Jedi Mind Tricks

I see several people who suffer with Fibromyalgia. I used to work, for some time, at the Fibromyalgia Clinic. I have done intake for hundreds of persons with chronic pain, MS, FM, CFS, OA, TMJ, IBS and a bunch of other initials that only mean something if you happen to have that issue. I am not saying this to brag, it’s simply a matter of exposure. Chronic health problems suck. I have learned words like myofascial pain, and trigger points, and pacing. Ah, pacing.

People with Fibromyalgia are usually fairly lousy at pacing themselves. I say this with the greatest respect and am only parroting what virtually all of my FM patients are saying. The scenario goes something like this.

You had a good day. That has become a problem. Many people who find life difficult are occasionally surprised when the sun shines, figuratively speaking. People who suffer from depression, or heartache or chronic pain only get a glimmer of sunshine once in a while and it’s tempting to want to crow. I get that. It was sunny and warm in January these past few days and it’s shocking how much it affects my attitude, and I’m not really that sick. When you get a break in the clouds you probably want to gobble up that “to do” list and go for a jog and a massage. Don’t do it.

You want to do everything. Remember fun?

There is a possibility that we may be wired up for excess. A vast majority of the population would admit to struggling with impulse control issues, among other signs of ‘right here right now’. Don’t you just love the way you can tap your credit card now and the transaction is even shorter? So what if it’s less secure, the tapping feeds my ADHD. I love it.

I find it hard not to want to do everything and experience everything life has to offer. I absolutely adore short cuts and something for nothing. Most of us do, if we’re honest. Pacing is more than regulating my schedule, it has something to do with learning to self-regulate. That skill is one which does not come naturally to most of us. I have known people who seem to have that piece together but I still want a Dairy Queen Kit Kat Blizzard.

Learning to say no to that need to satiate every appetite is not something that is always satisfying to practice. Who ever wanted their goal in life to be devoid of fun? There are, however, increasing benefits to pursuing self-mastery. While you will probably never master your disaster, I have talked to many who light up as they describe how they have changed, and in very amazing ways. Learning to control this mess that is called Scott may have benefits beyond the lessening of the voices in my head.

I want to be a Jedi.


3 thoughts on “Jedi Mind Tricks

  1. Would you please stop pacing yourself and edit my paper? I’m just about ready to start tapping my credit card on my second double loaded Dairy Queen Kit Kat blizzard. 😉

  2. If I were truthful, I would want to be a jedi too Scott. Or maybe just a princess in shining armour. Or a jedi warrior princess in shining armour. Might as well reach for the sky if we’re dreaming anyway. : )

    I am one of your patients with fibromyalgia, and I’ve been sick for several long, ugly years. somewhere along the way, I thought I got half decent at impulse control and pacing. I’ve actually always been a bit anal about that kind of stuff. Self control was one of the few tools that helped me navigate the emotional craziness of my early life. I used it when I needed it, but I also had healthy outlets for my energy when I needed it too. I had some fun.

    I have been working, or rather, not working, and pacing for many long months. I’ve been good. I want to get better. When I finally decided to have some real fun as I would measure it, I overdid it, of course. i keep trying but I am starting to feel like I won’t ever find anything ‘fun’ to enjoy. Pacing is often disappointing, as I really have to keep lowering my standards and it feels like there’s not even any reward at the end. Often quite the opposite. How do I find something rewarding enough in this to carry me through the tough times, when there are so many disappointments? Does it get easier to find that place where my standards and my abilities meet? Why can’t I have a Kit Kat Blizzard every once in awhile without having to pay for it every time?

    1. guess that’s your jedi. maybe for a bunch of us. if you are someone I have talked with you know I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason, or that all bad stories have a happy ending. All I know is this is all I have to work with and getting stoned every day didn’t help very much, in the long run. I cannot imagine a world where I would now end myself, though once that felt like a viable option. I have a few little people, and some not so tiny, who need me to keep my crap together and I take that more seriously than I once did. So once again I am left to find meaning in a world I didn’t really imagine I would have.

      Sure it’s platitudes and cheap coping tricks and a hundred other things including learning to lower my expectations of absolutely everything around me. It seems to me that my Jedi would be at peace, and maybe only that. I want to believe that I could grow old enough to be young again.
      So I rub the rock and do the work and listen to my earbuds and try to go outside as much as my employers will allow. And soon I want to go canoeing again. And hopefully die with a tan.

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