something beyond yourself and the immediate-ness of this world. When I discuss how Mind-spirit can help you through fibromyalgia I am talking about meditation, prayer, your own personal spirituality even if it is not one of the above. There are plenty of atheist who can use mind-spirit however they choose.
Though I am Wiccan and have been for a couple of decades, it is not the only way I connect in the Mind-Spirit. Sometimes I need something tangible that I can see and feel and hear and that something is the Earth. And while Earth is important in Wicca, the way I connect to it is very mundane. I feel a sense of wholeness in nature and even something as basic as potting a plant can help me get that connection I need. And if I cannot do that, or I cannot go outside and surround myself in nature and drench myself in green, I bring it to me and connect to those elements in my mind.
I try to meditate before I take a nap in the afternoon. It is not daily, but I am working on changing that, and it is not always the whole sitting in lotus position and chanting Om. Sometimes it is the simple act of being present and taking a few moments to recognize the beauty in something. Sometimes it is marveling at my children and who they have become and being grateful for it. And sometimes it is recognizing my love for my husband and how much we have gone through and appreciating that time. Meditation, for me, can take many forms. Still, I want to find more time to practice the more traditional forms of meditation. It is difficult to ignore the benefits of meditation both mentally and emotionally when struggling with chronic pain.
I have also heard a daily prayer to start off your intentions for the day is good for you, but again, it can be a mantra if that is what you are comfortable with or even a positive motivation if that works better for you. The goal is starting your day positively and setting your intentions for yourself which could be as simple as “Today I am going to smile more than I will frown.” My husband would be amused by that one and tell me I am obviously not choosing that particular mantra often enough! But it’s only teasing. I like to blame my lack of smiling (as I never say frowning) on thinking too much rather than smiling being some sort of measure on my happiness, because despite what I struggle with on a daily basis, I am happy with my life.
As fibromyalgia is often associated with trauma, both physical and emotional, being able to deal with the trauma is essential. This is not always easy either way. For me, I have had several surgeries to deal with issues related to an athletic childhood and unfortunately, it wasn’t a fix all for the wear and tear to my body. As a result, I have had to deal with total left hip replacement and failure in my lumbar fusion and sacroiliac joint dysfunction which in my mind, has been the impetus to fibromyalgia and the last 3 years of my pain. My husband describes my behavior as something akin to PTSD as he has seen in fellow soldiers (I do have PTSD but unrelated to military service), where he explains that I rail against the loss of my able self and wish I could go back to being who I was before all this started, maybe even 10 years back before my hip replacement. It often takes him holding me as I sob in frustration and a kind of mourning of who I used to be and him telling me he loves me no matter what, and that I am still beautiful to him, before the pain subsides. The loss of who I was and accepting who I am now is very difficult. I truly believe that my IBS-d is a by-product of the anxiety and stress I feel everyday trying to cope as much as I believe that it is something physiological. If you follow my twitter @fibrohippiechic I mentioned that this blog was not going to sugar coat things and just give these “7 Fool-proof Strategies” type posts on how you can overcome chronic pain. Chronic pain is real and it’s ugly sometimes, but like everything else in life it’s a journey. This blog is a journey on how I am trying to work through it and maybe something I say here, maybe some of the tips offered here might help or maybe it won’t, but I don’t want you to stop trying. Keep looking for what might work for you even if it is not in this blog.

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