English: Jump! Deutsch: Spring! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes you have to move on. Not because the person or situation has been resolved. Not because you have been heard or because your feelings and concerns have been violated. Sometimes you have to move on simply because it is the best thing for your health. This decision must be made when emotional stress manifests itself physically.
Today, as I sat stewing about a situation at work I realized that my RA symptoms had gone from background noise to loud and intrusive. It seemed the more I agonized over the problem the more physical pain I found myself in. I have always known that stress was a trigger for me, but today really hammered the lesson home. I went from slightly stiff to having joint pain that made me catch my breath when I made certain movements. It was in that moment that I had to make the decision if being vindicated about a work altercation was worth hours or perhaps days of pain due to prolonged flare brought on by stress.
So I had to let the situation rest. Not because I wasn’t right, or I felt that my grievance was unfounded. I instead chose to preserve my life outside of the work environment. I want health and a full life. And for right now, this means that some skirmishes will be conceded so that I may win the war and achieve my goal of a healthy life!
Tea Inventory (Photo credit: euphbass)
Chronic disease not only weakens our bodies but it also attacks our emotional resolve. I often feel as if RA saps my emotional reserves making dealing with daily stressors more difficult. The daily emotional bumps and bruises seem to hurt more and cut deeper since RA came into my life. I cry more often, hurt deeper, and worry about the future more. And although the doctor prescribed drugs to fight the physical effects of this disease I, like many patients, am forced to navigate the emotional landmine the best way I know how. This week I had to admit to myself that I am no longer in remission. This is a crushing blow to my already stressed emotional state. I also know unless I deal with the mental difficulties of living with a chronic disease I can never be fully healthy. I knew I needed to do something immediately to help me find my center again after being thrown off balance by the persistence of my RA symptoms. So I decided to do something- I had a cup of tea.
Not the tea I usually have in the morning while getting ready to work. That tea is a super strong sludge that I let brew while I get dressed and do my hair and then pour down my throat without tasting the bitter concoction. This morning I took the time to perfectly brew a cup of tea. I didn’t drink it in the car where my focus would be not pouring the hot stuff down the front of my blouse. Today I took the time to sits in the living room with the tv and radio off. I decided that I would focus on the moment and the act of drinking my tea and nothing else. I inhaled deeply before for taking a drink. And then I sat back and sipped my morning tea. I made the conscious choice to put everything out of my mind that threatened to encroach on my moment of peace. I concentrated on how the warm cup felt in my hand. I closed my eyes tried to taste the different ingredients in the blend. I enjoyed the hint of sweetness from the honey. Any thoughts that threatened to take me back to the overwhelmed state I have found myself in the last few days were banished as I drank my tea. And then something amazing happened. By the time I reached the bottom of my tea cup I felt stronger emotionally then I had when I sat down. The moment I took to center myself had worked. I have always been a fan of tea and its healing properties. Only today I used it to help heal my mind instead of my body.