Right before going into surgery, my oncologist told me and then my family separately, that I was to do no housework for thirty days after surgery. He reiterated that it was important that I be very gentle on my midsection and allow it to heal after the hysterectomy.
Do you realize how many ways and times we bend our torso on a daily basis?
From picking up socks and taking out the trash and even turning to reach for something on the kitchen counter, we rely heavily on our core. Even though the inflammation is gone and I can very well bend and reach any which way my body allows me to, I still pause before bending to pick something up from the floor.
It’s a weird quirk. I actually think it’s a mild form of PTSD and it is slowly going away. Unfortunately, this avoidance also gets in my way. If there is a piece of paper that falls to the floor, I can go hours before bending down to pick it up. Basically, my mind says, if it doesn’t bother you, then don’t bother.
I’m not too accepting about this. I know it will change. But I know that we all have that “odd little habit” if we have gone through an ordeal. I’m not a scientist, but I’m sure there is an area in the brain that actually helps us recall that incident and it’s designed to have our brain and bodies respond in a way that preserves us.
I think what’s most important is that we realize when that habit or mental block does not serve us anymore. Clearly, the disarray of unopened mail and file folders on my work space is NOT preserving me anymore. Now I need to re-wire my programming and do things that let me know I’m safe and I can replace the avoidance responses with other responses that are appropriate.
When I have to pick something up from the floor, as I’m pausing, I’ll tell myself, “Just one,” or “Just this one.”
I hear my own voice, saying out loud, that I’m only picking up that one thing. Then I don’t feel overwhelmed and most importantly, I won’t avoid the chore. (Which the other members of my household appreciate). 🙂
Let me encourage you to give yourself the permission to set new parameters for yourself in your season of healing. Get creative in forming new responses or cues that will help you in new situations and give lively meaning to situations that were once daunting.
What is your odd little habit and what can you do to overcome it?