Coming Back From The Dead

I've been a bad, bad girl. Although I'm usually dedicated to my weekly acupuncture treatments, over the past few weeks life has gotten in the way. It has also gotten in the way of rest, the gym, and eating anything other than take-out sushi. As a result, I've been run-down and primed for any lurking bug to take advantage of the opportunity. So, I spent this past weekend moaning and groaning like a ninety-year-old, wincing in pain with every swallow. Generally, I don't take time off. Ever. If I'm sick, or tired, I'll just tough it out (although I admit that my version of "toughing it out" consists of showing up, doing my job, then going home to collapse and become a pathetic heap of whining misery). This week, however, I decided to baby myself. I actually took a day off from work, which is almost unheard of. I went back to my acupuncturist for a treatment. I then forced myself to lie in bed, ordered takeout, and stayed in all day without doing anything resembling work.

On Monday morning, a miracle happened. I woke from my bed and headed to my coffeemaker...only to pause, puzzled. Something was different. What was it? Then it came to me: I didn't need to stretch to get out of bed! For the past few weeks, I needed to slowly work myself into getting out of bed, because I was too achy to just get moving. I was also so fatigued that I couldn't just wake up; I needed to lie around for a while, putting off the inevitable.

The first time that I noticed my morning achiness, I wrote it off to a particularly long night at work. After a while, I started to wonder if it was just age, catching up to me. And a while after that, well, I kind of forgot about it. It just became a part of my daily routine: wake up, lounge around in bed for a bit, too exhausted to start the day, then finally drag myself out and hobble around for a while until my bones and muscles settled into the day.

It wasn't until I didn't feel this way that I realized how crappy I had been feeling for a few weeks. While I was in that state, I stopped noticing. Once I felt better, I started to get kind of pissed at myself: why had I wasted the past few weeks feeling so decrepit when I could have prevented it with some self-care? Of all people, I should know better. I talk to my patients all the time about living on a level of existence that is below what it could be, and taking the steps to change that-and here I was, a stupid black pot calling all these kettles black.

So, today's blog is both an admission of guilt, and a lesson learned. Even I, a person who makes her living promoting self-care, has been guilty of putting myself last. Of pushing myself to keep going despite getting more and more drained. Sometimes we need reminders that it's okay to relax, to put off responsibilities, and to give ourselves time to heal.