Except for a cough and some fatigue, I think I am finally recovered from the bronchial pneumonia that kept me down for about 3 weeks. Let me just say that I won't take the gift of breathing for granted anymore. I am also happy to report that we celebrated the marriage of our second son this month to a sweet young lady.
Onto the topic...
I find it so interesting that, women especially, have so much trouble allowing themselves the time to heal from injuries, illnesses, or losses of any kind. I include myself in this category, of course. We are the first ones on the scene when a loved one or close friend is down -providing a meal, help and advice to "take care of yourself." But when it comes to us, we don't allow ourselves that same healing time.
Maybe it's because we know the work is piling up and will be waiting for us when we're better - ugh! Or, could it be that, deep down, we don't believe we are worth the time it may take to get better. This may be true particularly with chronic illness. At some level, do we feel that we've already taken up so much time and energy being sick, that we can't imagine putting that same time and energy into becoming well?
If you are struggling with chronic illness, I want to encourage you to give yourself permission to heal. Because, I promise you, you will not get well until you do this. Allow yourself the time to do what's necessary to heal your body. Most likely you didn't get sick overnight - and in the case of autoimmune disease, (like me) you may have been sick for many years before you knew what was wrong - so you're not going to get better overnight either!
Self-care is a tough one for me! But, even with all the dietary changes I have made, stress management and rest continue to be a challenge. When I have good days, I tend to overdo things and when I have down days, I feel guilty for not being able to do things. This is futile thinking at it's best!
Women try to put their best face forward, being available for everyone and over-committing on a regular basis. So much so that sometimes even their closest friends don't even know that they're struggling with illness or crippling fatigue.
When we allow ourselves the time to heal, we (and the people around us) are better for it. I don't mean that we become so self-focused that we can't see anything else, I mean that we take purposeful steps toward wellness. Whether that means getting an extra hour of sleep each night, simplifying meal preparation, walking each evening or taking a 15 minute time-out each day - start with one thing and purpose to do it. Ask a friend to help keep you accountable. And above all, don't be afraid to ask for help.
You are worth whatever it takes to be well. Give yourself the permission to heal!
Until next time...
Be Well. Live Well. Love Abundantly.