Someone wrote me this morning and expressed thoughts of feeling disconnected from their body and asked what my thoughts were, and it got me thinking.
I feel connected to my body only in the fact that it carries me around. It's up to me to take care of it, to feed it nutritional food, exercise it so it will function better and last longer, and provide a vessel to get me around so I can experience all that is possible in this world. Those experiences are what builds my character and reveals to me who I am, and gives me the opportunities to become something more, to grow into the person that my HP desires me to be.
I have noticed that when I am more physically active, my mood changes, so whatever exercise does for my muscles and organs, it also has an effect on my moods and my ability to think and evaluate situations with different "eyes".
I often view my body's aches and pains as some third party. It's not really me that's hurting, it's this body that's hurting. The emotional aches and pains are "me" and different from my physical ailments. I guess being able to separate "me" from my body has come about from working this program. I'm not sure it's how it is meant to be, but that's how it is for me. I am inextricably connected to this body, so it's up to me to take the best care of it I can.
That kind of disconnection or, compartmentalization, works for me at least. It's like looking at this disease as an entity all it's own. This gets kind of philosophical of course. I know the disease is just my set of shortcomings - my character defects, and those, coupled with any actual physical allergies, constitute the conditions of my existence here, and so it helps to be able to look at them as "something else", and also knowing that I can control to some extent those "other" things. My "control" does not give me the ability to change the conditions of my life, but to change how I react to it. If I KNOW that eating a certain substance will have a preordained effect, and it's one I don't particularly care for, then it's easier to simply not have that substance. Now at first my body will protest, it'll give me headaches, and joint aches, and cravings by which it tells me that it wants that substance, but as each day passes without it, it will become used to not having it and the masked effects of that substance will dissipate. I won't feel so foggy or dull in my thinking, or my body will stop aching, etc. Seemingly suddenly I will realize how much better my body feels without it, and that also then elevates my emotional condition, and I simply feel better. I have a more positive outlook, I see things in a better light. I feel better about myself for having not given in to the physical desires of my body or the emotional weaknesses of my character and it makes my hope for being able to live this life in a more spiritual manner stronger, which in turn makes it easier to make the decisions that will facilitate that further growth. I can't control the result of taking those actions, but I can control the taking of the actions. Releasing the results to God is Acceptance, and as the Big Book says, Acceptance is the key to ALL my problems.
I and my body are separate, but we coexist, linked for this life to each other, dependent on each other, affecting each other. Learning to live together is what this is all about I think, acknowledging the conditions of my body, and therefore my life. Learning to live life without resorting to the short-term "high" of the substance is what the 12 Step Program helps us do. Learning to place our faith and hope in a spiritual solution which will affect the physical instead of looking for a physical source to try to affect the spiritual. The physical, by nature, is ordained to be temporary, the spiritual is forever.
To grow spiritually is the goal of my existence here. If I'm resorting to substance to "get through" this life, then I'm shorting myself in the spiritual development area. Like a baby in the womb growing arms and legs, eyes, etc. Not very useful where it is, but very beneficial where it's going, we are developing those spiritual attributes here in preparation for where we are going. We are spiritual beings on a physical journey right now, but we will move on. I want to be as prepared as possible for what's coming next.
It's hard work sometimes, but the benefits I already feel here, and so it makes this existence that much better also...
Faith and Hope.
Keep coming back,
love and hugs,
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