This afternoon I went for a massage.
I was never a person who liked to be touched. I'm still not a hugger, unless you're in my inner-circle of hugdom. I like my personal space, and two years ago, the idea of stripping naked and having a stranger rub me down with oil would have made me throw up.
It still makes me panic, a little bit, when I think about it. But I try to focus on the good, the relaxation, the physical working out of kinks, and by some miracle of God, I don't hurl on the massage table.
But anyway, I've been going to a massage therapist to work on some back and neck pain I've been experiencing.
Today, as the excruciating pain of having really firm pressure applied to really tense hip muscles seared through my body, I tried to imagine the pain as a great big glowing ball. I focused on my breathing to relax my muscles and I let go of the glowing pain-ball.
(Okay, I totally got that off someone's annoying mommyblog as a description of labour pains. But whatev, I stored it in my mental file and pulled it out when it seemed appropriate. Don't judge me for using random knowledge to my advantage!)
This is when I realized that for the first time in my life, I was experiencing, and not ignoring, the actual physical pain of stress, and that I was letting the great glowing stress ball go.
And so I inhaled more heeby-jeeby aromatherapy hippy oils, breathed in deeply through my nose, and let go of that ball. That ball of guilt, of indecision, of self-doubt and pity and "feeling bad" and caring too much about an entity that would, given the opportunity, use me up and spit me out without a second thought.
And wouldn't you know it - I feel miles better. I bet I'll feel even better after a cold, frosty beer.
Massages, holistic therapies and mild alcohol abuse. That, my friends, is the best Friday-night therapy money can buy. Though I'm a bit concerned that the black spruce oil might have gotten to me brains a little bit.
1 day ago