Stubbed toes and saying goodbye

I’ll be honest with you…it’s really hard for me to write today.  I had to say goodbye to someone very precious to me.  Today is still a little fuzzy.  It hurts.

What do you do with the hurt?  How do you manage it so you can get through your day?  That seems like an easier question when I ask it in reference to my stubbed toe from last week.  Your toe hurts?  Oh…that’s easy…put ice on it, maybe buddy-wrap it, and take some Tylenol.  Be nice to it for a while.   

Tylenol can be pretty amazing stuff for a stubbed toe or a headache or a strained muscle.  I don’t think any of us expect it to make the pain go away forever, but it makes the pain manageable so we can do what needs to be done.  And then it wears off and we remember that poor toe…and we take it easy.  Eventually it all heals up and we don’t need the ice or the Tylenol any more.  (Although maybe those Keen slippers are a good idea in the dark!)

But what about hurt feelings or broken hearts or grief?  How do you manage that pain so you can still get through a day? 

Interestingly, Tylenol can work here, too. 

Yup.  You read that right.

Turns out our brain really doesn’t distinguish between emotional pain and physical pain.  Pain, quite simply, is pain when we look at biochemistry and brain function.  I think it kinda makes sense – saying goodbye hurts at least as much as busting my little toe.

The tricky part is that so many of us already stuff our emotions.  We ignore them or we deny them.  Taking some Tylenol can help manage emotional pain, just like with your headache, but it wears off and there is still some healing that needs to take place.  And that takes time.  And it usually takes some work. 

And that’s when it can really be helpful to have someone with whom you can talk.  Where you can really put it all out there without any judgment or without someone trying to fix it.  Could be a friend.  Could be a professional counselor or therapist.  Could be a journal if a real person is hard to find. 

But just like you would understand that it will take time for a busted little toe to quit hurting and aching, you need to understand – I need to understand – that our emotional pain will also take time to quit hurting and aching. 

In the meantime, consider grabbing a bottle of 8-hour maximum strength Tylenol and give it a try. 

Now here’s the little disclaimer – Remember, I’m not your doctor.  Please talk to your own healthcare provider before you start taking any medication or supplement for the first time or for an extended time.  They all have an impact in our bodies – that’s why we take them!  Tylenol can cause liver damage if you take too much, take it too frequently or take it with alcohol.  At a minimum, follow the dosing directions on the label. 

Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip

Find someone to hug!  A real, big squeeze that lasts long enough that you feel a bit more relaxed.  And if you’re in a space without any person or pet to grab and hug, find a stuffed animal or pillow and hug it!  Hugs give us a sense of belonging and safety.  They help calm stress responses and help us to relax.  They help us heal.

In the midst of all the craziness of life, most of us are looking for someone to help us figure out our puzzle. If you're looking for some support figuring out food sensitivities, histamine intolerance, MTHFR and the like, consider joining the waitlist for Food Sensitivity Code. Coming this Summer!


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60-second self-care, grief, self-care


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  1. Interesting about physical pain and mental pain pain and Tylenol. Be sure you are not on INH. haha! I be thought about you this weekend when I’ve been snuggle with my pups. I hope you have gotten your own snuggles and kisses from yours. I’d give you a human hug if I saw you. 🤗

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