I now have medical confirmation that by working out regularly I am increasing my strength and overall fitness level. I can't tell you how good that felt. You know what that means ...
It means that I'm still stuck at the idea that the opinions of others trump what I already know to be facts.
It means the approval of others trump the positive self talk that I do after finishing a routine or accomplishing a new goal.
It means that I'm still a five year old looking desperately for the approval of others.
I could say, and it wouldn't be true, that what I got was the 'validation' of what I already knew to be true, but I won't because it was the APPROVAL that really mattered to me.
I know that I can push myself further than when I first started. It was about 4 months in that I reduced the amount of support I needed to get around an airport, it was about 2 months after that that I stopped needing any at all. Notice the accomplishment? Check Self validation done? Check. And. Check.
I know that I've gone from using insulin to not using insulin and that I've been insulin free for well over a year. I know that all of my other drugs for diabetes have been lowered and, then, some eliminated all together. Did I make note of this? Check. Did I give myself approval. Check. And. Double Check.
I know that I can do things that I couldn't before. I can pick stuff up off the floor from a standing position if I have something to brace myself and that I can push my wheelchair foot pads from up to down myself. Did I pay attention to this? Check. And. Check Again.
These are only a few of the indicators that the elimination of sugar and the inclusion of exercise into my life has done. I know that I feel differently in my body and more powerful in my life. I KNOW IT.
But, I now have a medical opinion that I'm fitter and stronger. And NOW it feels real.
I wonder if I'm destined to wander in the empty playground of first grade looking for someone else to point the way and someone else to pat my back. I hope not.
Can I grow up now?
When I first started reading I thought CONFIRMATION, VALIDATION, then I kept reading and thought, maybe it was a big f=%/ you to all the nay sayers. Whatever it was Dave I can feel the positive coming through. Congrats and keep doing it for you.
Dave, your about me says you live "smack dab in the center of Toronto" an oversight?
Thanks for posting this. I thought I was the only one who had arrived at this ripe old age still seeking approval. (sigh).
I wonder what life would have been like if others (especially older ones and those in positions of authority) had seen it in life as their duty to support, help, and validate others (ie, us).
Instead of point out all our flaws.
I'm older than you. I carefully read the literature and made decisions about cardiac drugs after getting three stents earlier this year. I was fine with my decision (though stressed about going against medical advice, advice which included warning me I would have a massive heart attack). THEN I found the paper that said it wasn't necessary to take them, because those exact stents didn't need the drugs past a certain period. Validation. THEN heart scare (turned out to be a combination of things, including the cardiac rehab exercise and dehydration - nothing, just a scare).
But it wasn't until the cardiologist visit, where my ten days of data were confirmed by a single blood pressure measurement in the office (and I have 'white coat' syndrome), and I was told my blood work numbers were good, that I got my metaphorical pat on the head, and everything was okay.
Nothing else counts?
Yes, I want and need the validation from others that I matter, that I have accomplished a goal, or effectively solved a problem. All of us still have that child-like need for approval - though many have no conscious awareness of it. Or they need it so addictively that they spend a great deal of time in the artificial worlds of FB and Instagram and dating sites, where you control how the world sees you.
Self acceptance is one part of being fully human, but so is being able to be present with others and experience them authentically.
not that it is easy...and that kind of response from a health care provider is rare, you know...as is your accomplishment of making and sustaining changes for over a year..many folks are discouraged and give up the changes too soon, adding to their sense of powerlessness over their bodies.
this is a lesson I am still learning..that I can trust my own perceptions and love myself...a very very big challenge to those of us who were unhappy misfits in childhood.
take care, Dave
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