Practice What I Preach: Mind Over Matter
I’ve always been a true believer in the saying, ‘mind over matter’. If I think it, it can be. If I will it, I find a way and if I want it, I will make it happen. And I did. I was always successful in my endeavors.
My rheumatoid arthritis, as with almost everything, turned my thoughts on their heads. My mantra didn’t work on it. As much as I pretended to be well, I didn’t get better. As much as I tried to ignore my RA completely, it kept ruling my life. I couldn’t just will my immune system to work properly.
Regaining some control with rheumatoid arthritis
2020 marked the first year I actually made a resolution and stuck to it. It was a general ‘do better for myself’. I need to stop fighting my body, be patient, and work with it.
Maybe if I listened to my body’s needs, I could have better disease management. I could feel better, get more done, and just have more/some control.
Staying consistent with my resolution
Usually, within the first few weeks of a new year, I let up on resolutions but so far I’ve been doing well with this one. I’m eating better, exercising regularly, resting when I need it and (the biggest thing), not feeling guilty about my limitations. It helps that I announced my intentions on social media and am posting updates on everything. I have been consistent and it’s starting to show.
Self-doubt began to creep in
Over the last couple of days, some seeds of self-doubt weaseled their way into my mind.
“I used to be a high-level rock-climber and now I’m so out of shape that I can’t even do a 15-minute abs workout?”
“The stiffness in my knees was actually getting better…how is the pain worse just because I didn’t get a good night’s sleep??”
I’m keeping my eyes on the prize (better disease management), but these stray thoughts still appear. How do I keep these thoughts from growing? How do I keep these seeds from sprouting and derailing any good work I’ve done so far? It may be time to revisit mind over matter!
How I try to overcome self-doubt
I can’t control my RA, it has a mind of its own, but I can accept my limitations and change the conversation in my head.
"So what if I can’t rock-climb right now. I am slowly increasing my exercise stamina, which was non-existent at the end of last year."
"It is annoying I flared up from one restless night but I can cancel it out with either a better night or more rest during the day."
Practicing mind over matter
If I think it, it can be. If I will it, I find a way and if I want it, I will make it happen. It’s time to practice what I preach. It’s high time I get back into that winner’s mindset I was so fond of all those years ago.
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?