All day long, my mind remained calm while my body felt like it was on fire. It’s definitely being tested, though. Just when I felt like I had finally shed some of the unhelpful thoughts that I carried around for so many years, I find that they are once again beginning to reappear.
“This is going to last a lifetime?”
This thought is always good for a few seconds (or minutes) of intense anxiety. When I frame my situation in these terms, it seems so impossible to deal with. So today, I decided to rewrite this thought. I turned it into “Sure, this will last a lifetime – but I only need to get through this moment. I have done so before, and I will continue to do so.”
As I continued to walk, I noticed that I was on the flat surface of the street and not on the neighboring concrete sidewalk. The small steps on each driveway curb were just too much for my ankles and knees to handle. Chances are, my crutches are going to come back out from the corner of the entryway to my house. (In the past I used to put them in a closet when they were not in use, but bringing them back out was that much more difficult.
“I feel like a failure.”
Okay, first of all, let me say that that I know that I am not a failure. But somehow, every time my crutches come back out of the closet/corner, I feel like I have failed. The fact that sometimes I cannot carry my own weight on my feet and legs – even though I completely understand the reason why – still feels like a shortcoming on my part.
I guess I’ll strike out that previous thought and replace it with “I will do what I need to do in order to take care of myself.” I’m still not completely convinced, though. Darn. I thought that I had finally worked through these feelings of failure.
Looking back at this moment of the day when all the above thoughts (and others) crossed my mind, I do recognize that I was able to remain calm. I experienced absolutely no feelings of anxiety or shortness of breath.
So instead of feeling bad about the reappearance of these thoughts, I think I’ll celebrate the fact that I was able to work through them the best I could.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!