This true story was written 10 years ago. I think it is still relevant. Because it is so long, I am posting it in 3 sections. Here is Part 2. Watch for part 3 in a few days.

After talking to a doctor, I find myself praying. “Thank YOU for the wake up call. I am paying attention. Thank YOU for letting it be not too serious. I promise I will figure out where I went off course and correct it. I won’t ignore this. Please give me back my face. I’ll listen.”

I finally grow silent, subsiding into the meditation. The word acupuncture comes into my mind. “Thank YOU!”

It is 1 AM, and calm but exhausted, I tell my husband I am ready to go to bed. He hands me several pages of computer print out. I scan it, see a general description of the syndrome, suggestions for self care, and some stories of how fellow sufferers have coped with the problem. Two stand out: they both say acupuncture helped. (I later discover that he did not print the horror stories.)

True to my promise, I start Sunday morning by reading Dr. Christiane Northrup’s wonderful book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. My tears flow when I read “Do you regularly acknowledge your strengths, gifts, talents, and accomplishments?” Certainly not recently! I have been so focused on meeting my deadline for the book I am completing (my fourth), that I am frequently questioning my own competency.

I know that I have a lifelong pattern of playing down my own achievements, but, until this moment, I did not even realize how much I long for this acknowledgment. Right now, I feel so depleted that I can’t even imagine acknowledging myself.

An hour later, in my close friend Dianna’s living room, I sit crying and trying not to let the tea dribble out of my half paralyzed mouth. How do I get the affirmation I need, and how do I decide about the prednisone? I beg her to make me deal with this while I am still raw — to not let me seal it over with my usual calmness and composure.

With a copy of my resumé in hand, she encourages me to elaborate on each item, and helps me remember my own strength and wisdom.

The paradox emerges: my skill lies in helping my clients so subtly that they think they made their changes by themselves. Empowering my clients means I don’t get much credit, and I forget that their accomplishments reflect my own. I do need to acknowledge myself. Together, we write the affirmations in my journal.

Driving home, I remember another resource, oral-facial myologist Sandy Coulson, who helps her clients retrain their facial muscles.
(To be continued.)

Is this you? “I don’t need therapy, but I could use some advice about…”
[tags]Personal Growth, Relationships, Self Help, Self-Improvement[/tags]