I frequently find myself experiencing a disconnect between my brain and my body, treating my body like it is a foreign, separate entity that periodically enjoys screwing with me rather than part of the same interdependent system. I don’t think this is uncommon in people with chronic pain and illness, when our bodies set limits with which our mental desires are uncomfortable.
Sometimes, this leads me to do stupid things. Like having a cleaning spree after a week of being bed-bound because I can’t stand the mess any more, or going on benders of drinking, smoking, and eating junk food although I know it will make my inflammation (and consequently my symptoms) worse. I adopt an attitude of “My body doesn’t do anything for me, why should I treat it well?”, with a side of “Frack you, I won’t do what you tell me”. Also known as cutting off your nose to spite your face, because it always comes back to bite me. As time has passed and I have adapted to my situation, this happens less, but it still crops up occasionally.
Scene from yesterday:
(Explanatory note: I’m in the middle of a facet joint flare-up, and my most comfortable position at the moment is bent a bit forward at the waist with my pelvis tilted up to the right, walking on my right tiptoe but with my left foot flat. I am super sexy and graceful right now.)
Brain: I haven’t stood up completely straight in around ten days. I wonder how long it takes for your spinal muscles to atrophy so you can’t any more? Oh god, what if I can’t stand up straight? What if I can never straighten up again?!
(I am aware that my brain is overly dramatic.)
I should try, just to check.
Body: [quietly] I wouldn’t, dude.
Brain: Okay, slowly bring shoulders up, straighten spine, good, now put right foot flat on the floor and drop your right hip so your pelvis is even. Great! I can do it! This is fine, it doesn’t even really hurt. I don’t know what you were making such a fuss about.
[3.5 seconds pass]
Brain: OWWWW! OH HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING?! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS OW OW OW KILL ME!!!
Body: Frackin’ told you so.
[Sighs and hobbles away to lie down]