One of the most difficult parts of moving last week/weekend was suddenly not being able to trust my body. The very first box I attempted to carry down the stairs of my old apartment, I nearly fell! I was instantly in a state of shock and horror! I began to cry…I don’t do that! It was scary. It was because of my knees. I was truly frightened. I hated that I couldn’t rely on what had always been there for me. I’ve never had knee problems before the few months and just when they seem to get better I either re-injure them or I don’t know what. Frustrating doesn’t even cut it! I was angry and sad and everything in between.
*GetsOnSelf-CareSoapbox* Ahem… *TapsMic*
Y’all! We cannot be our most authentic and amazing selves or even be there for others properly if we are not mindful of our bodies and what they need. We cannot put off pain and rest and healing. We must treat our bodies as our most precious of possessions and resources, because that is exactly what they are! I have been putting ice packs on my knees each night (20 minutes on/off/etc as prescribed by my CMT husband) and it helps. It slows blood flow to the area for a bit and then when removed allows fresh, good, healing blood to flow through the area once again. When I skip a night, I feel it in the morning. The stiffness is mostly gone on normal days, but when I ski a night of icing, I am stiff the next morning and that blows. When I do remember, and I try, I have no stiffness and can get up with little pain.
Why is self-care so damned hard to remember/do? Because we’re taught to think only of others, to be selfless and blah blah blah! Fuck all of that! Be selfish! It’s totally okay! If you don’t, your health will suffer. Your mental health will suffer. I believe that suffering, while a part of life for sure, and should be lessened whenever possible. But here’s the hardest bit for me: Asking for help, time, breaks, assistance, access, care, being held and so on. I realized the other night when I was asked outright, “What do you want/need?” I was dumbstruck! WTF?! I am so rarely speechless. I was suddenly unable to speak! My mind went blank (that never happens) and I sort of just gasped.
How do I get better at this? What steps could I take to improve? How do I take the pressure off of the act of asking? Because let’s face it, being on your own and fending for yourself is not an easy endeavor. I know this, but I also take great pride and satisfaction from doing things for myself, by myself, etc. Perhaps too much pride, stubbornness, etc…but I’m a Scorpio! Ha-ha! But I want to get better at this…no I NEED to get better at this!
I am open to all of your advice and suggestions. I have been able to ask for help with some things, but they were minor. I’m the gal that says, “Can I ask you for a huge favor? Could you pass me that ___?” Real “huge”, eh?! Ha-ha! Every favor or assistance, etc, feels major to me. I have been self sufficient in some manner my entire life, okay, well since I was five. To ask for help was always met with, “no!” or “Get it yourself” or “if you don’t learn to do it on your own you’ll never ___” these old patterns are difficult to break. I know this. I understand where it began and how it’s impacted my life. My logical/rational brain does anyway, but my emotional side? Not so much.
So yeah…self-care! Woo!