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Don't forget self-care

Posted by Purple Haze on June 08, 2005 at 09:28:16

In Reply to: Regarding medical marijuana posted by also thinking on June 08, 2005 at 04:05:24:

The things that people can do for themselves to manage symptoms and increase their sense of well-being and quality of life are as important as meds or therapy.

I say this because I live with chronic pain, PTSD & depression. Meds help, therapy helps, but the disability never completely goes away. Thoughts of death are always standing in the shadows, waiting for just the right amount of stress or emotional upset to embolden them to start whispering a little louder and more forcefully. The fact that I can make the time to look out my office window for 10 minutes to watch a falcon soaring on the city's thermal vents makes my life bearable. Watching that falcon soar overhead allows me to feel a deep sense of gratitude for life.

I believe people raised in TF and devout Christians in general have trouble indulging their bodies with necessary creature comforts and simple pleasures. We're taught to "redeem the time," "idle hands are the devil's workshop," "deny the flesh," "die to yourself," etc. In TF, sex and booze and the constant andrenaline rush of emotion-based religious experience are the palliatives. None of these are simple pleasures, imo.

I remember the first time I got into a hot tub. I felt soooo guilty for indulging myself in this simple relaxation and self-care. I thought about what it cost me to pay for the hot tub and how that money could be used to feed starving children in Africa.

Or when I don't give 110% to my job, because I need leave work early enough to go to a regularly scheduled exercize class--horrors! I'd leave work on time to do something for my children in a heartbeat, but leaving work on time for myself, because I need to do something to care for my body? That's a struggle.

I use this mantra to get beyond all the habitual crap in my head about self-sacrifice and putting everyone and everything besides myself first: "Am I doing something good for myself? Do I feel guilty about it? I must be doing the right thing."