Why Do I Mentally Frame My EDS the Way I Do?
I realized earlier that I don’t often think of myself as having EDS. It’s not that I don’t recognize or accept that I have it, but that I rarely ever use it to frame how I’m feeling. For example, I experience a lot of EDS symptoms in my shoulder area because of a teenage injury — but that’s not how I think about it.
In my mind, I tend to say, “Oh, my shoulder is really bothering me today,” or, “Wow, my trapezius muscle has really flared up.“ I don’t usually think, “My EDS is causing me a lot of shoulder pain.“ I couldn’t tell you why, and I’m not really sure if it matters. This wasn’t something I recognized until today. I have a few theories as to why I do it but to be honest I don’t know the answer.
One possibility is that it’s a coping mechanism. The less I think about my EDS, the less it influences me, right? (Insert eye roll here.) I realize how silly that sounds, but let’s be honest: our minds can sometimes trick us into believing things as a way to cope. I’m not sure if that’s why I do it, but if so, I don’t think it would be unhealthy. Rather, I see it as refusing to let EDS define me.
Another possible reason is that I spent 22 years not knowing what was wrong with me but managing the symptoms as best I could. As a result, I couldn’t think about how my EDS was affecting my shoulder (or anything else) even if I wanted to, because for so long I had no idea what it was for! Therefore it’s totally plausible to me that this behavior is simply a holdover from before I was diagnosed.
Does it matter if the answer is hypothesis number one or number two? I don’t think so. Truthfully, it’s probably some combination of the two. I’m seriously stubborn, especially when it comes to my EDS, so I can see myself subconsciously refusing to give power to EDS by recognizing that it’s clearly a player in my day-to-day life. My mindset has also been framed by more than 20 years of not knowing what was wrong, and I’m sure that I hold over much of that today, even though I’ve now been diagnosed for many years. Regardless of the reason, it was an interesting mental rabbit hole that I went down today.
Do others with EDS do the same thing? Let me know in the comments below.
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