May 31, 2015

I went and broke my body

2015 has been a whirlwind of a year for me so far. I can only assume that its theme is: "Here... let me show you exactly what still needs to be cleaned up...but we're going to do it at an intense and rapid rate."

"Why spread over 5 years, what can be done in one?” is my typical attitude—that attitude is also my typical problem.

I'm a quick paced, over-achieving, fast moving, fast thinking person, so a small part of the way this year's lessons are all being handed to me suits me just fine. The big part of it is causing me to collapse.   

And that was my light bulb moment. 

Let me tell you, I am so sure that had I not been actively working on myself for the past few years and acutely more aware of myself and my inner workings...I'd probably be lying in fetal position, crying, in bed, refusing to come out from under the covers until life becomes fair—except probably worse than that. 

Out of all of the stressful challenges I've been faced with recently, by far the most debilitating one is that I have pretty much been sick for the past 6 months with scattered periods of health.

For someone who has never had to deal with chronic physical pain or sickness before in my tolerance level for it is incredibly low but my compassion and empathy for those who have experienced it is exceptionally high at the moment—it’s hugely affecting my ability to handle all else the way that I normally would. Even my everyday tasks and routines feel like a steep and jagged rock climb. My immune system is shot. 

I used to laugh in the face of germs—recently, I fight urges to use disinfectant spray as perfume—I see a coughing person in my vicinity and I move to another country—I want to wear a hazmat suit every time I venture out of my house—I have become one of those mothers I swore I'd never become and chase my kid around with a face cloth and hand sanitizer. Germs have the capacity to scare the pants off me. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I suspected that I was burning out in 2014. Truthfully I’ve probably been in the process of burning out for years, but I’m too stubborn to have fully accepted or acknowledged it. I’ve been writing about simplifying my life for a while now, and I actively have been. It’s clearly not simple enough though and it might have been too little too late to avoid this place I'm at. I'm trying to release a lifetime of habits that don't serve me in the least bit. 

So as I sit here today typing this, because I could be dying and I'd still be writing something, somewhere. (At least I think I would. Or maybe I just want to give in and whine about how sick I've been. I haven't decided yet.) 

My body is aching, my sinuses are on fire, my ears hurt, my throat is inflamed, I’m cold yet sweating, and I still feel a world better than I did this morning before taking a hot bath. 

I was barely able to get myself up the stairs to do so, but I sure am glad I forced myself.

As I slowly let my body slip into the hot water, the sensation of relief was so intense that I groaned out a very grateful “Thank youuuuuuu.”

Out loud!

I startled myself.  

Who said that?

Who was I thanking—the water?

And I realized it was actually my bodies’ sentiments and I was merely being its voice.

It spoke to me.

I’m not too proud to admit that I cried, and if I wasn't so sure that my body had just expressed gratitude, I’d think I was looney.  

My poor body.

I've pushed it so hard my whole life and now I've gone and broke it real good—I broke it, and it’s still thanking me for the temporary relief and comfort I had given it!

As I lay there in the Himalayan salt and eucalyptus soak that I couldn’t smell at all…Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” popped into my mind. It’s a book that I read for the SWAT Institute, and I'd read it all over again in a heartbeat. 

So I started dialoguing with my body—with every ache, with every pain, with my exhaustion, with my inflammation.

What did it need?

Why was it there?

What was it trying to tell me?

It had my full attention and boy, did I get answers.

I figured some affirmations wouldn't hurt any, so I started with “I am healthy…”

That felt like absolute malarkey as soon as I said it, so I went with “I am healing.”

That felt just right.

Some emergency self-care is in order—self-care, self-compassion, self-acceptance and self-love.

During this rocky and unpredictable time that we're going through, for however long it may last, I desperately needed to remember that no matter what, I will be good.   

“ That I would be good even if I did nothing
  That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
  That I would be good if I got and stayed sick
  That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds
  That I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
  That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
  That I would be great if I was no longer queen
  That I would be grand if I was not all knowing
  That I would be loved even when I numb myself
  That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
  That I would be loved even when I was fuming
  That I would be good even if I was clingy   
  That I would be good even if I lost sanity
  That I would be good whether with or without you” 

                                                                 | Alanis Morrisette

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