Week one finished! Today I stayed upright for another whole hour with my occupational therapist (OT), and it was easier than yesterday. Already, I think my sitting tolerance is expanding. Wow.
I still have a lot of work to do, but the program is feeling good and I’m making gains. Even just making it through eight hours of therapy and exercise and talking, five days a week, is a lot more than I thought I could do a week ago.
Today my psychologist helped me see how I can exaggerate my disability because I’m afraid of being seen as able-bodied, afraid of being expected to do things that I can’t. She’s helping me open up my idea of myself as disabled, as “having chronic pain.” Although the fact that I have chronic pain tends to eclipse my other identities (e.g., choreographer, performer, father, husband, friend, spiritual seeker, fun-loving creative dude), maybe it doesn’t define my whole experience, or even most of my experience. I am disabled in one sense, but in many other ways I am able-bodied, even exceptionally so. I have looked at these things before, with the help of Zen practice, but exploring them with the psychologist feels different, more vulnerable, more likely to actually shake up how I see myself.
I will chew on that this weekend, as I try going to a coffee shop and trying out my sitting tolerance in a more natural location (the OT’s idea).
See you next week! 🙂