Today I went to Windy City Gyro and ate a gyro–without my wheelchair. It involved standing to wait for the elevator and standing in the elevator, walking seven minutes to the gyro place, standing to order my gyro, and sitting in a chair for twenty-five minutes eating my gyro.
My main goal in doing this was to practice sitting for a while, which is painful and scary. And here’s what I realized: I have gotten used to lying down whenever sitting gets painful, usually after 10 minutes or so. And when I lie down, the pain goes away. So I think that to make the pain go away, I have to lie down. But I realized that if I keep sitting with the pain, the pain will also eventually go away. It will not last, no matter what. This is surprising, because I have the idea that if I keep sitting the pain will increase and increase until it’s unbearable and I have a panic attack. But that’s not what’s been happening. It has been scary to wait with the pain and see this happen, but it’s happened a few times this week, and today it’s a little bit easier.
This is big for me, because the same thing happens with standing, talking, using the computer, being around people, driving, playing with my daughter. I am always stopping to go away and lie down so the pain will go away. But maybe the pain will go away no matter what, even if I don’t leave, even if I continue the activity.
So that’s what I learned today!