Two weeks ago a nasty cold took up residence in my body.  Four covid tests later I am more than confident it is not Covid-19 but a bug which either aspires to be covid or believes imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  The cold has left me tired, sleeping late into the day and literally blowing through boxes of tissues.  I’d like to shake the hand of the person who invented tissues with lotion. They are a nose saver.

 Besides the spring of disgusting stuff, which is my nose, the soreness in my esophagus, by the way how did someone get down there with sandpaper, and the ache in my muscles, my head is in a fog much of the time.

In the Midst of my Misery I’ve Made a Discovery

 In the midst of my misery I’ve made a discovery.  As I recover from my Complex Post Traumatic Stress Injury(a better descriptor than PTSD) I have sought to explain to others what it is like living each day.  As my healing progresses I’ve discovered a lightness and a clarity of thought and feeling hitherto unknown to me.  I’ve tried lots of ways to describe this. It’s like having extra resources available or that my thoughts no longer have to travel through the trauma quagmire to get to a resolution. It’s like losing 1/3rd of my psychic weight.

 This cold has given me a new way to describe it.  It is like trying to engage in any kind of rational thinking, with a head full of a cold determined to mine as much mucus as possible while at the same time covering the thinking part of my brain in a thick blanket. (Only without the mucus part.)

 The incredible thing is I now know what it feels like to have the fog lifted, the cold banished, my full personal/psychic resources available on a regular basis.  I never thought it was possible.  What a gift.

Looking for the gift in the challenge

What is it like to approach life looking for the gift in the challenge?  On the larger scale of things this cold is not much of a challenge, an inconvenience, a blip in a year.  But it offers me some information.  The cold reminds me to pay attention to and care for my body.  After decades of denying what I feel or dissociating away from pain and discomfort, I am learning how to reconnect and respect my physicality.  It is amazing how much shame and negative thoughts my body carries.  No wonder dancing is so hard for me.  Now it has become uncomfortable to see my body as something separate from myself.  While this was a good survival skill during times of abuse, it no longer serves me well.  How many things do we cling to long after they have benefit because they are familiar?

Living in my skin is a new experience.  Living in it without negative judgement is a continual challenge, but worth it.  So there is my next challenge.  To connect deeply and positively with this flesh and bones.  Maybe taking up yoga will be a good step.  Now if I can just convince the scared part of me that it will be okay.  Another challenge worth taking up.

Just a thought: What are the challenges in your life which offer you a gift?


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Be well. Stay Safe. Take good care. You are not alone!

Mike

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