In the last few years I have been turning my attention inward instead of just concentrating on the physical. For the first 35 years of RA, I spent my time looking at how to get rid of the pain and inflammation, then looked at causes other than virus or biological. It hasn’t been an easy process because I have to take responsibility for much of it. To quote Dr. Phil: “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”. It is so much easier to see myself as a victim sideswiped by RA for no reason – time to look deeper and see what has been going on. One thing I have learned that was a surprise, my body is my healer, not my enemy. All this time I felt she has betrayed me and made my life so much more difficult. At last I am beginning to understand she has been shouting at me to make me listen – too bad I have been deaf all this time.
For so long I felt my body was not really a part of me, more like a shell covering me and strangling me. I often thought of myself as being trapped in a rusty suit of armor, that it wasn’t the real me. If you looked inside you would see the real me trying desperately to get out.
I noticed a different train of thought one night when I couldn’t go back to sleep around 3, I had had a migraine and taken one of my bombers that leaves me wide awake until about 6. I am not sure why I began to think about what is going on and what my body was trying to tell me, then it hit me, she was trying to tell me Ego is trying to take charge and do her big pity party. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if that was the message – by golly, a while later I noticed the headache had gone. When it happened again, I thought in terms of my body as my alarm when Ego is trying to take over and I needed to be reminded I am not Ego. Once again, it meant my headache left.
Hmmm, maybe I am on to something. This morning I was back in that boat – I have been having fewer and fewer headaches lately – but now a different train of thought. If my body has been warning me with headaches, has she been trying to tell me all these years that Ego is in charge and telling lies, damn lies and real whoppers about me and I have been believing them? Has she been trying to get my attention with joint problems and pain? Have I been so unaware of Ego that I just thought that was me living my life?
I have been unsure of myself most of my life – I started wearing glasses in the 3rd when no one else was; I have been Reubenesque all my life – the middle sister between 2 slender ones. Did I only tune into the negative because Ego ruled and never heard the positives? I was teased at school about my weight and glasses, last one to be picked for a team, feeling odd man out most of the time and not really a part of a group. Boy, did Ego lap that up!
I will let it simmer on the back burner for a bit and see what begins to emerge. I see there is a lot more to my early history as an influence on how I see myself – Carol Tuttle’s book “Remembering Wholeness” has really helped me see what is going on. There is definitely more going on inside me and now that I have set an intention to know the truth about myself – sometimes a scary thought – it may be easier for me to be more objective than I have been in the past. Maybe deep down my true self is an amazing woman – dare I hope so?