First of all, I am happy to share that my sports medicine doctor, under whose treatment I have been for the last eight weeks since fracturing my wrist, has officially released me to head back to work this weekend! Hooray! I am very relieved because (A) I miss my job, and (B) I am running out of sick time, and (C) I miss my coworkers, and (D) there is only so much downtime a person like me can handle. Anyway, I will continue OT and go back to see the doctor in four weeks, at which point I hope he will completely release me from his care, at which point I will be able to resume things like yoga and my lifting routine at the gym.
Also, I can understand what they mean when they say that healthcare workers make bad patients. Some of the stuff I heard come out of my mouth throughout this process made me cringe (such as trying to convince the doctor in the ER that I would certainly be able to work that day…at which point he slapped a splint on my arm and shut down my argument and also such as saying more than once, “Well, I was reading on the internet…”). My doctor’s parting advice to me was, “Don’t fall again.” Yeah, for both our sakes, I am sure.
Anyway, I went back to meditation this week for my second session, and I came away with some thoughts again, which I guess is kind of the point. This week, we talked about Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and the concept of refuge. Because my knowledge of Buddhism is lacking, I don’t remember everything we talked about, but my major takeaway was a discussion about the difference between looking for happiness from outside of ourselves vs. holding joy within ourselves. As a compulsive shopper and an eating disordered person, I know all about looking for happiness outside of myself. I most often look for it at Target. Maybe this pair of shoes will make me happy. Maybe another pair of yoga pants? How about a new lipstick? I also look for happiness in food pretty often. I do use food a lot for numbing, but there is also that search for happiness. Maybe a cookie will make me happy. Perhaps some fries from McDonald’s…or some Ben & Jerry’s.
At the very end, it was suggested we ask ourselves this question: “Where am I seeking happiness?” Because of my numbing history, it is hard to feel true joy. After all, if we use compulsive behaviors to numb sorrow and anger, we also will find ourselves numbing joy. This quote from Brene Brown sums it up: “We cannot selectively numb emotions. When we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” So although I am not necessarily ready to jump feet first into expecting joy and happiness to come from inside, I can see the truth in that. And seeing the truth is the first part in making my way there.