Monday, August 8, 2016

Transformation, Period

August 8, 2016

Hello all, and if I may - sorry it has been so long! I think about posting all the time but my life and my body are in flux right now so that makes it hard. That's not a good reason for a lack of posting, it's just my reason.

Today I came to a startling realization: I am transforming. There are several reasons for this that I promise to at least touch on, but the reason this is important is because it has a major impact on everything that is me. Everything I think, say, do, dream, eat, drink - it's all being impacted by this tidal wave of change washing through my body and mind. 

Well over a year ago now I undertook the life changing step of starting on a strict Paleo AIP lifestyle. This step alone was transformative as it led me to lose weight and start healing. Part of that was emotional too; I was able to let go of lots of negative "things" that were hiding, crouched in the dark corners of my brain. Some of those were guilt, some were just terrible memories, others were regrets.

Ah, regret. 

A regret isn't always something that you're directly responsible for you, y'know? Sometimes it's a thought that you wish you hadn't thunk, or an action that you wish you'd taken, a word you wish you'd used... this list can go on. I lived my life sitting on a trunk full of regrets, bursting at the seams. Had I not sat on it they would have come crashing out, overwhelming me. 

I like to say that I don't have regrets, not the real "Oh I really screwed that pooch!" kind at least. There are so many things in life that are out of our control for which we end up carrying a burden; so many. I would love to live without guilt and regret because those two things hold me back. They hold all of us back from achieving our highest level of being ourselves. Yes, I truly believe that.

Anyway, I dealt with all of that and thought I had a pretty clean slate. Last summer and fall left me feeling good about myself. I was able to let go of some very old demons, forgive myself for some old stuff, and I thought, move on. 

Fast forward a year and a month, to June of this year. I'd been doing a good job of washing my conscience clean of guilt and processing regrets as they surfaced. I'd been faithful to my diet for a year and was feeling good. But physically I was in pain and I do mean that literally. I was hurting all the time. I kept on running and eating healing foods but my neck was hurting so badly that I feared something was really-really wrong. I was losing sleep, having a tough time running, even holding my head up felt like a burden. The base of my skull burned with pain and turning my head caused a hot jolt of pain to travel right up the back of my noggin to the top. It felt like it was shooting out of my eyes for God's sake. I had debilitating headaches every afternoon that lasted well into the evening. It was scaring the crap out of me. 

Years ago, make that about 7 of them, I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and given a nerve root block of C-4/5 because I was in a tremendous amount of pain and nothing helped. Nerve tests showed a disconnect, so the block was applied and voila! I was better for several years. Naturally the recurrence of that kind of pain scared the bojangles out of me. Not being a huge fan of conventional medicine I thought it might be time to consult a chiropractor because something had to give. Also being a bit skeptical of chiros, having seen a few in my past and then having seen them do me no good whatsoever, I started listening to people. Some of my friends had been seeing this NUCCA chiro for a while and were reporting miraculous results. 

Here's a lil bit of info on that for you, should you care to check it out http://www.nucca.org/what-is-nucca/

Being doubly skeptical of some voodoo sounding nonsense, I went in for a consultation and x-rays. I didn't want to believe it because, well, I just didn't want to. I'm stubborn. But after he took x-rays and did a scan of my spine, he was able to tell me what was going on with me physically and mentally. Ever the yes-I'm-still-a-skeptic type, I allowed him to adjust me. It bears explaining that given the extent of the neck problems I've had in the past, I was quite hesitant to let anyone touch it, let alone a cracker who would warm me up and then crank my head at terminal velocity to allow the neck bones to crack (horrible memories of this!). Well these NUCCA guys don't do that, they do only soft tissue manipulation of the cervical spine. So sure, do that thing you do.

Welp - the first adjustment was nothing short of what everyone told me; it was miraculous. I felt nothing during the adjustment but as soon as it was done I burst into tears. There was a very warm sensation at C1, where all my pain lived, and after a few minutes it got downright hot, then POOF - the heat and the neck pain were - ready? - gone. Even I can't believe it, but it's true. And that day, no headache. I mean seriously, I thought this was insane!

So now I go twice a week and for the most part the adjustments leave me feeling physically better and better.  But when your spine has been holding your body and your mind hostage for decades, shit starts to get real when the spine shifts. I have been undergoing some major changes. Major. Physical, yes. Emotional, yes. Mental, yes. Big time.

Several weeks and 12 or so adjustments into this journey that may last a couple of years, I've started having the most vivid dreams. There are lots of snakes (representing transformation, probably) and reliving shit from my childhood. But what I've come to notice over the past couple of days is that it's much, much bigger than that. Everything inside of me is shifting. Some of it very uncomfortably.

High level: I feel like I don't really know myself. I'm trying to explain to me who I am, and that's not been easy. I feel lost. My confidence is in the crapper. I'm worried and ruminating and Jesus good Lord, I don't like it. I worry worry worry worry worry worry worry. I'm afraid that people don't like me (which is NOT LIKE ME at all, I don't care, I'm a take it or leave it kind of gal), I'm forgetting things and I pour my guts into running because right now it's the only thing making me feel better. 

So I run every day. Yes, every day. With very few exceptions, and I feel fantastic! In the running at least. The rest of me is like a quivering mess of self doubt, bad memories, fretting over stupid crap, etc. 

I know that this is part of the bigger picture and that all the shifting happening in my spinal cord is making waves of OHMYGOD happen to my body and my brain. I know this intellectually, but I still have to process all of it. And when I say all, I mean ALL. I'm questioning what I do for a living (do I really want to do this until I retire? what is it anyway? remember when you wanted to make a difference? well are you? are you following your dreams? remember when you wanted to be a writer/anthropologist/radio DJ/ventriloquist/go-go dancer? what happened to those dreams? huh? what?!), how many hours a day I sleep, my interactions with oh, everyone on the planet -- are you getting the picture? It's like a big nerve between my spine and my brain was pinched for decades and now that the pinch has been relieved the floodgates are OPEN. 

All I can say is yikes. Its scary! I'm 53 years old and to have all this stuff surface on me now is a nightmare. I'm questioning everything there is to question, and stuff that doesn't need to be questioned too. The huge, looming, $64,000 question is: do I just process this stuff out, or do I act on some of it? Or none of it? 

Hmmm....


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