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I'm not technically in the LJ Idol contest anymore, but I know that others write entries for the topics and call it playing the home game. Since I don't feel comfortable writing about some other things going on right now, I figured this was as good a topic as any. It also fills my own mandate to blog about something that scares me. So... here goes!

My most annoying habit is neglecting the self and the self-image. That's right, a two-in-one post. I neglect basic self-care needs I know I should pay attention to, and I neglect to keep my self-image at peek level. We'll just tackle each piece one at a time.

Neglecting the Self

Self-care is so important for everyone, but it's especially vital for social workers and for people with chronic pain. In reality, I struggle to do anything to care for myself. Sure, I stay clean, eat stuff and wear clothes. I even work hard to comply with the mandates of my doctors. That is, I find it easy to take
three times daily, and change my pain patches every three days as the doctor says (no, that's not all of
my medications
but it works as an example. My problem is I don't like to do the extra things.

For example, it's taken me years to get desparate enough to accept as needed medications. I struggled and struggled against those ideas. Who me? Take pain and sleep meds? You've got to be kidding. So I suffer because I didn't know how to take care of myself in that vital way. I do better with the medications, but there are other examples.

Here is a list of other things I should be doing, but don't to deal with my pain

  • Relaxation for 20 minutes twice a day. I'm lucky to get it in once a day, and now that I'm stressing over school, and obviously need relaxation the most, I don't get the basics in.

  • Healthy eating/water stuff I said I was gonna do. I'm still not up to geting those things in on a daily basis. And when I stress, I feel even worse, and I eat even worse. Honestly, drinking a bunch of water and eating healthy is the last thing I care about when I can barely get my meds and foods into and staying in my stomach at all.

  • Taking time out for myself. I get so caught up in school, internship, stress, friends, Julio's needs and just staying afloat and trying to respond effectively to the pain that I honestly don't spend that time to just be still, take a bubble bath, rest, do deep breathing... all of that. There is no Nickie, by herself time. There's just go, go, go, work, study, go, return phone messages, try not to scream or whimper.

  • Setting boundaries and figuring out accommodations for my pain. I don't do very well at knowing when enough is enough and when to seek help, whether it be in the form of suggestions, medications, blocks or even a friend to distract me while I try to get my food down my stomach.

In my defense, I'm doing some things better. Writing that this is what's going on, and setting that big
set of new year's goals
is a giant leap forward for me. But I'm still struggling with figuring out how to balance my life so I can do self-care more.</li>

There are also some social work related self-care issues:

  • One is simply taking care of me at the internship. I haven't figured out how to control the pain; keep myself physically healthy, fed and happy; take care of my emotional needs surrounding social work and somehow learn what I'm supposed to learn. That is a similar issue to those I've described in the pain section, but still, it's something I have to be aware of. I am tired of having to use the weekend to recover from pain levels still being at a 9.

  • It's hard to balance class with physical needs, too. I am not sure exactly how I can improve things, but am hopeful I can. But I don't like that part of this equation, either.


I've already written about how I struggle with
CRPS and Self-Image
but in general, I struggle with self-image. Who am I? How do others see me? I tend to think very negatively about myself. I struggle to paint a positive self-portrait. I hate that I hate that part of me, because in a way, I suspect accepting that part of me, the part that doesn't think good thoughts about myself, is a big part of that. I can not like that aspect about myself. I can realize that they are unhealthy thought patterns, but at some point, I'm going to have to like myself, horrible self-image and all.

I wish, like anything, that I could easily write positive things about myself. It needs some
Re-framing or Restorying
I have chosen to keep this journal/blog as much away from self-hatred, for I dislike the darkness within me surrounding this topic. But maybe, in the future, I could write the thoughts down and come up with a new story, or a new image for each and every negative image or story I have for my image. Then I could try to come up with good things about me. It would be an exercise in identifying and recognizing thought patterns, then comming up with thoughts to help repattern the way I think about this one issue.


Okay, now back to answering the original question. I think these two weaknesses are so troubling because the neglect is so personal. You could argue that neglect of the self-image, not spending time working on feeling good about myself physically, emotionally, as a person and spiritually is simply another form of self-care deficiency. And the more I write about them, the more these topics become intertwined. Self-care and self-image. Both need attention, and both could help me to pay attention to the other. Time will tell as to how these things will change.


( 2 shots of espresso — Add a shot of espresso )
Feb. 1st, 2008 03:33 pm (UTC)
Hi Nickie,
Thanks for clicking through BlogHer to find me--this is a fabulous post. You touch on some really important posts here, and I'll add that self-care is really important for parents dealing with a child's chronic disorder as well. I don't have the problem so much now that my daughter is older and her health is so much better, but she was young her asthma spiralled out of control all the time, leaving precious little opportunity for relaxation, healthy living, and boundaries.

Yet you're right--it's so terribly important to find time for those things for good mental health in the midst of all the physical issues.

Amy (http://theasthmamom.com)
Feb. 5th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Incidentally, the Republican's deficit spending illustrates they are preditory on the next generation, preditory on children. And to say the Republicans deem the children as "acceptable losses" says something morbid.

Life used to be hard. People had to walk a mile to draw water. There was no refridgeration or canned foods. Now life is easy, but only in terms of life's "basic necessities".
The "salvation" dynamic is quite the opposite:::We paid for our easy lives with our very souls.
Life IS hard now. The gods have used their clone host tools to create the perception of evil rewarded (Italians, Japanese, etc) and then corrupted the disfavored with it. (Expect Asian Westernization is met with a European-style short memory span, allowing the gods to use their historical enemy, the Japanese, to corrupt Asians as they used the Italians to corrupt us).
Before life was easier, more simple, innocent, pure. Employing these temptations ensured corruption is EXTREMELY difficult to overcome, a tactic which progressively ensures fewer disfavoreds repair their relationship with the gods.

Jesus was good. The people the gods put around him were not. Perhaps more accurately said:::The people the gods put into these clone hosts come time to write the scriptures were evil.
The gods created a distraction, “savior”, preventing people from realizing Jesus’s original purpose, just like they did in this Situation::::Hurricane Boss and the associated $50 billion dollars of distractive temptation. Now people think I will save them, I have to pay for everybody, my death will absolve people of their evil, and they continue to fall for temptation no matter how evil the request. Sound familiar? This is characteristic of the gods inferred clues you need to interpret.
There is a bitter pill people must swallow. The sooner you understand and begin to behave appropriately the better your chances.
I personally believe this Situation is about the "new Boss", for positioning a Second Coming of Christ would imply The End and that would make people freak. Either way make sure you ask about ethnicity, because the gods offer clues like the Penis and The Boot to help us understand. Also remember the gods honor matrilineal descent and the women are the keepers of the blood. This tactic can serve to be quite deceptive.
Just as therapy sessions and AA meetings proves they enforce their psychoanalysis positioning, so will they enforce their Christianity/Manifest Destiny positioning, ensuring Planet Earth dies according to the Book of Revelations.

People need to understand the 20th century changes are new. Life remained essentially unchanged for a very long time.
I realize they are making promises to most of you about Planet Manifest Destiny, telling you everyone will go. This is not true. It is a tactic. Many/most of you may go, but if you don’t behave appropriately I believe the majority will begin dropping like flies in a couple hundred years.
Planet Manifest Destiny is a “magic”-fueled environment:::The food is better, the sex is better, life is “enhanced” with magic.
The gods only use their power to hurt you:::If they peaked you euphorically for homosexuality you’d be out sodomizing each other. If they peaked you for drugs you’d be an alcoholic or a junkie.
“Magic” is only used to hurt you, and these "magic"-fueled experiences on Planet Manifest Destiny will be no different.
Too many whites look at blacks and write them off:::”They’re fucked.”, “They’re finished.”, “Who cares, fuck them.”. There is much you can learn from observing how the gods deal with morbidly disfavored groups like this. For example:::The gods LOVE to sell blacks on sex. Black popular culture, within their social groups, etc, sex is pushed like a drug. THIS IS A CLUE TO THE DISFAVORED THAT SEX IS BAD FOR YOU, as is everything the gods “sell” to the black community in popular culture (fashion, jewelry, “cool”, etc).
THE GODS DON’T RESPECT SEX AND THEREFORE INFLICT HYPERSEXUALITY UPON THE MOST MORBIDLY DISFAVORED. Food is similar. I’d refer you to the nature of Jewish food. The gods enhanced temptation with the diversification of foodstuffs in the 20th century. There are many elements at work here besides sex and food.
( 2 shots of espresso — Add a shot of espresso )


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