Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Operation Relaxation

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I'm stressed. Since Dec 8th when Tim died my body has been rebelling against me. The truth is it's not upset just because of Tim. In fact as I mailed off our marriage certificate form today in the hopes of being legally married soon (Dear God let it be soon), I realized it wasn't just our adoption and Tim that was stressing me out. I've been carrying my stress in my shoulders since I was a teenager and my physio therapist wondered how a 17 year old could produce that much stress. I have a history of carrying the world on my shoulders it seems.

I started back at physio a couple months ago for my hip. I tore my hip in 2008. It took me almost three years to seek help for it and by that time I had major scar tissue build up. My physio thought I was a bit of a moron for walking around on it for so long without help and really who could blame her. More than walked on it I still ran and trained on it. Apparently I'm just not that bright in terms of body care.

I think my endometriosis really sealed the deal for my pain tolerance. Since the age of 12 I had horrific vomit diarrhea inducing periods. I was told some women have bad cramps. Having spent most of my life in extreme pain once a month I think I'm just tolerant of discomfort.

I went to physio yesterday after a rough night of pain to the point I was crying. I've been having migraines almost daily for a month. A few months ago my headaches changed and I started getting what I call "burning headaches". My head literally feels on fire. Sunday night Doug found me crying because I can not stand the fact at 2-3 pm everyday I am overtaken by these headaches until I go to sleep. Why I didn't make a new physio appointment earlier is a mystery considering she has dramatically helped my hip and lower back pain.

When she felt my upper back, shoulders and neck she was rather shocked. My spine was completely locked up and nothing was moving. She tried to adjust me and my spine was having no part of that. She confirmed that yes, it feels like constant pain and headaches. Somehow that made me feel better. As silly as it is when I do have pain for some reason someone else validating it makes me feel better. I think having had "women pain" most of my life and not having that taken seriously I still have issues with admitting I hurt. She gave me homework the biggest one being lying on the floor breathing. I was told to rest and relax. I have too much stress.

The last six years have been hard. Infertility, adoption, birth family reunion, adoption bankruptcy, all with some pretty big deaths mingled in. I haven't really had time to process before something else has come up. I'm not great at processing and grief to begin with. I prefer to write about my feeling rather than to actually feel them. I'm learning though.

For the last month I've been wanting to stay with my mom for a week and just have someone else take care of me. I've been craving that. My physio telling me I need to rest and relax because my body is in trouble somehow put it together for me. I am unable to give myself that permission. I somehow find taking the time to grieve and sleep and rest difficult. Instead I carry it with me and pretend it doesn't hurt until it gets to the point my body is saying enough.

I listened to my body today when I mailed off our marriage certificate and it just wanted to come home and sleep. I thought it was ridiculous to sleep at 11:30 am but I listened. I woke up at 1 and went back to sleep for another couple of hours. My back popped a few times and my neck feels more relaxed now and I think it might be the first time I've really tried to listen to my body. Really handed the reins over to it and let it plan my day.

I have no children yet, I'm off work and my school program lets me work from home. There is nothing that needs to be done right now. I am taking the next month to just let my body heal. To let myself cry, and hurt, and rest, and rejuvenate.

I dreamed a crow was in our condo. There is a crow who comes once or twice a week and sits on the side of our building and looks in at me. This has been happening for four years. I believe it is my dads way of making sure I'm ok. In Indian belief the crow is a messenger and brings people from dark into light. I believe this crow carries news of me to my father. When Tim died the crow came right into our balcony and looked in our bedroom window at me. I loved that. In my dream the crow came in and my instinct was to get it out but our cats and the crow seemed to understand each other so after a few minutes I let it stay. I've often felt the love and support of those I've lost and I believe my dad just wants to help me rest and recover. I think he is saying, let me in, let me watch you while you sleep. Let me help you while you rest. Let me be part of your healing.

I woke up feeling so much better. Feeling ok about my commitment to my body and my mind. I woke up feeling more awake than I've felt in years. I woke up feeling like my body was finally breathing. Finally believing that it would be more than a vehicle for my soul but something I could appreciate and care for.

I'm sharing this here because I need to feel like this is a formal commitment. I need the next few weeks to be a time of rest and love. A time of emotional honesty. A time where my body will heal and I won't be in tears wondering why it hurts avoiding the fact it hurts because I hurt. It is in pain because it carries my pain.

I've never thanked it for it's hard work in fact I've spent the last 6 years referring to it as broken since I knew it wouldn't carry a baby. I haven't appreciated the fact it lets me think, love, dance, breathe. In fact I have rarely let it breathe. Today my dear body I promise to listen. I promise to let you rest from carrying me and let you release some of the grief I have asked you to carry on these shoulders.I promise to let those angels looking over me help in the way they have long been wanting to help. I promise to love you as you have loved me.

Jessa xx


  1. This is truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever read! It really touched my heart ♥

  2. Jessa,

    I started reading your blog a few months ago and after reading this post, I wanted to leave a comment. Your lovely words brought tears to my eyes as I can so relate to the feeling of when our bodies are telling us enough is enough. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend Tim on top of all the other losses you have experienced. I too lost a dear friend last year and it is excruciating. Sometimes I find myself becoming isolated as I try to protect my heart and body from further pain and somehow reading your words helps me remember that others have been through more pain than can possibly be understood and somehow made it through to the other side. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us here. It has been a blessing to read and helps me feel less alone.

  3. I can so clearly relate to what you've said yet at the same I know that what you are going through is your unique experience and I could never know exactly what it is like.

    I think that your commitment to focus on yourself is wise. You deserve this Jessa. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. It seems that significant soul rest is required right along with body rest. I do hope you take the time to do what you need to do, Jessa. Life is, as you know, so short, and so precious. Take good care.



  5. I think my comment got lost somewhere in cyber-space, so I'll try again.

    It seems like soul rest is in need as much as body rest. I hope you do what it takes to rest on both counts, Jessa. As you know, life is both short and precious. Do what you need to do.


    Ruth xx

  6. Please come and be pampered...Anytime!!

  7. Hey Jessa. I'm so sorry you have dealt with so much of every kind of pain these few years. It sounds like you had just held it together long enough. I hope you have many hours of rest and coziness and comfort in this next month and that you can feel on your way to a stronger you. Hugs from the island. Katrina.

  8. Thank you everyone! It felt good to write this and good to actually be following through on it! My days right now are stretch and rest and do it again and I think my body is pretty happy about that! Thank you for all your love and support. I really appreciate it more than I can say. xxxx

  9. What a beautiful post :) Go see your Mama. Mama's will take care of us better than we can every time.
    So glad you got that certificate mailed off, too!!!!


  10. White Flower Oil ( was introduced to me by my mother. During one of my headaches, she gave me this tiny bottle of oil and told me to massage it on my temples and forehead. Amazingly, it worked! Somehow the oil penetrates into the affected area and relieves the pain.


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