One step forward, two steps back.
Sadly, this has been my reality for the past few days. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been sick every year around the holidays. It’s like clockwork. This time around, I know it’s completely stress-related. I’ve been running on fumes, battling extremely high levels of stress and anxiety for over 8-months. And finally, when I get a chance to breathe and the huge weight is lifted from my shoulders — BOOM! My body shuts down, completely worn out from this fight-or-flight living.
At one point, I found myself thinking, “Why does my body always let me down when I need it the most?” And that thought stuck with me for quite awhile. It’s a rare occasion when I get sick, but why does it happen when I really don’t have the time to rest and take care of myself properly? Perhaps, it’s my stubborn resistance that always let’s my body down. Because when sickness hits, it comes with full and unrelenting force. And in those moments, I have two choices; either continue fighting it, making myself miserable with the constant chatter in my head or embrace it, letting the healing power within work its magic. And I always choose the former.
That terrible feeling of not being productive has been consuming me. My body needs to rest, but the mind doesn’t like to rest; the mind wants to move, it wants to feel powerful and productive. Despite feeling extremely lethargic and barely able to function, I got a lot accomplished this week, including a huge cleaning project at home. Closets and drawers were emptied, furniture was reorganized and clutter began to clear out. But I’m not sure if that’s something to be proud of. I was so excited about getting back to work on Friday. Movement makes you feel better, right? Wrong. Exercise doesn’t create energy, it expends it. I went home from work, feeling the worst that I’ve felt all week.
Until I accepted my resistance to rest completely, I couldn’t start the healing process. So, I gave myself permission to rest — to be in bed and sleep for as long as I could and not feel guilty. If I read a book or binged on Netflix, I didn’t feel guilty for not wanting to take care of errands. And the more I gave myself permission to do so, the more I settled into feeling my sickness and allowing my body to heal.
Once we are on the other side of illness and are aware enough to put the pieces together, healing can provide plenty of time for personal reflection, so that we might see our typical patterns and choose to re-enter the world with a new perspective and with meaningful focus. As Danielle LaPorte once said, this week was all “finish line fatigue, letting go hangover.” And at this point, I think I’ve purged out every last yucky bit of 2017; I’m ready for the new year.