I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Monday, 17 October 2011

Reframing Vocabulary

So my aunt wisely challenged me to remove words like "illness" and "sick" from my thoughts and my speech. That leaves me with a blank empty space to describe what my body is going through in a more positive way.

For example, last week, when I got that cold, I would have said I crashed. So instead, my mother suggested I think of it as my body in a state of compensation. My body was using all my energy to keep the cold from taking root, and then to maintain the best state of health it could. That is where my energy went.

The experience is the same, but not, because it does give me a different experience of it - it's all in the semiotics. Think about it. Using the word "crash", there is a connotation of a strong impact, suddenness, unexpectedness, and a lack of control. However, if I say that I am allowing my body to compensate for external factors, then it really is all in my control. My body has the same amount of energy it did before the cold, but is using it in a more concentrated form to maintain status quo. The connotation here is a more gentle one, and one of meeting priorities and doing so consciously.

Thinking of it that way really did actually change the way I perceived the experience of the cold. The actual physical reality was exactly the same as in the past. I did next to nothing. My thinking was not clear. My coordination suffered. My autonomic system had to work on far more limited resources. And yet. I was calmer, I was more content, even though my physical reality was not altered. All that just from not saying "I crashed" but "I am compensating." So cool.

So now I'm trying to come up with more words I can use to describe different sensations and physical whatevers (I was going to write troubles, or constraints, but that would go against what I'm trying to do!). Here are some ideas:

Instead of "I have an illness / sickness / disease / CFS/ME":
- I am living through a big lesson
- this time is a gift
- my body is protecting itself
- I am in a state of adaptation
- I have been given an opportunity for tremendous growth
- I am in a state of healing
- I am healing

Instead of "crash / relapse":
- period of adaptation
- recompensation
- intense healing

Instead of "I can't X":
- I need to Y
- This is the time for Y

Instead of "Intolerance / difficulty / problematic / dysfuctional / limited"
- it takes extra effort
- I need more energy in order to

I would love to hear ideas about what other words/phrases I can use to describe my experiences that are couched in a positive way.   For example, I haven't come up with anything for "brain fog / confusion / congitive difficulties."

I'd also love to have more for the above examples. Any ideas?