I developed this mantra when I got my first tattoo. I went to the tattoo place by myself and as soon as the needle went into my skin I felt lightheaded and my blood sugar dropped. The tattoo artist gave me a candy pop to put sugar back in my system (and it helped) but I also felt a lot of pain. All I could do was tell myself over and over again that as soon as he was done giving me the tattoo I’d never have to get this tattoo again. It would be over and I would have the tattoo I wanted. This thinking worked for all my tattoos.
When it came time for my first brain surgery I told myself the same thing. I literally used self-talk and said, “Remember when you got those tattoos and they hurt real bad? OK. This is like that… but you will be unconscious and won’t even know you’re hurting! And when it is over you will never have to do it again.” And this helped me.
Then a funny thing happened… I found out I had to have a second brain surgery! Sonofa-! So the second time around I told myself, “OK… it’s not your fault you have to do this again, but the same principle applies: when it is over you will never have to do it again.”
And now here I am two years after that second brain surgery and I am doing something new-ish and unpleasant: exercising. The hardest part for me is running because I have sensory loss on the right side of my body and when my feet go back and forth on the ground they feel different and I feel lopsided. It feels like I am running with one shoe off and one shoe on. Or like I am walking with one foot on the street and the other on the curb. It’s just wrong.
So when I run by body begins to feel odd and nervy, and I get tired and discouraged. And the whole “you’ll never have to do it again” mantra doesn’t apply because I will have to run again.
Except I found a way to trick myself. I tell myself, “You have to run right now. It will suck for right now. But when it is over you will never have to run again today.”
Us brain-peeps have to remember that there is nothing wrong with our bodies. Unless you are a smoker, you eat crap food, or have some other medical condition, what you think your body feels is wrong. That’s your brain sending those signals to you. When I am running and I feel lopsided… my body isn’t really lopsided. That’s just a damaged sensory strip in my parietal lobe making me feel lopsided. I have to remind myself of that throughout my entire workout.
When I can control my body with thoughts I am at my most powerful. I wouldn’t have realized this if it wasn’t for brain cancer.