I got stuck. Honestly, the mid-winter cold firmly grabbed hold of me and wrestled me to the ground. More than once. Just when I thought I was getting better, I got cocky, went swimming and got smacked back down by the cold. I’d like to think I’m paying my debt to illness and will not be plagued for the rest of the year, but for now, I am not amused. What I did not expect is that it would propel me into limbo land.
That’s where being stuck comes in. Let me lay it out for you. I went into the Christmas holiday, marveling that I was taking 12, yes 12, days off work while only having to use 4 days of vacation. Between holidays and weekends it was like hitting the Powerball. I had plans, baby, lots of plans. I was going to map out my book writing strategy for 2019, spend time actually writing, plan out some blogs, pictures, go on an adventure, so…many…ideas.
None of that happened. In fact, my brain felt like it was on permanent vacation. Not one creative idea came to mind. I make cards for my husband and when I went to paint one during the illness, I drew lines folks. Lines on a page. In a circle, but lines nonetheless. No color. No paint. Just lines. I’ll call it art because I saw something similar on Pinterest. That makes it real, I assure you.
I started to get a little panicky. Had the words left my brain? Would they every come back? Was I destined to abandon the work I’d done. There was a lot of drama going on in my mind.
But a small voice inside of my head started speaking up. Uh…Lisa, you’ve been here before. You are not an invincible force. Although you think your superpower is being able to push through illness as though it never happened, that’s a lie. Every time you get sick, you pull out your cape, but to what end? You are a human, you get sick, sickness takes recovery time and it’s perfectly normal to not have the wherewithal to take a shower, much less write your book.
Why do I need that reminder? Oh, right, the recovering perfectionist in me. The façade part of me that tell me I need to soldier through every situation without as much as a visible sniffle. That’s living for someone else’s expectation, the idea that if I’m actually sick and down for a couple days I’m “less than,” weak, that I should be able to power through. But that’s not true, that’s perfectionist thinking.
Bold living tells me to have the courage to be honest with people, including myself. To remind myself that I’m human and need rest, that I get sick sometimes, and that although I feel puny and think all words have left my mind, they will return. It’s self-compassion. Giving myself the same grace I would give someone else in the same situation.
What causes you to spiral? To go down the wormhole and start beating yourself up? What I want you to know, to believe, is that you’re a human like the rest of us, and giving yourself self-compassion in those moments, the ones where you’d rather curl up in a ball and binge watch TV, is not only appropriate, it’s strong. It’s a time of rest and renewal. Its being brave, and bold. That’s the path we’re on friends…arm in arm.