I have a penchant for pushing myself. I am an overachiever by birth, and an ass-kicker by choice.
So you can bet your bottom dollar that even if I fall ill or have 101 other things to do, I will chop away at my priority list and get through everything with style, grace, and a few colorful words.
Naturally, when I caught Covid for the second time within 3 months, I figured I knew my way around the block, so I didn’t rest. I worked from home, cleaned, did pilates (from the safety of my apartment,) listed clothes for sale, and so on.
As an asthmatic with an absurd medical history (looking at you thalassemia, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and papilledema) you probably know this story isn’t going to end well.
Wednesday afternoon, I was moving and grooving and no longer contagious. So I went out for fresh air, and to pick up some medications and a salad.
Less than an hour into my freedom ride, I began coughing, wheezing, and quite literally couldn’t breathe. My chest felt tight and like it was closing in, and I guess if I were going to die, at least I was going to die in a Honda Civic jam-packed with Nordstrom bags.
Bougee on a budget until the very end.
Obviously, I didn’t die. I did end up getting fluids at the ER, a breathing treatment, and more steroids to help my inflamed lungs. During my stay, all I could think about were the tasks needing to be done and how I was too busy to be sick.
I know this isn’t the oppression Olympics, and I shouldn’t minimize my struggles, because I was definitely struggling, but I felt so embarrassed being there for something that basically was preventable had I just allowed my body time to rest.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me to where just sitting still is such a challenge.
But that’s okay. Know why? I’m not perfect. I know that I need to be better at resting. So that’s something I am working on. I am doing my best to not run myself into the ground by 40.
There is nothing in this world that is worth your peace or health.
Self-care goes so much deeper than bubble baths, brunches, or face masks.
Self-care is allowing yourself time to unplug, rest, and sit comfortably in silence.
The body keeps score. Whether it’s you binge drinking, stressing internally over unhealed childhood trauma, or not getting your zzz’s – the body knows, and if you don’t listen to your body – it will humble you in a New York Minute.
When I was in high school and even college, all I wanted was a success, money, and a fancy job title. Now that I’m older, all I want is happiness. The material things really aren’t worth it in the end.