The Mind & Body

I was thinking last night about what it’s like to have a disability for me. The best way I could think of to sum it up was that it’s like my mind thinks one thing and wants one thing, and my body is either capable or completely incapable of doing those things. In most cases, it’s incapable. I don’t know what it’s like for someone that’s able-bodied, but I imagine in most cases, it’s so automatic you don’t even notice or think about it. You want to go up some stairs, so you go up them. You want to get up off of the floor, so you do. I know that doesn’t mean you can do everything physically your mind wants to necessarily but it’s very strange to have your mind and your body not be in sync. My mind completely thinks I can do anything and should be able to for that matter. So when I go to try something that maybe I just can’t do physically, or something that’s hard…my mind gets frustrated. My mind – and myself – want so badly for my body to just follow what my mind is telling it.

Maybe this is why I live in my head so much. It’s what I identify with a lot more than body. My body sometimes seems so separate…so alien to me. For many years I didn’t even care to take care of it. Why try to make a body healthy that was already inferior to begin with? I was already weak and likely to get weaker…why even bother? I’ve since changed my attitude on that but maybe I need to align my thoughts with my body a little more. Maybe I need to be more compassionate to my body to begin with. I get so angry sometimes when I drop stuff on the floor and have to bend over (sometimes painfully) and pick it up. I get so frustrated when things are difficult that shouldn’t be because they aren’t for other people.

I don’t know that I’m truly at a place yet where I believe deep down that my body is just as ok and valuable as someone else’s. I still feel like it’s damaged or like I was born incomplete because of my disability; something I of course would NEVER say or think about someone else with a disability, but I think about my own self. The one person that will be with me always.

The world isn’t always kind so we need to learn to be kind to ourselves. This is something my mind needs to learn when it comes to my body.

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2 thoughts on “The Mind & Body

  1. Dear Jackie,

    This is Heidrun again, I am sure you are getting tired of hearing from me, but I would just like to comment on your latest post.

    I was not born disabled, but I became disabled after a severe fall on the ice. The doctor’ stay I will never walk again. There were times at first when I tried to deny my new disability and thought I can just get up and hang this load of laundry, or I can do the stairs. And when I get up of course I crumple back into the chair, sometimes it miss and have to use my lifeline to get the rescue squad to come pick me up.

    I dream I am walking, skiing, hiking, and doing all those normal things again. That’ sehen I wake up in a cold sweat. If I had been born disabled I would not know what ii am missing, that’ sweat I think anyway, but from listening to you I know that is not true.

    Now I am living in a nursing home and I hate it. I want my own place again. My mom keeps telling me that that will never happen just because I am in a wheel chair. I keep telling here there are lots of people that have their own home and even go to work every day in a wheel chair.

    Sometimes I almost believe her because it is just not my knees, i have heart disease, chronic depression, diabetes, MERSA, fibromyalgia and a host of other health problems. Sure living here is easy, I don’t have to cook or do laundry. Housekeeping comes in my room once a day. But the majority of residents here are elderly, with some form of dimenensia so life is kinda lonely.

    I have made friends with most of the staff, and thankfully I like being alone, but I do want to walk so bad I can taste it. I just want to be me again

    Peace,
    Heidrun

    1. Hi Heidrun.

      First of all, I never get tired of hearing from you. I always admire the openness and honesty that you share in your comments.

      Though my mind and my body not match up in terms of what I can/can’t do, I still can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be in your shoes and have a bad fall like that that leaves you not able to do what you loved. I think it’s really interesting you still dream about being to do things like skiing and hiking. It made me think about my own dreams and I realize I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a dream where I was able to do things that I’m not in real life. In fact, I often have dreams where I fall in the middle of the street (which has happened) and where I can’t run (also true). Our brains are very intriguing things.

      Anyway, I wish there was something I could say to make your situation better but know that I really admire you. I like being alone too and I would give just about anything to be able to go up stairs normally, even just for a day so I definitely relate with you there. And I’m always here whenever you want to comment 🙂

      All the best,
      Jackie

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