Friday, December 12, 2014

One Contraction at a Time

Somewhere down the line, I started believing I couldn't do hard things. I can't pinpoint at what point I came to believe that way of thinking, but I have a few ideas of how it got there. It's most likely because I'm tired. I'm just tired and overrun by fears. I'm learning how to acknowledge the fears in my heart and then release them rather than allow them to build up and cause tension and pain.

At my birth class this week, the instructor noticed Ben and me giggling a lot during the part about medical interventions. We weren't meaning to be disrespectful; we were just giggling because of all the fears I have about my body's potential response to certain medical interventions during birth (along with my fears of pain).

During a break, she came to talk to us about our thoughts on the medical interventions and if I knew what I wanted to do regarding birth (at our first class, we had to state our goals for the class. My main goal was to determine whether or not I wanted to go natural or receive medication). During the conversation that followed, I confided in her that I really want to go natural but am simply afraid of the pain.

Some people tell me I have a high pain tolerance. That may be true, or it may have been true at one point, but I'm just really not sure. All I know is the pain is exhausting. I've dealt with so much pain, both physically and emotionally, and I'm just not sure how much more I can handle.

When I told the instructor I'm afraid of the pain, she turned to Ben and said, "Do you know what to say to that? You tell her she can do it. And you practice the techniques we have been and will be learning about coping with labor." She reminded me I have to take it one contraction at a time, I have to remember to breathe, and I have to think I can do this.

Note to self: remember the pain cycle.

This week, I've been practicing telling myself I can do hard things. I'm trying to really internalize and believe it.

I've had quite a few triggers regarding the addiction this week. Those triggers have brought me pain because I've allowed myself to dwell on fears and think what if I can't do this for very much longer? I've had thoughts and fears running so deep that I'm entirely unsure of myself and my state of mind. Then this morning, I started working step 4 in Healing Through Christ, and I became a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of the inventory [again.].

Over the past year, I've had tremendous stretching opportunities. That's probably why I'm so tired. Just in the past couple of months, I've had multiple opportunities to look outside myself and my personal bubble and serve others. That is also exhausting (or at least it seems to be for me). Some days, I just question everything and wonder what exactly I am doing. And then when there are super triggery weeks like this one, I wonder if I have the strength to keep going. I wonder if I should just start shutting the world out again and focus on me.

But no, I can't just focus on me. I love the joy that has come from the stretching and service-giving of this year. And I also know deep down that I can do anything if I lean on the Savior for support.

When I fear the pain, I have to remember to take life one, I mean one day or one a time. I have to remember to breathe. And I have to remind myself that I can do hard things. Because I can. I've made it through every hard thing that has come my way. It's all about perspective.

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