I’m not going to write some big dramatic intro that explains that my back has been sore since February.
But to get you on the same page as me I’ll tell you that my back has been sore since February and that this has totally mucked up how I saw my next few years going. I’ve really been struggling with motivation lately and I had a couple of rough days these past couple of weeks when it seemed like my condition was getting worse again.
So there was a point a little more than a week ago when I was in a really bad place and I just didn’t want to deal with the pain any more – I basically just wanted to sleep and be left alone. But then my mum took me out of the house and we went for hot chocolate – which I have an obsession over.
I felt like I was breathing again and it just separated me from the pain and the struggle for a little bit so when we go home I was in a much better mood. I was sitting in my parent’s room next to their bookshelf with all our Christian books in. I picked up a book called ‘Communion with God’ and I started reading it.
The book is like a guide to praying (and I definitely recommend it) and I started applying it to my life.
That next weekend I basically just prayed for three days long all the way from Friday morning to Sunday night. I got a chance to talk to God and listen to Him and it healed a lot of my frustrations and made me peaceful again.
Now I’ve been planning to change my life in a major way but I just haven’t had the strength to do it. And every time I tried to make major changes in my life, I would just get exhausted and fall back into the pattern that my pain created. I would wake up and push myself out of bed despite being cold and sore. I’d drink water and look over my homework. I’d feel exhausted and overwhelmed and then just get back to bed.
It seemed really pathetic to me because I use to be, and still am, the kind of person who simply doesn’t stop working. My old mindset was that I can use sheer will power to get through anything but these days if I sit longer than say an hour my back starts to hurt very intensely and I can barely do anything except lie down.
So how I explain this to myself now is that life is like a video game where I get a certain number of energy points at the beginning of each day. Normally I could use these energy points on things such as school work and my job and my writing and then still have a little bit of energy points left at the end of the day.
Now those same amounts of energy points have to be distributed between more things. Now I get to spend some energy points on my school work but while I’m doing that I also use energy points to fight the pain. So throughout the day simply dealing with the pain steals a lot of my energy points.
So I can no longer do everything that I use to do because my energy points run out before the end of the day. Make sense?
Now back to me changing my life in a major way.
So after I realised that my old mindset and habits won’t be able to get me out of the pain I realized that I need to shift priorities.
I used to have writing as my top priority and then school and then my job and then my Christian walk and then my relationships and then at the complete bottom of the list my physical health and mental well being.
You’d think I’d change all that early after hurting my back but of course as a human I strongly protest against any change.
So here I am after a weekend of intense praying and I realise that my priorities need to look different.
Number one should be my relationship with God, and then number two should be my physical health.
The rest of the stuff is important too. But they can no longer come first because if I put all the work first then there will be no energy points left to keep my body and my mind intact. And if I don’t take care of my body, my condition will get worse.
Once I changed my priorities I also acknowledged that I can’t make any massive changes right now. As much as I would love to wake up tomorrow with a different body that doesn’t hurt and a set of life goals that I can work towards without a problem – that’s not my reality right now.
Right now I’ve got a sore body and a messed up head. I have a job and homework that I’m really far behind on and I’ve got three half finished writing ideas.
So if I can’t make that huge change in my life overnight I guess I’ll have to start with small changes.
Which is why on Monday night I drafted up a 30 minute routine that I decided will be the base of my life from here off on. It’s not something that will use a ton of my energy points but it consists out of things that will give me more energy points and ultimately have a real impact on my life.
I have an alarm that goes off on my phone and when I hear it I go to drink all my medications. I put on pyjamas, wash my face, make myself hot chocolate and a hot water bottle (a must for anyone struggling with pain) then get into bed and read bible.
All this takes me between half an hour and an hour, depending on what bible verses I’m reading. But at the end of it I’ve wholly relaxed myself and then I get a good night’s sleep before I get up in the morning to do some light exercise.
It’s a very simple thing to arrange a 30 minute routine but since I started doing this I’ve been waking up better. I’ve felt happier again. I’ve felt more connected to God and I pray a lot more now.
The biggest thing though is that when I shifted my priorities I stopped beating myself up for any work that I couldn’t finish. I decided to work slowly and to take proper breaks so I don’t strain myself. And this nightly routine is the perfect time for me to accept what I’ve accomplished during the day and to celebrate it – while also letting go of the negative feelings I have over what I didn’t accomplish.
I’m more relaxed and at ease and I honestly feel like even though I can’t make any big changes any more, that this small step is a major victory for me.
That’s my life right now. I’ll tell more another time but for this moment I can simply finish off by saying I’m feeling positive and I hope you are too – in whatever it is you’re busy dealing with.
I wrote a post that is a guide for creating a short routine, so you can go take a look at that and maybe implement the idea into your own life.
So keep moving forward and I’ll write to you again on Friday.