I can’t believe that it is almost the end of the second week and how much things have changed in such a short period of time. I have met such a lovely group of people that I hope to stay in contact with once the program is over. It is always good to know that there are other people out there that understand without you having to explain.
We may all come from different walks of life but, pain is something we all have in common no matter where we are from or how old we are. I am the youngest one on the program which I was a little bit worried about first Is I wasn’t sure if I would be on the same wavelength as everyone else, however, I soon realised that I had nothing to worry about. I have found the programs routine more beneficial than the actual sessions as getting up early and being productive whether physically or mentally has been something that I haven’t really done for some time. I found myself in a constant cycle of getting up late, beating myself up for wasting the day then struggling to feel motivated. As it is little that anyone can do for our pain, the best thing to do is acknowledge how our conditions affect us but, still keep a close eye on our goals and challenge ourselves to take little steps towards them.
I found Friday’s session completely different as I actually managed to relax during a mindfulness session. We were asked to sit with our eyes closed and let our thoughts drift. As they did this we imagined a dial on our leg that pointed to either the past, present or future. As our minds drifted we focused on where our thoughts took us. For possibly the first time in 2 weeks my mind went almost completely blank whereas usually I feel bombarded with thoughts. I found myself thinking about the previous day and then automatically focusing on the sounds outside of the room at that moment. We were also asked to hold a cup of water and focus on what we could see, hear, taste, smell and feel. The idea was to ground at the moment and focus on what is happening in the hear and now.
During our physio session, we were given another opportunity to venture out. We had to do something that we would find challenging and may usually avoid. There is nothing really that I avoid there are just things that I don’t like doing If I know that they will wear me out and increase my pain. nevertheless, I and a few others battled the crowds on Westminster bridge and went into a lovely cafe in Westminster Abbey.
Our last OT of the week was more about how our habits can affect our sleep and what small changes we can make to step towards a more restful sleep routine. I realised that smoking before I go to bed and looking at my phone when I wake up during the night can really affect my sleep. We were given a sleep diary to fill out over the previous week that covered nights spent at the hospital and at home so that the OT could get a good indication of how well we sleep.
The staff let us finish early as a lot of people in the group do not live in London and would have had to battle through London rush hour if we had finished at the normal time. My boyfriend came to pick me up and we travelled back which thankfully only took about 30mins. After another long week, it was nice to be home 🙂