A painful analogy

A painful analogy

Life taught me a lesson or perhaps confirmed a thought the other week. The daily routines I’m trying to build to have better mental health are important whether I see an instant result or not. Recently I’ve learned that what I’m doing today is so I can feel better tomorrow.

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So how did I get here? It all started when I stroked my cat. I was sat in my office chair and Starbuck walked past. I leant down to stroke her and upon leaning back I felt a twinge. My back went. It was uncomfortable but not painful. A few hours later it was painful. The next day it was excruciating in a “Oh god what’s the number for 999?” way. I ended up calling 111 as the pain eased to just the feeling of a knife in my back and not that I was also on fire. Hours later and the docs confirm what I thought. It’s just lower back pain. It will pass but I can’t lie in bed. I have to work through it.

“Well this is timely.” Having just spent the past few weeks writing about the idea of an activity saving me and coming to terms with the idea that while an activity may never save me it might be important to do anyway. I’ve seen a reduction in my stress since using Headspace. Can I say that it’s all due to that app? No. Maybe it helped though. Headspace, waking, running, being outside, learning to let go, listening to my breath instead of my negative thoughts, etc. Maybe all these things add up and get me to a level on par with everyone else or at least to a point where I feel creative enough to want to take photos.

My back pain is a physical representation of my mental health. While I do go running every other day I don’t really do anything for my upper body. I don’t use weights or do yoga. I’ve done the occasional yoga session on Apple Fitness and I’ve enjoyed it but because I didn’t feel amazingly changed after I forgot to get back to it. I now realise that these things are important to do for tomorrow’s me rather than today’s me. Tomorrow’s me will be able to look back and see the changes. Today’s me will be annoyed but know it’s for a good cause. Me. Not to be catchy slogan about this but it feels like I’m working today to make tomorrow possible.

This is like when I have depression and now have to force myself to work through the pain. I can’t sit in bed and wait it out. This issue doesn’t respond to that. It needs me to stay active (they write from a hot bath). It hurts so much but I am getting better.

Will yoga save me? No. But it may help a bit just like running does. I have no idea when I’m supposed to do any actual work though as I’ll be spending all me time working on my physical and mental health. There won’t be any free time to take photos!

Captain’s log, supplemental. I wrote this after a few days of having lower back pain. I’m on day 5 now and what I wrote above feels like absolute nonsense. I spent 5 days continuing to go for walks, doing daily chores and I did yoga (which I will of course forget about once the pain has gone – 1 month later Pete can confirm this). Did it help? No. The pain this morning was awful and yet I stupidly powered through believing it would fix me. It hasn’t. Instead I’ve listened to my wife and taken a rest. I can reduce the pain from bringing me to the verge of tears level pain to mild annoyance pain by sitting still in a supportive chair. I get up every now and then for water but not yoga.

So. Maybe the real lesson is that I don’t know anything? Thanks for subscribing.

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