Listen to me. When you’re stressed and tense, the thing to do is to use your rubber lips and blow some raspberries. Seriously the more you do it, the sillier you feel, that’s how it works.
So the other night, I’m up and awake. My body is working against me and it’s keeping me awake. My legs are twitching. I can’t sleep and I am angry. I am shaking the bed rails, slamming them with my fists! I’m angry! The angrier I am, the more stressed I become and I want to scream!
What do I do? I pucker my lips, blow air out and make a ‘raspberry’ sound, a little bit of tension is released. I do it again and a smile creeps on my face. I do it again. I feel a little bit silly and I do it again. Silly feels good. I notice I can’t hold any tension in my face. When I pretend my lips are made of rubber and blow air out through them, making a silly sound, the wrinkled tension set between my eyebrows releases. I feel like laughing. I blow again! It feels better to be silly than angry. I can laugh at myself and I can laugh at my situation…mmmm? not quite. At least I relax a bit and I don’t feel as frustrated and angry anymore.
And now from youtube a baby blows raspberries and giggles hysterically…
I am at the doctor’s office using the handicap accessible washroom. I’m seated on the toilet with my right hand holding the grab bar and I’m stuck. I have no idea how I’m going to get up. I consider calling out for help and wonder if people in the waiting room will be able to hear me. This has happened before; I regularly get stuck in accessible washrooms.
There is a knock at the door. A voice asks, “Rita, how are you doing in there?” “I’m stuck,” I reply. The voice responds,”Let me know if you need any help.” I say nothing; I’m used to doing things by myself. I’m too tired to ask for the help that I need and too tired to explain what I need. So I set my resolve to try again. I manage to lift myself up, but my feet can’t bear my weight and I drop back down. Alone and facing my wheelchair, I want to cry.
A voice whispers, ‘you can’t choose your problems, you can only choose the solution.‘ Surprised by the clarity of the voice in my head, I repeat it with confidence. I remind myself that I’m at the doctor’s office and it’s time to get up. I resolve to use what I learned at physiotherapy. I know which muscles to engage and how to concentrate and breathe into movement. I raise myself off the seat. First try, I get a little bit higher. Second try, I feel steadier. On the third try, I’m on my feet. I swivel the feet slowly and carefully. I switch hand positions, from grab bar to wheelchair and dump myself down. Finally, I’m sitting on my wheelchair. I resolve to do my exercises regularly; if only to get myself off my derrière with ease. Next time…
The image above is one of my most favourite paintings, “A Peaceful Waterfall” by Toronto artist Joanna Strong. See more of her work at http://joannastrong.com/
actually, that’s not true; moving around continues to be just as difficult. However, I am in a better frame of mind; it just switched. Like the time I dreamt of apple blossoms, when I was in my early 20s and feeling really down. The world was a dark place and everything I did was wrong. Then one night while I slept, I dreamt of apple blossoms. I watched as they unfurled their pink blossoms. Petal by petal opened, as the sun warmed my cheekbones and I smiled, lifting my face to the sun. I awoke refreshed.
In March, I thought I was dealing with yet another bladder infection. I was feeling down and went to the doctor to leave a urine sample and get another prescription for antibiotics. I was sad. Again? I can’t keep doing this! I will become immune to antibiotics. Three days later, I phoned the doctor’s office and was told the blood work came back clear. I did not have an infection. I ripped up that prescription and felt lighter. Whatever I was doing to keep the infections at bay was working. A few days later I woke up, looked out my bedroom window and smiled at the blue sky. It just switched; the day was going to be a good one. Then a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time dropped by for a visit. I got a lovely card in the mail, two in fact. If I was already feeling good, the feeling had solidified.