We all do it from time to time. We ignore those inner stirrings that tell us something is wrong. You rationalize that there are just too many things to do right now…too many bills to pay, too much housework, too much work at work, and many other issues to attend to. Your body starts to slow down, those tasks that used to be quick, now take much more time. Your brain starts to fog. You wake up in the morning and start counting the hours until it’s time to go to bed. Then one day, you can’t get up, your body has gotten tired of giving you subtle hints. And you are sick. Too sick to pay all those bills, too sick to clean the house, too sick to work.
This is a pattern I have lived for years. I am writing this now from the couch on a day I should have been at work. Sick with pneumonia. I knew I was getting sick weeks ago. I even missed some time at work then. But I took some extra vitamins and expected to plow through it. When you do that, your quality of life exits the room. You get so exhausted, not just tired, and everything becomes a huge chore. Nothing is really fun anymore because life becomes overwhelming.
i am always working myself into the ground and I end up sick for a long time. I guess it’s time to figure it out and break the cycle. I absolutely hate to admit this because I try not to believe it. The more I work, work, work, the more self worth I feel. Deep down I don’t feel I deserve to be so blessed, so I have to practically kill myself proving I deserve it. Am I the only one who does that?
Then I get sick and feel like a loser all over again. I have tried on this journey to overcome those feelings of inadequacy but they linger. Lurking in the dark, musty basement of my soul waiting to pounce. And pounce they always do.
I’m not sure how to break the cycle. But I gave up my second job. I can tighten my financial belt a little more. I can get rid of those activities in my life that don’t make me happy. I can focus on the things that have meaning to me. I spend so much time dealing with things that mean nothing to me and I overlook those important things. I, somehow, have to exorcise that self-loathing demon inside me. I truly believe we all have worth, even me. When will I start to believe that? Today! I cannot keep repeating this insane, unproductive behavior. That negative voice has to go!
We live in a society that grades us on a certain criteria of success. It’s time we stop living for that unobtainable, and honestly ridiculous, criteria and set up our own success levels. I think the first one should be: Are you happy? Happy in the good times and able to find joy in the hard times. If the answer is no, then something has to change. I’m not implying happiness is the only criteria. But if you can find joy and gratitude in the every day experiences, and you feel like you did what you needed to do. You can feel good in your skin, as they say.
The second thing should be, have you taken care of yourself? If you crash and burn every few months, you are simply getting by…not living. My motto used to be, just get through the day. How sad is that? How many days of my life have I wasted just getting through them? One thing is for sure, I am not getting a rebate on any of those days I wasted. They are gone. But I have today and, hopefully, tomorrow that I can start to appreciate.
I hope the worst of the pneumonia has passed. I truly want to be happy about where I am today. I don’t want to wake up wishing it was bedtime so I can sleep the pain away. I’m going to quit ignoring the obvious signs my body is telling me about overdoing it. And I’m going to cut myself some slack. I have days where I am a rock star and I have days, more of these, where I’m not, but I’m still an ok person. I don’t need to beat myself up every day. I’ll leave that for the days I really goof up.
We tend to be too hard on ourselves. We need to be kind to those around us, but we also need to be kind to ourselves. I’m going to practice that today. I hope you all will be kind to yourselves. We can’t be a light unto the world if our candles are almost extinguished.