Between the RSD/CRPS blog, this website, and all the people I met, I commonly get asked two questions: #1 “Wait like you didn’t remember anything?” *insert 1,000 other questions all at once about going through amnesia* and #2 How do you keep it so together and live your life all while being positive?
I have thought a lot about the second question in particular, and even though I try to be as open and as honest as possible with all of my social media, I don’t always get to show the rougher, raw side to this. You don’t see me crying in my bed while Jared holds me and mourns the loss or frustration I am going though. You don’t see the pain flares that make me twitch and sometimes shake all over. You don’t see my heartbreak when I can’t do all the things I used to do.
I know I have written about this in many posts in the past before this website existed, but I am going to talk about it again now. It’s the ten minute no shame pity party rule. Let me explain, as humans we cannot keep things bottled up but we also must not let our overwhelming emotions crush us into depression. There has to be a balance. All of our feelings are real and valid, and deserve to be expressed in a healthy manor. Now I am not perfect and sometimes I just need to cry my eyes out for an hour and fall asleep- which is occasionally okay, but I try to stick to the ten minute rule. When I am overwhelmed and need to vent (venting can be in any form: screaming, crying, self loathing, etc.) I give myself ten minutes to freak out. That’s right ten minutes to ugly cry or mope or do whatever the hell I feel like, then after that 10 minutes is up, I need to pack it up and get back on with my life. Then for the rest of the day, I cannot touch the issues that I packed up, and if tomorrow I still need to deal with them I get another ten minutes.
Before I get comments or private messages about how that is unsafe- I have cleared this method with my psychologist. For me being able to allow myself ten minutes to clear my head and let out all my emotions is helpful, but knowing how to get out of that is important which is why my ten minute limit exists. My aunt was the one who shared this life tip with me and it has changed my life.
Today I needed to take ten minutes, you see last month there was a mishap before I had a procedure that sparked the RSD to try and fight me again. I combatted the RSD years ago and unless I have a dislocation (which lets be real- is quite often) I don’t get RSD flares like I used too. Even when I have dislocations I just deal with hypersensitive pain with a longer healing time. I used to get the flares we all know about: the ones where you feel like fire ants are under your skin, your skin is burning off, your nerves are being stepped on, your nerves are all having earthquakes- you get what I mean? Anyways I beat my body into submission (tons of impact work and desensitization) and only dealt with hot/ cold flashes, color changes, and reactions to weather. I still felt like I was on fire but it wasn’t strong enough to impair me unless I was coming out of anesthesia. I really had this bitch under control- then the mishap occurred. I have been having massive flares like I used to and it is taking its toll mentally. We had to file a grievance against the doctor and it has been a whole ordeal, and to top it off I have had serious PTSD attacks from it.
Today it all became too much.
Today I needed my 10 minutes. I needed to freak out and be upset that things aren’t going the way I had planned. I cried and had a panic attack for ten minutes- and I am okay. Why am I okay, because I was able to freak out, mourn things that I have lost and am missing out on, and be vulnerable. Do I feel 100% better- no, but I was able to let all of that frustration go- yes. So where do I go from here and where do you go from here?
We move forward day by day, minute by minute, and step by step. We enjoy the good days and get through the bad ones, and if there aren’t any good days right now we will enjoy the little things. We will press on because that’s what fighters do, they fight. Cheers to you, because you are amazing and can overcome this. You can. End of Story.