Get out of my brain

Wonderful light today, sun in and out of clouds, brilliant blue sky. Yahoo weather tells me it’s supposed to clear this afternoon and stay that way for a few days, which will be nice for the World Series beginning today at AT&T park (aka SBC park, aka Pac Bell Park), where there used to be a bunch of old waterfront warehouses when the Giants were still playing at Candlestick Park (aka Monster Park, aka 3 Com Park). (The mind boggles at corporate willingness to brand anything that can be bought. Would they pay me to tattoo an Apple icon on my forehead?)  It was kind of fun though, seeing everybody jumping around in the pelting rain when the Giants clinched the title, and the fireworks were misty and romantic.

Started out the day feeling about 105, but after various potions and emollients, I felt well enough to go walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes, which improved my mood immeasurably. Such a balancing act these days.  I get depressed if I can’t exercise, and depressed if exercise makes the pain worse.  Still figuring that one out. Wrote my rehab doc an email yesterday saying maybe I should have that MRI after all and could she prescribe something for pain. We have a phone appointment to discuss this on Monday.

In all the years I’ve been dealing with back pain (nearing 40), I’ve never routinely taken a pain med. I could always figure out ways to manage it–take anti-inflammatories, cut back on activities, use ice and arnica, stay off my feet for a few days, Feldenkrais, acupuncture, etc., etc.  None of it’s working anymore; if I’m going to have any kind of life, I need to have less pain. But there are risks:  what if they give me some nice little floaty pills and I really, really like them?  I’ve never been much of a pill-popper, but maybe that’s because I always had wine. I’d be interested in hearing others’ experience with this.

I’m continuing with the inventory/meditation routine my son showed me. Writing for 20 or 30 minutes about resentments and fears brings up a lot of stuff.  Today, for instance, I realized how much shame I have about my run-down house and garden…which got me thinking about whose expectations I’m trying to live up to.  My mother’s, of course, and my grandmother’s and aunt’s–the women of the family–who certainly would not have tolerated stained and dirty carpets and threadbare upholstery, though they might have put up with the cracking linoleum in the kitchen since visitors didn’t come in their kitchens, not living in an age where the spaces all flow into each other and only the bedrooms can keep any secrets.  And that got me thinking of a post I read by a new blogging friend, Mished-up, about never being “enough,” and I thought, enough for what? for whom?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan of a head.

Because mostly, we’re our own worst enemies, aren’t we?  All that shame, all those I’m-not-good-enoughs–whoever or whatever it was that burned that into our brains is probably long gone.  My nemesises (nemesi?) certainly are.  I haven’t seen them in decades, half a century, most of them.  Why are they still living in my brain?  I don’t want a tabula rasa exactly, but a discreet pinpoint laser that erased some of those expectations and self-images implanted in childhood–would that be so bad?  It wouldn’t solve the entire problem, there’s still all those messages we get from nearly every quarter about being too old/fat/ugly/poor/ignorant/stupid/clumsy/short, etc., not to mention the ones that tell you you’re going to DIE if you don’t take their pills.  Where there are products to be sold, there are consumers to be convinced their lives will be hell without them.  Still, I think I’d be a lot better at dealing with them if I didn’t have all those not-good-enoughs from childhood.

I’m 72 years old.  Isn’t it time they left my brain in peace?





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4 Responses to Get out of my brain

  1. mishedup says:

    Oh man…
    WHEN does it stop, exactly the question I was asking. I think there’s work we have to do to make it stop, and I love that you’re writing about it. Those resentments we hold forever, even after the people we resent are long dead. When I was about 13 I put on some make-up and I can so clearly hear my mom’s voice “wow, you look so much prettier with make-up”….and now guess who can’t go to Target without make-up!?
    We have to be enough for US…
    now, how exactly that happens I am not sure, but it’s the truth.
    Thank god we know the wine/booze isn’t going to get us there…step one.

    love this

  2. Casey says:

    Ah, the curses of being human – addiction, shame, doubt….I don’t know how all the beautiful people cover it up. I’m in the same boat as you, though, wishing it would go away. Writing about does seem to help a little.

    Take care –

  3. Lisa Neumann says:

    ahhh :) …. Words are the best medicine, especially when we speak words of love to self. Beautiful thoughts. L

  4. What a great post Susan! So glad you shared this.

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