Over the last two months I have suffered from a lung infection. It’s been a grueling time trying to get healthy again, and I am just now coming back unto myself. The rattle is finally gone. Even so, I am now more aware of my lack of health then ever. As someone who formerly smoked, I suffer from asthma, severe allergies to various things, and I also have osteoarthritis in my back. This coupled with feet in need of orthotics, and ligaments that are too tight, has made it very difficult for me to attain my goal for this season – to be healthy. I feel like a bit of a rambler, talking and walking, but really going no where. Except, I am everywhere – which has made getting healthy all the harder.
As a parent of two very active children, I spend a great deal of my time playing chauffeur, cook, coach, maid, etc. I have had my booklets from OBOD for two months now and have not even had the ability to complete the first lesson as of yet. I’ve read it, but there is a physical part that truly must be done to appreciate the course as a whole and I’ve not been able to accomplish even that simple task. It’s frustrating. I’m frustrated.
Every morning I wake up exhausted. I take a handful of vitamins (quite literally a handful, and lately that includes pain killers and/or antibiotics). I am now in physiotherapy for issues I have had for decades but always put aside due to other more ‘pressing’ issues. I am returning to my chiropractor, in need of a massage. I am doing my physiotherapy exercises, and though they may seem minute to some, to me – it is an opening to the world I have missed so dearly. My next step is to find a yoga class. I have been told by many how good yoga would be for me. I am a naturally flexible person (which is actually part of the issue – flexibility without a firm core = pain).
Why am I sharing all of this? Because I don’t want you to end up like me. When I started on my path many years ago I was also in the midst of a resurgence in myself. I felt good in every way. I had lost a great deal of weight, I was feeling spry again. Then I allowed my world to fall apart and I focused solely on the needs of my children – neglecting my emotional, mental, and physical needs. Five, almost six, years later I am suffering the consequences of not caring for ‘me’. My joints ache, I am sick so frequently that it’s now an on going point of jest at my work place, I am ‘tired’ so often that people assume I will be tired. I lack the vibrancy and joy that once filled me. My children are my joy, and though that is definitely a good thing, they should not be the source of my joy – I should be the source of my own joy.
Too often we become complaincent and allow others to take responsibility for our own physical and/or mental health. You get sick, you get medication, you feel better – but do you? I know I don’t. Sure, right now physically I am ‘better’. But in truth all that medication is nothing but a bandaid for a more ingrained problem. Chronic stress and a lack of self-care will lead to chronic illness and so much more. Please – if you get nothing else from this post, listen to the message of self-care. I have always belittled myself and had low self-esteem. It opened me up to those who would wound me even deeper. As a woman now struggling to regain what tenuous foothold I had to begin with, I see even more clearly now how important that self-love and self-care would have been and is now.
Change has to begin somewhere. I can’t continuous blame someone else’s behaviour for my lack of self-care. Yes, they may have contributed to the emotional side of it, but ultimately I am the master of my domain.
Yes, I am receiving help in the self-love area; I am working on the self-care area. It is a very steep slope to climb once you have fallen down it. If you are like me and have allowed life to engulf you – please get help. It is never too late.
For now, I will leave you with my favourite all time quote, and I think it fits this post, is from Gloria Anzualdua, “I want the freedom to carve and chisel my own face, to staunch the bleeding with ashes, to fashion my own Gods from my entrails.”