It is said to take anywhere from 21 – 66 days to build a new habit, with the time really varying from person to person. I started this 30 day journey as a way to get back on track with some of my daily habits that had slipped lately and refocus my priorities. I wanted to concentrate on the following:
Gratitude: I had lapsed from writing daily gratitudes
Mindful eating: I wasn’t logging my food
Fitness: I had added some extra pounds I wanted to lose
Mindset: I wanted to see if yoga would be more beneficial for all of my ailments than my typical mindless treadmill walking
Rest: I wanted to get my sleep habits back on track
A set-back is defined as a reversal in your progress. This past week I experienced a bit of a set back, that I wrote about in my post on The Challenge of Slowing Down. I hurt my back, came down with strep and inflamed vocal chords, and was ordered to go home and rest my voice. Then came the fibromyalgia flare. And then word that one of my cousins, who is just a few years older than me, died unexpectedly. Talk about some stress on the body.
This is what happens when you ignore the little voices in your head telling you to take it easy. Take a day off. Get some rest. If I had rested sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have developed strep and lost my voice, maybe I wouldn’t have gone into full fibro flare mode.
“Temporary set backs are overshadowed by persistence.” ~Quentin L. Cook
My body is wearing out. Since 2000 when I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my lower back and a few months later fibromyalgia, my body seems to have been on a steady decline. I used to be a treadmill warrior, committed to reaching those 10,000 steps a stay so my Fitbit would say “Nice job, Cindy!”. Well injuries and physical therapy and doctors recommendations to try something else have convinced me that perhaps I needed to fold up the treadmill for good. Or at least for the next 30 days…
I am embarking on a personal challenge for the month of April, to try to tweak some of my habits, to be more consistent with my practices. As JJ Virgin always says, “Little hinges swing big doors.” Sometimes those little tweaks make a big difference!
“Sometimes the curiosity can kill the soul but leave the pain.” ~Alice
Perhaps that title should read “Lessons Learned from Attempting to Diagnose Chronic Pain” since I still don’t have answers… I haven’t written much lately due to some chronic neck pain/shoulder/arm that has been plaguing me for months. I come home from work exhausted and drained, and spending more time in front of a computer is the last thing I want to do.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Do you ever feel like the hassle and expense of getting to the root of a medical problem might outweigh the benefits of finding out what the problem is? For the last several months, I feel like I have gone down the proverbial rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland”, where everything is not as it seems!
Having Fibromyalgia, I find I quite often don’t sleep well. I can’t fall asleep. Or I can’t stay asleep. Or when I do sleep a few hours, it’s not restful. And I certainly don’t remember my dreams very well. All common issues for those who suffer this condition.
Some nights, despite how tired I may be and how many good habits I use to prepare for bed (hot tea, warm bath, lavender spray…), it seems like I am wide awake once my head hits the pillow and I turn out the lights. My mind will be racing and I just can’t seem to be able to turn it off.
Those are the nights I pull out a little journal from my night stand, and I write down the random thoughts that pop into my head. I just write for as long I can, whatever gibberish I want. And somehow, the process of getting those thoughts out of my head and onto paper helps. I am able to quiet my mind, lie back down, and somehow sleep…per chance to dream.
P. S. Fibromyalgia and sleep troubles are, to me, very much like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? Does lack of sleep and increased fatigue lead to FMS? Or does FMS create the sleep disturbances which then leads to the increased fatigue? Some studies indicate FMS is a by-product of sleep disorders. Seeking out the help of a sleep specialist might then be the cure for a good night’s sleep.