By: Chris Robinson
Burning pain, nausea, can’t stand, can’t sit, going to pass out
Full body attention to injury
Who knew rolling in bed could be so painful?
The neuroceptively-aware waiter body-reads my distress
Offers empathy and support through soft eyes, gentle voice, and literally a hand of support
The pro-social domain is keeping this homo sapien alive
“Dial 0 and we’ll get you to a doctor, whatever you need”
Social engagement systems in action, Porges was right
Co-regulating with the caring person decreases my limbic arousal
But I need more bio stress reduction: belly breathing, resting on my back, OTC’s help on the way to physiotherapy
“I’ll 5 step my way through this”
Read the signs, identify stressors, reframe, reduce stressors, increase self-awareness.
But the “steps” happen out of order, and sometimes together.
More multi-domain stressors pile up the following day
The leg drags, can’t lift it now. Frozen stiff with pain.
Interconnectedness/ interrelatedness of domains is obvious and powerful
My Physiotherapist reminds me that my core strength has gone. Where did it go?
‘The final blows were insult to injury, knocking the life right out of you,” says my triune brain, through it’s many neuronal pathways of self-awareness
Sharp pain, pressure = no sleep = LE/HT= difficulties focusing and attending
Physio is pulling, digging, attempting to put Humpty Dumpty back together again
“But all the kings horses and all the kings men….”, says my logical cognitive domain through the negative bias of pain
“Take in the “slowly getting better” words (positive bias) from the physiotherapist”
My adult self speaks to my hurt child
Terribly missing yoga and kickboxing classes, being in my faith community; belonging, the friendships, the social domain is grieving.
I’ve been kicked off the island by rolling in bed.
The stress cycle starts, again and again, without warning.
Anxiety, rumination, heightened tension take turns at the wheel
Stop it at all cost, at any node.
Breathing is a big resource. And the sound of the wind blowing through the trees.
And meditation, and prayer, and puzzles, and writing, and checking in with people who care, and laughter and compassion and patience.
And dreams of getting back on the island.
Stressors lighten, just enough, to let go of some of the excruciating tension and pressure and burning pain.
Allowing for restorative sleep.
The brain fog lifts. Attention and energy begin to come in small spurts.
I limp back onto the island, as far as the beach.
I don’t do stairs. I can’t stand for very long without much discomfort. I get very tired.
Still in allostatic load, I attempt to titrate my 5 domain stressors so as to not overwhelm myself. Easier said than done.
Tentatively, with gratitude and frustration, and a host of seemingly unrelated emotions mixed together into a strange collage
I enjoy the normalcy of working with families, a slower yoga class, choir practice, attending church.
But impatience arises. Self-control and Willpower want their day. Plato would be proud.
“It’s time. Reign in the emotions (and the body). Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and take your life back. It’s been a month and it’s time to move on”, it says.
But the body knows better. And the mind and the heart and the spirit.
Healing and growth have their own timetable.
Reframing is going to be a lifetime task.