Don’t Protect Yourself

Don’t Protect Yourself

It’s pretty basic, but it felt like an epiphany Saturday night: Don’t protect yourself.

Those were the words spoken by Megan, a yoga instructor on YouTube. She meant for us all to relax our muscles and lean into the ball for a little myofascial release, which I couldn’t do—at least not yet—because it required lying supine on the floor.

(I might be able to get there, but I am too weak to get myself up and too unimaginative to figure out what Dan’s help could even look like in that situation.)

But for me there was a psychological element to the yoga lady’s instruction too. Closely related to my anxiety. Stop anticipating pain. Stop bracing for a fall every time you stand up. Stop sleeping in the fetal position. Stop overexplaining.

STOP PROTECTING YOURSELF.

Or, framed more positively: Notice what’s acceptable. Let the room pretend to spin. Trust the mattress to hold you. Ask for what you need without apology.

LIVE.

I learned this philosophy before, this “don’t protect yourself.” I will learn it again.

I’m not being too hard on myself or even admonishing myself a little. I’m recognizimg that I learned knew ways of dealing with adversities, mostly to survive some yucky stuff. They only served me for a little while but became habits anyway. Now they are things I need to undo.

Life at The Compound

Life at The Compound

We finally had our Christmas dinner this week. That’s how craptastic the last few weeks have been for us here at The Compound.*

All of us have been waylaid by various icks, and though none of us feel as good as we’d like, we were at least able to yank the Christmas ham out of the freezer.

I’ve started doing some somatic yoga. I fell out of bed (bed!) after taking half (half!) a Xanax and bruised my rib. Something has got to give. Everything medicinal that helps my anxiety exaggerates my muscle weakness and fatigue. I even stopped taking melatonin to help me sleep.

That surgical biopsy on February 2 can’t get here fast enough. I’m trying to be nice to my broken body, but it’s being an unreasonable asshole. 

The jerk!

Oh yeah, the yoga. So, depending on the delivery, somatic yoga instructors can be kind of like physical therapists. They can also be full of horseshit. The part that’s good for me about it is the part where you can do it from a chair or bed. I’m focusing on my neck and shoulders.

Though I don’t have any formal diagnosis, I’ve got some kind of frozen shoulder or compartment syndrome situation going on. It’s helping some, and I will keep doing anything that relieves even a fraction of a percent of my pain 

You know what? Not that anyone would say this to my face, but just so I remind myself: anyone who says I’ve given up is a damn liar.

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* Multi-generational housing going on up in here. Mom, Dan, me, and two cats. I don’t know what else to call it.

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