My errant foot

A few years ago I twisted awkwardly on my ankle and made the tendon excruciatingly unhappy. It healed up within a few weeks, but how my body got used to doing certain things I found really interesting.

As I still needed to eat during this time of abject agony I had to go to the supermarket. To allay the pain, I would lean my arms heavy onto the supermarket trolley, to take some of the weight from my foot, making it a good deal easier to walk. This worked really well, and I was able to feed myself (which I always consider a win!). But then my foot got better, and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks after it had, that I noticed that i was still leaning heavy on trollies when I used them. Occasionally, even a couple of years later, I still find myself doing this. For the most part, this feels quite funny.

My body has clearly accepted the familiarity of a particular movement and without me really noticing, it continues to do it. Maybe my body has the memory of that pain so firmly entrenched within my systems, that it accepts this as a default mode. Muscle memory is usually talked about in sports or in playing of musical instruments, but it would make sense that anything that I am doing on a regular basis this could work for.

My friend Kate works for the NHS with their chronic pain team. She speaks to many people who no longer have any reason to be in pain, but they still require high-level pain medication to combat the pain that they are experiencing. After their bodies have gone through high levels of pain, their minds still imagine that it is there, even after the trauma is over, and it continues to manifest.

Maybe the mind works like this too for emotional pain. If something very sad has happened, then sometimes we can get stuck, get looped on a particular set of feelings. Even though an experience has long been over, we still carry the weight, just because we are familiar with always carrying it. Unless I consciously observe my emotional health, it is really easy to hold onto things that no longer serve me. Choosing to put these things down is important. I am allowed to walk unhindered.

Map Point. How am I preventing my happiness?



My remarkable day

I have had the strangest day. I woke up in the night, massive storm outside. It wasn’t so much the noise keeping me awake as the continual flashes of lightning. It was incessant. Finally I put a pillow over my eyes and eventually got some shut eye.

I then woke up really late, even by my occasional bad standards, maybe around half past nine, and eventually got as far as breakfast. I made toast. Now usually my relationship with bread products has been all good, I eat it, it is delicious and sublimely beautiful. Okay that was too far, I have an emergency frozen sliced loaf in my freezer for when the good breakfasts run out. I then assessed the things in my fridge that could be applied to toast. My daughter opted for strawberry jam which I know was a recent buy (we made jam tarts; they were exceptional) and I opted for the somewhat slightly more suspect lemon marmalade. I clearly must have bought it at some point, but as to when that might have been.. I have no idea. I opted not to check the date, having made the rational decision that marmalade lasts a long time (its basically liquid sugar, right?) thus was all good for my breakfast topping.

Whether the citrus topping was delectable or not I never found out. On my first bite, I managed to bite and puncture my tongue, blood and mushed up toast issuing forth from my mouth. It was painful, possibly rivalling the plug that I trod on last week. But I am tough, after the blood had stopped dispensing I got ready to go out. I went back to the kitchen, and then inadvertently stubbed my little toe on my right foot on a table leg. It hurt. But was still intent to crack on with my day!

Now the previous night my daughter appeared to have mild food poisoning from a sandwich place that we frequent (that will now be getting a strongly worded letter) and when I was ready to leave the house, it appeared that I suffered the same fate. It was not happy making, but I remained optimistic! I read for a bit before dosing off to combat the feeling of ill.

I woke up later on, feeling much improved so I started making a roast dinner. This went really well, beautiful crispy fluffy roast potatoes, and all sorts of other things. Which when I reached into the oven to get them, I burnt my fingers. I was almost flippant! And I didn’t swear either when midway through my dinner I bit my tongue again. In the same spot as before, it was a proud moment.

Then my daughter wanted to watch a film, so I amazed myself by working out how to find it online and we watched it. The film was The Maze Runner and she had watched a version of it made in Minecraft. The film was somewhat more brutal, killing off one of her favourite characters at the end which led to much sobbing. And then a bit more. Then I cried too, just for a bit.

Then I fully noticed the level of catastrophe that my house becomes if it isn’t tended for a whole day and then I became massively productive, and finally got to writing this. Now am optimistic that no more injury or emotional distress will befall me for the rest of the day, but despite the days mishaps, am feeling oddly marvellous. Also today has included seeing my Mum, three enquiries for friends as to my well being, one offer of a shop run and a feeling of amazing love and productivity.

Map Point. How can see things from a different angle?