Self-Care and Writers' Block
I know that every writer gets writers’ block at one time or another but to call what’s been going on with me writers’ block would be an understatement. Life has a way of getting in the way and then it almost becomes habit that I don’t write. I also realize that the fact that I have been in observation mode for many months now, years really, has been difficult to shift into writing the observations. Don’t get me wrong, I do write, almost daily, my observations, and I journal about my days and my experiences. Though, I have found it quite difficult to put into proper words for the world to see. I guess I am beginning to feel that it is time.
Have you ever noticed when you are having to rest and do nothing, you think a lot? It’s really all one can do—other than sleeping or streaming a favorite show or ten. I am grateful that I was diligent in journaling because I have so much to tell you. However, since I cannot sit for long periods of time, I’ve decided to share my experiences through my blog and make the posts about the journey, exactly as it has been. I will start today with a quick catch up where I am at this moment and then in time I will have the opportunity to share more.
As of late, I’ve been down with health issues. First, I got the flu which was…well…the flu. As I was healing I was a little hazy and as I went through from my dining room to my kitchen, my shoulder ran into the counter top, which is shoulder height and I gave myself a full-on neck and spine adjustment, or should I say, an “unwanted” spine adjustment that I actually heard crackling and felt the movement. Immediately my muscles went into spasm and then I was incapacitated for a few days. It sparked a fibromyalgia flare which then set off all kinds of problems with my sleep cycles, and that constant teeth gritting pain.
If that wasn’t enough, I had some folks coming for a donation pickup, so I put on my back brace and was so careful to move some items in my storage room and my hip got out of socket and I was stuck in a squatting position. I remember a few expletives under my breath, who am I kidding, several expletives, as I remain there contemplating exactly how I was going to raise myself up and get back inside my house without having to call 911 for help. I found myself immediately scanning my surroundings, the inside of my storeroom, then I remembered when we were kids, my brother and I used to stand in a doorway, bare feet, one foot on each side of the door jam, and then added our hands to propel us up the doorway to the ceiling. (We got in trouble, usually after the fact as our mom could see our hand and feet prints up the doorway) If you’ve done it, you know exactly what I’m talking about, if not, you’ll have to use your imagination. Instead of having the ability to use my feet in my situation, I had to only use my hands and upper body to get myself to a standing position. Thank goodness I was able to lean on the doorway to scoot up the wall or I don’t think I could’ve gotten up. That landed me in bed and quite slow moving for a week or so and it is still quite sore. So, needless to say, having chronic pain also takes its toll on my ability to be creative.
After being stuck inside, I braved a night out with some friends, and then I was down for a couple more days because I thought it was a good idea to have a couple of dances. So, I’m taking it easy and walking around my house and I did venture out to the grocery store a couple times I’m doing as much stretching as I can and giving myself permission to rest when I need to. So, I’m doing a routine with ice pack then heat, up awhile, sit awhile, and lay down awhile. I’m not getting very much done but I’m practicing self-care and for today that has to be enough.
How are you at self-care? Do you stop at first sign of sickness or twinge of pain or do you power through? Do you feel like self-care is selfish of you? Are you someone that won’t visit a doctor until they are deathly ill? Do you self-medicate to manage pain? Do you go to work or out when you are contagious?
I used to do so many of those things and then I realized that if I take care at first sign of sickness or pain, my downtime will be a lot less and it won’t cost an arm and a leg. I’ve had back problems since I was 18 and I used to try to power through and then I’d end up at the hospital or in bed without being able to get to and from the restroom by myself. All with super strong pain and anti-inflammatory medications to calm it all down. It was no way to live a life.
As I got older, I got wiser. Now things can turn around much quicker without days and weeks in bed. It’s about giving yourself permission to first acknowledge the issue and then deal with it immediately. No putting it off. In 2012, I realized that I had not been listening to my body and my intuition. I stopped trying to please others and gave myself permission to do exactly what I needed. There was some trial and error, like anything worth doing, and then I hit my stride, I guess you could say. I would stop when I needed and I would not push myself to the point of no return, when I did feel good. People with chronic pain tend to be down for long periods and then when they have one good day, they overdo and then they are down again as their body calms down and things steady up. It is a vicious cycle.
I talk about the issues surrounding not practicing self-care because so many of us spend all of our waking hours taking care of others; Family, friends, work, and the list goes on and on. Some have bosses that don’t allow them to take time off when sick so they go to work and infect others (not by choice but out of necessity). I’ve heard it from so many people that they feel guilty if they get sick and they just feel weak. Ugh!!!! Weak? No, you’re just over tired, over worked, over stressed, etc.…..sometimes, the body just SCREAMS, “Ok, if you won’t slow down, eat right, exercise, etc. I’ll make you” and then you have no choice but to be down. It is NOT SELFISH to practice self-care!!! Say it with me, “It is not selfish to practice self-care.”
In the news just today, I saw that we have lost 63 to the flu in 2018 and last season we lost 110 children to the flu in the U.S. The CDC says, “Every year, influenza kills between 12,000 and 49,000 people and can send more than 700,000 people to the hospital.” So, I think It’s times to take note, when you are sick you MUST take precautions not just for yourself but those you come in contact with—lets lower these statistics by practicing more self-care. Let’s all be part of the solution, not part of the problem and practice more self-care everyday so that you can stay healthier year-round.
So, that’s it for my first blog of 2018. I look forward to sharing my life “reset” with you. Starting over at 55, single, empty nester, dreamer, and adventurer. Selling the family home in one state to down size and start over in another. New friends, old acquaintances, and a whole lot of self-discovery. I hope you will join me!
In Gratitude, Love, and Peace,
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