Recently while learning how to make raspberry coulees (!) my teacher kept repeating the phrase he too had been taught in cooking class… ‘Slow and low… Slow and low’. This week, though not in the context of cooking it has been a phrase I have been reminding myself about.
I had some surgery on Monday- not as major as previous surgery I’ve had, but significant enough in the sense that I needed a general, was cut open, was suitably prodded, pulled, snipped and inserted…. I am now in ‘recovery’ mode. It is a place I find uncomfortable, challenging and in terms of DBT language, not very skilful.
I come back to some of my major learning over the past year- it is about managing expectations, being realistic but most importantly being kind. I thought I would be fine in a couple of days… I even thought that I might be able to turn it into a little ‘mini-holiday!’ It hasn’t. So today I need to practice radical acceptance. I have had abdominal surgery. The surgeon told me they had moved everything around and had a good look. They pulled about scar tissue, cut bits away and put bits in. That is going to hurt.
Slow and low. Slow and low. Small steps, low benchmarks… Be kind.
I remembered back to 10 years ago after major abdominal surgery. I was staying with friends who had a fairly large garden. I set myself the aim of walking around the perimeter once a day. Great. The next day, I walked round and felt ok- so instead of once I pottered around the edge 4 times. I felt ok- so why not challenge myself. I then couldn’t move for the next few days. I went back in my recovery. My haste to get better means I compromise my health. And that has to stop.
I find myself in my long term dilemma of needing to do what is best for my body but then I find my mood can suffer if I stay sedentary for too long. I need to reach out to friends and ask for help. And boy, is that hard.
Slow and low.
Thanks for listening.