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My arch collapsed on my left foot about a year ago. I went to the doctor, and he recommended physical therapy and exercises to strengthen the foot, and surrounding muscles. I never went to the physical therapy and I never did the exercises. My back has started to really bother me, so yesterday I started doing the stretches. My back hurt so much last night that I had difficulty sleeping. I did a few stretches again this morning.

There is so much about our health that is our own responsibility: exercise, stretching, taking medications, eating right, etc. all of those things are in our control. Some people are very good at taking their health into their own hands and improving on an illness that was outside of their control to begin with.

I need to take care of my body in the same way I have learned over the years to take care of my mind. I take my medications every day. I try to avoid stress. I am careful to get at least eight hours of sleep. I spend a good deal of time alone in order to calm down and find peace. Now, it is time to use the same principals for my body as I do for my mind.

Stretching and regular exercise are going to be like my medication – they are not options, they are necessary.

It took me several years of repeated episodes of psychosis to get on my medication and stay on my medication. I must be a slow learner because it has taken me a year to take the recommendations of the doctor about my foot.

I hope none of you are as slow to learn as I am. In the case of schizophrenia, medication has given me the ability to accomplish so many things and live a relatively normal life. In the case of my foot – I am hoping stretches and exercise will make this pain go away. These lessons have been hard learned.

Just like it takes time to get regulated on medication, it is going to take time to see if these stretches and exercises ease the pain in my back. Of course now I wish I could hurry the process, one I probably could have avoided if I had taken my doctor seriously.