If you can get to the point where you can control your own body then wonderful because that is the ultimate goal. That’s why I made lifeafterthechair.com That’s why I do what I do for a living as publicly as possible. Why so many of you get in touch.
Until that day comes (and it will) you always have control over your thoughts. Always. No exceptions. And that’s important. It’s so important. It’s the most important lesson this entire experience will teach you -or any of us.
It may take some practise. But when you get good at it not only will it seem less important that you can control your own body-but controlling other people will be a totally redundant issue
That’s probably the biggest behavioural shift my own life after has brought me. Before I got sick I used to believe it was everyone else’s Job to make me feel better. That my thoughts were a law unto themselves. That I could never change who I was. That my personality and beliefs were set in stone. Then it really was just me and my thoughts alone for hours, days, weeks and months. And I had to change my thoughts to survive really.
It wasn’t an overnight change. I still very much wanted someone else to get me well. Obviously if they had I’d still be the same person I was back then. Holding other people responsible for my emotional well being. It was deeply scary to realise no one could fix my body for me. It was incredibly freeing to realise I could fix my thoughts whenever I wanted.
It’s important to feel you can control something. When you’re an adult and you can’t physically care for yourself in the most basic of ways. If you can’t feed yourself, if you can’t wash yourself. If you can’t do any of the things grown ups are supposed to be able to do then it is soul destroying enough without having your thinking work against you too. So controlling your thoughts is the only real option left. Not because it seems like an attractive new age concept written for the Self-Help section of Waterstones. But because it could be the difference between you surviving this part or not.
Because I was isolated away from people for such a long time whilst I changed my thinking, I didn’t even realise how much my attitude to their behaviour had adjusted. Because it was really years before I was capable of normal social interaction-I really spent my time just trying to cope with being around people again-it came as a massive surprise when their behaviour didn’t affect me.
I still liked it when people were nice. I just never took it personally when they weren’t. If someone wanted to be my friend/employer/boyfriend and I felt the same way then lovely. If not then it didn’t seem like the tragedy it would have been in my old life, where I took everything personally and seemed to seek out reasons to not feel good enough.
So now I have a body that works, a mind that is my friend and my life is spent with people I like who genuinely want to be around me too -without me needing themto behave in a way that I believe is going to make me feel better about myself.
And If ever any of the above stop working I know how to fix them. That’s real freedom to me.