Monday, August 27, 2012
Hi, healers! Check out my new blog post on crazysexylife.com here and pasted below.
"Unrealistic expectations, and even realistic expectations, have to be buried far beneath the soil of chronic illness to maintain good mental and emotional health and well-being. Living with a chronic, progressive and “incurable” neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS), for almost seven years has produced numerous disappointments, and they can each be traced back to unmet expectations.
Most of us have expectations. They are created and designed to help us attain peace of mind by predicting how the near or far future will unfold. They also help us make sense out of a world that is so often quite frightening and uncertain. When our expectations are fulfilled, we feel pleasantly surprised or satisfied; but when they aren’t, we often emerge bitterly disappointed and possibly traumatized because we have attached emotions to neutral outcomes. Everything is this world is neutral (no, it was not made by the Divine and then labeled “good” or “bad”), and we take the liberty to assign negative or positive meanings to situations, people and outcomes, ultimately affecting our health and well-being.
Inevitably, expectations lead to disappointment, especially when you are dealing with a chronic health condition like RSD/CRPS. I used to wake up every morning expecting to be healed, and morning after morning, my condition remained the same or worsened. It wasn’t until I surrendered to “what is” that I let go of expectation and subsequently disappointment, sadness and frustration. Your expectations, be they realistic or unrealistic, are the only causes of your disappointments and become the fertile grounds for which letdowns can and will flourish.
Concerning relationships and expectations, it is important to understand that certain people have limitations, whether they be mental, emotional, spiritual or physical, and that setting unrealistic expectations of others will end in nothing but bitterness, resentment, blame, feelings of letdown and even hatred. Understanding the limitations of others will allow us to circumvent disappointment by not setting unrealistic expectations that these individuals, even on their best days (perhaps, even in this lifetime), will not be able to meet.
A tip for avoiding the disappointments of unmet expectations and the judgment and resentment that often accompany them is to always approach each individual in your life as if you are meeting him or her for the first time. This will allow you to enter each situation without being clouded by the disappointments of the unmet expectations of the past. Avoiding the traps of expectations will allow you to have healthier relationships with others and ultimately with yourself.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or what you wish could happen, focus on what you do have. Stop living in the past or future and start focusing on the present moment. Have gratitude for the abundance in your life, and if you can’t find anything to be grateful for, look harder. For most of us, we are accustomed to a culture of deficit, of wanting more. What if you have everything you already need? What if you stopped longing for more, more, more, and started seeing the blessings in your life? Not only will you be happier and more at peace, but you will also attract more abundance to you. Remember, like always attracts like.
Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, is a raw vegan licensed social worker, writer, and sociology professor living with and healing from a progressive neurological disease, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (RSD/CRPS)."
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Allow me to let you in on a little secret. When it comes to me, I have zero patience, can get frustrated incredibly easily, and am never satisfied. Throw in female hormone fluctuations, and I can be a ticking time bomb and all of my coping skills are forgotten. It’s not enough that within less than one year’s time I have weaned off all medications, no longer use traditional medicine (ketamine infusions, pain killers, nerve blocks, etc.), and have reversed RSD/CRPS and Fibromyalgia to the point where I am able to be active again and sllllllowly attempt to get back into running. No, it’s not enough at all. I have a goal, and no matter how delusional it sounds, it is to run a marathon. Setting my sights so high on what seems to be an unattainable goal (according to medical professionals) has allowed me to achieve the impossible up to this point. Today, I ran a full mile on my treadmill (with no walk breaks) after my usual cardio and PT routine. I did some damage control afterward, which included a green juice, some rest and elevation, and a coffee enema. I also spent some time being incredibly thankful and recognizing my achievements up until this point. I’m doing amazing things.
I know I deserve better than a life of severe pain and physical limitations. I am worthy of doing what I love, what I’ve always wanted to do, to run a marathon. I’m not sure when I will run this marathon. It could be a year from now or it could be 10 years from now, but it will always be my goal. That to me signifies a full return to health (even a half marathon would work), when I can do what I love. Although all of that sounds wonderful, I have to remember what got me into this mess in the first place, a pattern of a lack of self-patience and self-compassion that is difficult to break and incredibly easy to fall into over and over again. I have the “but I’m not there yet syndrome,” which is the inability to see how far I’ve come at times and an ability to only focus on where I wish I could be. I have to remind myself that I AM HUMAN and that I am doing amazing things on the journey to that goal. This is the most difficult and exhausting thing I have ever done (especially the strength training), but it is the most rewarding and certainly the most spectacular.
Monday, August 6, 2012
Hi, healers! I've been having an absolute blast watching the Olympic distance running events. The men's 10,000m race was absolutely incredible with Galen Rupp capturing the silver medal for the USA while his training partner, Mo Farah of GB, captured the gold. Both run again in the men's 5,000m this week.
I woke up at 6am on Sunday to catch the women's marathon (you better believe I will be up for the men's on Sunday to catch my boy, Ryan Hall, run.). Flanagan and Goucher took 10th and 11th place for the USA. They are also training partners and two women I look up to for many reasons.
My boy, Evan Jager, took a disappointing 6th place in the 3,000m men's steeple chase. It was only his 9th steeple chase ever, and he is only 23 years old. It was a slow race, and the tactical Kenyans made it theirs by taking the lead early and dictating the pace. Jager runs with maturity and has a great future ahead of him in this event. He is the future of the American steeple chase.
I've been going strong with my PT, pool running, all over strengthening, some elliptical and yoga, more basketball than I could previously handle, AND some running! I took to the roads for the first time and completed a mile of walking and jogging. I flared the pain nice and good, and contained it by resting and sleeping almost immediately after (I tried running at night for the first time purposely so I could rest). I woke up the next morning in pain, did a coffee enema, drank a juice, stretched and self-massaged, and was able to get in the pool for an easy 60 minutes a few hours later. I felt much stronger than when I ran last at PT 6+ weeks ago. Running again seems more possible than ever, but it is a very slow process with set backs. It is what it is, I just have to keep the faith, continue to work hard, and keep moving forward. I'm determined.
Today, I used the elliptical to warm up real good before PT stretches and pushing my leg strengthening routine by adding 20 pounds of weight to several of the exercises. Tonight, I coach and hopefully can play a little basketball.