It seems like having a life comes at a price during recovery. I went to a weekend long meditation retreat in New York and having been paying quite a price ever since. I seem to keep forgetting that I am not my normal healthy self. I wake up every morning slightly disappointed that I still don't feel well. But even though I have been severely exhausted since I got back, the trip seems worth the setback. It was nice to have a little freedom. I remember driving on Friday and realizing I would be in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York all in one day made me feel like myself again. I had to take a 2.5 hour rest break in the middle of the four hour drive and then when I arrived I felt like a limp noodle and had to lay down for quite some time. The excitement dissipated and I felt a little defeated. I drank more coffee this weekend at a meditation retreat than I think I have drank all month but the caffeine helped me push through. I also took more steps this weekend than I have since I left the hospital and hit two new records. Friday I did 11,265 and Sunday I did 13,173 steps - pretty good progress for not getting more than 9,265 all month.
Fortunately this weekend long retreat was about the Medicine Buddha. During one of the lectures Kadam Morten discussed how our body and mind are two separate entities. That even though the body may be sick, it doesn't mean "I" am sick. You can lie perfectly still in bed and the mind can be extremely active so in the same way the body can be sick while the mind is happy. It was the perfect message that I needed to be reminded of.
Lately every day feels like a roller coaster. I start off in the morning with good energy, I feel alert and determined and then I hit a wall and my energy has gone from about 70% of my normal levels down to absolutely zero. Then with my energy levels, my mind goes with it - it switches from determined and motivated to lost and disappointed. I keep trying to make plans of going to yoga or swimming but I learned last week that both activities kick my ass and will completely deplete my energy levels for the rest of the day. I thought it was lame that after a month of physical therapy I have only graduated to two pound ankle weights and three pound dumbbells and then I got back from New York and I wasn't strong enough to do any weight and could only do half the reps. I know I need to be grateful for the baby steps but this healing process has been so slow that sometimes I forget I should just be grateful for the fact that I can walk at all. I feel more accepting of where I am at each day. I still feel slight disappointment but this weekend reminded me to let go of those thoughts and focus on the healthy and happy ones instead. We all grasp at negative thoughts - one little thought feeds into thousands of others to help support it. I needed to be reminded not to feed into the disappointed, lost, and frustrated thoughts. To have the thought, let it pass and feed the positive thoughts instead. I am so grateful for this weekend and even though I am still exhausted three days later, it was totally worth it!