"Be who you are and say what you feel
because those who mind don't matter,
and those who matter don't mind."
|picture taken on a walk of Woodland Cemetery in Ashland, VA|
In The Curious Professor Z’s Bat Fit 2017 Grand Finale post she writes about cutting yourself some slack. It’s exactly what I needed to read; in fact, a great deal of that post was read just at the right time.
I have not been taking very good care of myself… and, I’m also getting older, which I had forgotten means that I need to be mindful of that. When my pup was old, I watched as he started to slow down. He still wanted to go, go, go but he just couldn’t anymore.
In therapy, I learned that I am a do-er and that I needed to practice “be”-ing: being mindful, being present, being relaxed. Do-ers like to go, go, go and do, do, do. But lately, I have discovered that I need to focus on a place of being.
|picture taken on a walk in Washington, D.C.|
At the end of last semester, my Ménière’s disease was not in control. I was having somewhat severe vertigo weekly. I have lived with Ménière’s disease since I was a teen so it is just a part of me. I will always crave salt; I will always have to limit my salt consumption. I will walk the steps if I can avoid an elevator. I cannot look to the side when I am in a moving vehicle. I cannot turn my head sideways. I hear shit that does not exist. My ears often feel full. Sometimes I cannot hear well at all. And, I cannot function under a great deal of stress without going into a spin… a room is spinning I am going to vomit right here/ I must lie down wherever I am vertigo. In December, I was standing in line for coffee with my fella. We were having a great time and instantly I was in a full spin. Stores do not allow you to lie down on the floor in the middle of the store. They always call an ambulance so for me I had to quickly communicate that I had vertigo and maneuvered out of the building where I ended up lying on the ground of the parking lot because we had gone in my fella’s car. I couldn’t get into the backseat fast enough and I needed to be horizontal.
Tomorrow is the Woman’s March on Washington and I cannot go. Let me clarify that; I can NOT go. I need to stay home and practice self-care. When I see videos about tomorrow’s march that include the elderly and those who are physically disabled saying, “Even I am going to the march” it hurts me. I cannot control the environment enough for it to me safe FOR ME! If it works for others, great; insinuating that everyone can attend such a function is not helpful. In fact, those videos make me feel awful, worthless, and even more stressed that I cannot attend. I read the message that because I am not attending I do not care about standing up for our rights.
I am fortunate enough to be loved by friends and family who understand that even fun events become stressful and make me sick. One example is my wedding day, which my fella and I controlled the environment to the point that it was only the two of us in a Bed & Breakfast with the understanding that there could be a flexible timeline in case I had vertigo.
Last week my fella took me to the doctor because I could not get there myself. My blood pressure was much higher than normal, which is scary since the meds that I take for Ménière’s disease are similar to the ones that people with high-blood pressure take. Had I not taken my meds, I’m sure it would have been through the roof.
I feel anxious even writing this. I don’t like being in timeout. I do not like revealing that there are aspects of my life that I cannot control, but there are. That’s life; I need to cut myself some slack.
There are parts of my life that I can control, and practicing self-care will include focusing on those tasks. I need to get some weight off; I need to focus on eating healthy foods (so I’ve returned to counting Weight Watchers points, which really works for me even if it doesn’t work for you. My type-A personality/ slight OCD likes tracking); and, I need to walk (which I do not call exercise because then it becomes un-fun). I really, really like to walk. I wish I lived in a world where I could walk everywhere. So far this month/year, I have walked 37.2 miles. I do not track daily steps but actual “I’m going out for a walk” walks.
While I like tracking what I do, I am not really great about forming goals. Something about noting that I would like to walk 360 miles this year feels too much like *work* so I end up not wanting to do it. Similarly, if I say I want to lose 20 lbs, it feels like I am pressuring myself. I know this is counter to what most life coaches might recommend but my goals are to walk more because I enjoy it and it is good for me; to lose some weight so that I am more comfortable in my body and consequently more healthy; and, to TRY to cut myself some slack.
I cannot do everything; I cannot be everywhere. Commuting to DC today or tomorrow would not be like a normal workday. In fact, my university closes every inauguration event so today I am home trying to finish up a chapter that is do in a week.
Today, I am going to focus on my small part of the world. I am not going to visit social media; I am not going to watch the news or even turn on the television. It affects my anxiety which affects my health.
Today I remind myself that this too shall pass.