The impending journey, and notions of positive change from 2014
2014. Setbacks, including prolonged health problems and unhelpful appointments with chronic pain specialists and the like. There’s been little ability to work and little opportunity to expend energy on personal goals. 365 days that have been a struggle to simply keep afloat, to get by and adapt to the new physical limitations my body has chosen to set me. I lost physical strength, self-worth, and, at times, hope. Yeah, believe it or not, coming to terms with developing a nerve disorder in your mid-twenties isn’t quite as glamorous as one may think it to be. Heh.
There has been not only a struggle of adjusting to slower progress and learning to better manage the too often crippling pain, but also the challenging psychological process of learning to be kind to myself, not allowing others’ uneducated judgements define me, and putting my pride aside to ask for help when I need it.
One’s perspective has evolved over the last year through these processes, which may seemingly be notions of defeat to some, but to me they can only be labelled as notions of positive change. So many aspects of positivity have come from these experiences, that I must in fact conclude my year as one of value. Here’s why:
- I have become much more diet conscious. I learned that my chronic pain can sometimes be nearly completely managed by diet alone. Over the last few months plenty of research has been done, and, after somewhat of a roller-coaster journey, I am now almost entirely opiate free with my pain management. There may be a long while to go before I’m 100% medication free, however this development marks a significant milestone in my personal progress.
- Who has two thumbs and stopped using cancer sticks? This gal! That’s right, I quit smoking. There is nothing more encouraging (or terrifying) than your body being unable to physically function regularly to help you stop inflicting bad habits on yourself. And I feel all the better for it.
- I have learned to accept people for who they are more, and have accepted myself for who I am, limitations and all.
- I have grown closer to my family and friends, and have an extremely positive support network of people I care dearly about. I also recently confronted my fears of rejection and got in touch with a friend I had a falling out with, planting seeds for regenerating our friendship. Needless to say, I do not take any person for granted who I allow and wish to keep in my personal circles.
- I am less self conscious and less afraid of being judged by strangers. I feel more resilient and more in my own skin than ever before, being able to more accurately recognize projection from people who do not understand me or my limitations.
- My patience has grown and there is an increased sense of self awareness. I believe it is important to be self aware on physical, emotional and creative levels, how you impact and touch others around you, and vice versa.
- I can recognize wholeheartedly that I am a good person with good intentions. I have wonderful friends who see that in me too, and who share those same traits.
- With the all too real limited capacities and time frames for what I want to achieve in life, I have found more direction. I am more certain than ever that I want to become a yoga teacher. Until I am ready and able to undergo training, I am focusing on creating a foundation of knowledge and skills around my own practice and potential adaptations of postures for others living with chronic pain.
- I have learned new meditation and yoga techniques specific to pain management. Recently I have even begun to curate/trial some of my own sequences and mantras at home. I truly feel that my practice has evolved.
- A 30 day bikram yoga challenge was conquered, the first since I started experiencing symptoms from my nerve disorder. It kick-started my redevelopment of personal health and love of yoga. I won’t lie, some classes were spent on the floor. And I honestly didn’t even think I’d make it halfway through. But sometimes the hardest thing is to simply turn up for a class and accept what you can or cannot do that day. And I accomplished that.
- I’ve gone back to my roots and am finding myself spending more time outdoors among nature. I feel much more at home and have experienced more special moments in my time able to be spent in the outdoors.
- The sense of limitations has given me more confidence in my long term goal of moving away from the city, in being honest with myself about what makes me happy, and in doing my best to achieve what I can within my capabilities.
This girl still has her pockets empty, and is no closer down the path of her ten year plan. My journey feels as though it may well still be impending. But this year is new. This year paints a future of hope, of progress, and of achievement.