Coping Challenges: Physical limitations

Trigger Warning….please be mindful of any triggers related to child abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse when reading this post.  Not trying to be explicit, but any words or descriptions might cause trouble.

What’s another word for epiphany?

So this week really brought my physical limitations and weaknesses into perspective.  I feel extremely vulnerable right now because my body is

  1. in so much pain
  2. physically too weak to do simple things like putting on extra layers for warmth, laundry, cooking, even typing hurts sometimes.
  3. unable to use alcohol or OTC pain killers to relieve some of the pain, so instead my body sends me to sleep – shivering, body tingling like when your foot wakes up after going to sleep, itchy skin, and freezing cold – until it’s recovered
  4. unable to use typical distractions like walks or food prep or visiting friends or knitting or decorating because too much movement hurts my shoulders and back
  5. even one recovered memory that turns into a flashback including body memories can wipe me out for days
  6. flashbacks trigger physical panic attacks that keep me bone chilled from the inside out and leave my skin/muscles/cells feeling hyper-sensitive like my skin’s been turned inside out – all nerves exposed
  7. unwilling to push through/against the pain to do basic chores because that will further injure the muscles and cause more pain/flashbacks/triggers yet frustrated over the weakness
  8. Weight loss and dehydration because all I’m doing is work & sleep with minimal energy to eat or hydrate.

Sounds scary, right?

Good

The good news is that with each occurrence, I am more aware and grounded in the present so can take measures to limit how bad it gets.  2-4 lbs is not a terrible weight loss and can be fixed without much trouble.  The sleep & pain is being addressed with alternative medicine and aromatherapy (more in a future post).  Now  that my regular counselor is back, I feel a lot more comfortable working with her to figure this out too.

Bad

The bad news is that I am severely limited in my physical activities and energy levels from moment to moment.  That leaves me mostly house bound, having to depend on delivery & reheating food for meals, very tired often, and having to figure out creative ways to get my chores done.  When I overdo the physical activity, my body reacts with shaking/trembling, internal cold, tingling sensations from head to toes, and a need to sleep.  But finding my limits is difficult.  And as you might have guessed, the reaction and stopping it is beyond my ability to control – I have to wait it out

Neutral

In other news, my new sofa was delivered and is waiting to be put together.  Yesterday’s treatment helped with the cold issue and relieved some pain, so today was mildly productive.  I’m afraid to do a lot because not sure what kinds of movements or repetitive movements will trigger a flashback or panic attack.  This new awareness of my body’s vulnerability came from recovered memories integrating (body, mind, spirit) and letting go of some trauma along with trust in my practitioners – telling them the real source of my body pain and sleep issues for more accurate treatment.

The source of my pain

TRIGGER WARNING 2 – descriptions of pain causes

In recent posts, I and my alters have shared details about our past lives and memories.  Details that included torture, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect to name a few.

Any kind of physical activity and cause injuries.  Torture and abuse can also cause injuries.  Due to the nature of my “job” for these people, they were careful not to leave permanent marks on my skin – aka almost no scars or permanent marks to prove injuries are real.

Most of those injuries were never treated or completely treated.  Before 2007/2008, I hardly ever spent much time in my physical body.  Never understood why until this year, but I didn’t.  And when I did start to spend time in my body (or stay grounded), I started to have a lot of health issues again.  Issues that x-rays and other diagnostic tools couldn’t find or confirm so my doctors could make a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Funny, even typing this blog post is hurting my shoulders, neck, and back muscles – they’re all connected to my rotator cuff muscle system so that makes sense right?

Either way, I have to end this post soon.

After about 10 years, I’m finally mentally and spiritually grounded enough, feeling safe enough to address my body trauma issues.  So, I finally understand why I dissociated/switched/slept so much for certain periods of the year.  I understand how I could exercise just fine for 3 days in a row and then suddenly not be able to use scissors for a pencil for a couple weeks.  And how, when absolutely necessary, the alters who did not experience this physical pain could take over and protect us or get things done.  The consequences would show up later, but at least all of us were safe in the present.

Conclusion

This time is all about trial and error.  What’s working so far is a specialized blend of essential oil-based massage oil from a certified aromatherapist and Chinese medicine.

Maybe essential oils will help you too if you have this kind of issue?  Maybe a different alternative medicine?  I’ve heard good things about Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, chiropractic, etc., but cannot personally promote any of them.

And in case you’re wondering, I don’t drink or take pain meds because my body is too sensitive and reactive to both alternatives.  I get physically ill and experience many negative side effects using them even in small doses.  That doesn’t mean I advocate for everyone in the world to be like me.  That simply means, I do not promote the use of either as a coping strategy or treatment plan as my personal experiences with both have been harmful instead of helpful.

For anyone who can tolerate pain pills and alcohol without side effects or addiction issues, please use what works for you.

And remember that you’re not alone if you feel pain that no one else believes is real.  I believe.  Many others do too.

Thanks for reading.