#261 Expand your comfort zone

As a professional patient, what's inside my comfort zone may be quite different than for other babes my age. Needles, lab tests, CT scans, doctors appointments, minor surgical procedure for example? No problem. A one hour bus ride through heavy traffic though, that can be a real challenge. Things like that just costs too many spoons, and I'm afraid of being drained and weak in public places far from home.

But the sucky part of staying within my comfort zone is... if I don't challenge the boundaries of what I'm comfortable doing, the circle shrinks!

One negative experience on a bus may get lodged in my memory, and I will falsely deduce that I can never ride the bus again, thereby reducing my potential movement a whole lot. When I let the fear of pain rule my decisions, my life gets awfully small. It's alarmingly easy to lose touch with friends and the outside world when you live with chronic disease.

The way to keep your comfort zone a comfy size that doesn't strangle you, is to keep challenging it! Stretch your boundaries by doing new stuff, even if you're uncomfortable or afraid. Actually, this may be an aspect of chronic disease where it helps to have a selective memory; let go of the bad memories of what hasn't worked when your pain was bad. Today is a new day, what can you do today that you didn't do yesterday?

It's by challenging the boundaries of my health conditions that I've managed to get such great quality of life these last 6 years. I figure, "Hey, it already hurts, I'm disabled, what have I got to lose?"

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