“Almost everything will work out if you unplug it for a few minutes….including you.”
I find that at least once a day something electric does not work in our home for this reason or that (if I knew why I would be an Engineer and be making a ton more money.) For example, the television we use on a daily basis freezes and honestly the only thing that seems to work is unplugging the cable box from the television for a few minutes and then plugging it back in (damn Comcast.) Ninety-nine percent of the time this method works. This is not the only device I use the method of unplugging an re-plugging to get something to work; my computer is a great example of something I know little about but if this sucker does not work I unplug her and plug her back in: bam works like a charm. Both the television and the computer obviously run by energy and I have no clue why the method of unplugging something helps it to work but I do know we as humans operate by energy as well. There is a ton of truth to the above quote: we need to unplug ourselves from the world around us sometimes in order to continue functioning at a healthy, working level.
Moderation is a huge concept to incorporate in your life if you have chronic pain. How many times have you felt ‘well’ and thought to yourself: “Ok, I feel good now. My pain level is low so I need to get as much done as possible while I feel ok.” You then decide to clean the house top to bottom, do all the laundry, go food shopping, mow the lawn, scrub the tub, and organize your children’s clothes and toys. Awesome. You got tons accomplished: now you get to spend the rest of the week in bed recuperating from overdoing it and not giving yourself a break in between the dishes and the laundry. Your house may look great but you cannot even enjoy it because you over-did it to the point that your pain levels are so high you honestly cannot enjoy anything much less the smell of fresh laundry. Then you kick yourself and say: “I should have known better. Why did I do so much?” I know why many of you operate this way because I used to live like this and there are days I still over-do it and I am ironically confused as to why I have a difficult day the following day. We need to slow down: everyone in the world needs to slow the hell down but people with chronic pain truly need to practice moderation and what I call ‘hanging up.’ What if you just did one load of laundry and then took a break and did a ten minute meditation or took your child for a walk in the fresh air? You do not need to get everything done at once. Honestly, what is the point.
There is a movie called: “Hanging Up” with Meg Ryan and Lisa Kudrow that is about a woman (Meg Ryan) who does it all and plays the caretaker to everyone in her family and life. She forgets to take care of herself. Her phone is constantly ringing with people asking her for things and she never says no. She never puts herself first. She begins to start having a nervous breakdown and a stranger whom she meets during the movie sees this woman who takes care of everyone and everything but forgets to care for herself starting to break. She looks at the character played by Meg Ryan and says: “Dear, you must just hang up.” Ryan then goes home and unplugs every phone, television, computer and fax machine she can find in her home and just sits down and takes the first real breath she has in years and that is when the story changes and we see as the audience how important it is to hang up. We must put our health and happiness first and this may sound selfish and that is not a bad thing. If we are not working at a happy, healthy, optimal level we cannot care for anyone. It is okay to hang up and just take care of yourself. I promise you the laundry and all that will wait for you: come on over I’ll show you.