Self-care is not only about Spa days and bubble baths. In fact, I’ve never been to a Spa and I can’t remember the last time I took a bubble bath. Somehow, self care has turned into a dirty little word that means we’re selfish and self indulgent to put ourselves first. Except, we aren’t. By putting ourselves first, it means that we value who and what we are when we’re at our best. It means knowing that in order to be there for others, we need to prioritize being there for ourself, first. It means knowing that to take care of others, we need to put our needs first. And somehow, all of this has become equated with being selfish, instead of being smart. I know, because it’s something that I continue to struggle with. But this week, I have taken a step back and decided to re-prioritize, putting myself at the top of my list.
This week I am absolutely overcome with anxiety, struggling with PTSD and am completely overwhelmed with 3 Doctors and 4 tests in five days. I knew this week was coming and I prepared for it with my Therapist, Amelia. What I didn’t count on as we prepared, was that I would actually put in to motion much of what she has taught me over the last couple of years. I know she will be proud.
I actually ditched going to see my folks (gasps!). Going to see them is pure torture. The trip has recently been taking us close to two hours each way. The last return trip, I vomited into a grocery bag all the way home. Cars and I just don’t mix well anymore. Add in the complexity of having other family members I’m estranged from showing up to complicate our visit, just meant I was not in the correct mindframe this week to go. While I debated that choice for nearly two whole days and then was temporarily wracked with guilt, I stuck to it. I just didn’t have all that to give this week.
My Daughter called all excited with a facial party she’s having at my house. It’s sort of the first real “event” in her super exciting wedding preparations. But, as excited as I am for her wedding, I had to be honest with her and tell her I couldn’t focus on that, until I got through this next week. Then I would focus on what cookies we should be baking. And it was okay! She understood and was okay that I was honest with her.
My Husband helped me clean the house on Sunday, which was awesome. He also caught up on some lingering projects that were making me nuts, like taking out the ACs, so we could turn on the heat. Having help and ensuring everything was straight and settled for the week meant I didn’t have to do it this week. Instead, I’m focusing on working on my Master Reiki certification.
Yesterday, by the afternoon, I couldn’t get going to get going. I wrestled with my conscience (that twit is strong!) and argued myself that when I’m not in pain, I shouldn’t be sitting watching tv. Instead, I gagged that conscience that never stops harassing me and you know what I did? I sat and watched tv. Because it’s what I needed to do right then.
After 5 conversations and careful consideration, I decided to cancel the Cardiologist (boy that was alot of C’s in that sentence, right??). Seeing him isn’t emergent and he likely has nothing more to offer in the way of a miraculous new cure for my Dysautonomia. So it’s okay to say I’m overwhelmed with all the health stuff this week and to delay things that are not as crucial.
It’s going to rain here all week, literally, for the next seven days. So I was plagued with guilt when I didn’t walk the dogs yesterday. I was in too much pain and just didn’t have the mental wherewithal to push through it. The dogs, miraculously survived skipping yesterday’s walk and we instead played fetch and worked on tricks. Today, I need that mental release of walking them.
As tomorrow arrives as does the onslaught of my latest medical dramas, if all I can do is get through all those appointments, then that’s all I can do. It’s enough.
And that is what self care really means. It means eating healthy foods and exercising. It means going to the Doctor and taking my medication. It means leading a life that is full of meaning and intention. But it also means that in order to do any of that, maybe I also need to sit and veg for hours or eat nothing but Oreos for today.
It means that sometimes in order to be the person who does what I should, sometimes, instead, I do what I need. And that’s okay. Taking care of myself is okay. And sometimes, putting myself first is too.
Take care of and love yourself today. <3 Stace