bellowed Steven, the friendly bearded man at the natural foods store counter. To him, it was a simple prompt for me to enter my PIN and pay for my groceries. But for me, “When you’re ready” grabbed my gut and I looked up at him, smiled, knowing that he had no idea how many loads he had lightened for me today.
This past week, I have been to a slew of doctor’s appointments getting my mind and body prepared for this upcoming school year. The theme of this phase has been readiness and prevention (OBAMA!), specifically in the hopes that I can control the amount of flare-ups I encounter this year. After being diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD)1 two years ago, my life has revolved around rheumatologists and Rhodiola. In the heat of uprooting my life to Louisville, starting my first big girl job, and beginning a Master’s program, my health took a serious beating and I was essentially living in one constant flare. I felt like I was running the length of the Reading Rainbow daily, trying to do everything for my little darlings while providing no center for myself.
This summer, I’ve forced myself to relax. I haven’t really thought about school, I’ve been working holistically to better myself, and I’ve come a long way. Thus my frustration when only three weeks before school is scheduled to start, I feel like I’m losing my grip on all of it.
It makes sense. Hyperanalytical G. and her mental hermeneutics have done it again! FOILED.
This time, though, instead of letting me get me, I am trying my best to focus on what logistically I can do to prepare for school, calming the voices in my head that tell me I never do enough. Up until this point, I didn’t feel like my summer vacation was over, and I was unready to get myself together. But, now I feel that I can’t spend any more time worrying about a classroom that doesn’t exist yet, students who haven’t thrown tantrums, and paperwork that isn’t stacking up in my face. So, instead of doing all that, finding myself feeling like a normal person this morning, I went to my work corner, cleaned and organized it all, and have prepared myself to start preparing. The relief I feel is fantastic.
So, I think to myself, why can’t I apply this readiness factor to all of the other things I’m doing in my life? Slow down, take it all in, let things get to work and stop the rush. I am doing that already in certain ways and it’s been fine. For example, after removing gluten, soy, dairy and excess salt and sugar from my diet, I feel fabulous. But that took time. It’s been nearly three months since I’ve made those changes, and I’m just now really drinking the Cool-Aid from the limited diet altar. It works for me; I’m not going to fight it anymore no matter how much the “Krispy Kreme and Coffee” marquee off the highway harkens me to those double doors.
Continuing with this idea, I was up last night, ruminating over comments from quite a few dear people in my life who have mentioned the idea of me seeking more medications for what I’m going through. Whether this is for psychological support, or steroidal supplements to sooth my joints and muscles, it’s been weighing a lot on my mind. I really pride myself on being a minimalist when it comes to medicines, and I think I’ve found a good balance between trusting prescriptions and finding natural support. I’m far from an Echinacea-toting hippy, but I do like feeling secure about what gifts I’m bringing into my temple.
So, here’s the deal I made with myself. I will now transcribe the conversation encountered between Doctor G., who is a supportive friend and confidant, and Self G. who, is… myself. Here goes.
D.G.: “Don’t rule out the possibility that you need more medicine in your life.”
S.G.: “But, medicines are scary, and what if they thwart my innate healing process and make me feel weird?”
D.G.: “Have you ever tried anything that has been recommended to you?”
D.G.: “So, you have no negative experiences on which to base these thoughts?”
S.G.: “Nope, and now that I think about it, (chuckles to self while remembering how looney she was upon taking some relaxation meds before getting her wisdom teeth out. Waking up to a mouth stripped of teeth, overcome with hysterical laughter was fun for everyone involved, she notes.) I’ve had one alright experience.
D.G.: “Good. So can we agree that if your yoga, and diet changes, and honest, truthful, wholehearted attempt at natural healing doesn’t work in a few months, you’ll try something new?”
S.G.: “Sure. Thanks for having my back, Doc.”
So, there it goes. I can’t convince myself that I’m ecstatic about my job, my anxiety, and other situations in my life, because I’m not, and Mama always taught me honesty is the best policy. However, what I can do is find the positive in it all. Most of that, I think, comes from doing things when I am ready to do them, and not when others assess that it’s time for me. I need to start living on my own clock, and feeling confident and strong in my decisions. Why? You ask?
Because I is beautiful, I is kind, I is smart, and I is important.2
Stay tuned for some musings on why I think I’m a modern-day ascetic. YOLO.
1Here’s a good link from the Mayo Clinic if you’re like “Huh? What fantasy disease is this?” Trust me ; it’s real and less than ideal. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mixed-connective-tissue-disease/DS00675)
2…. Yes I went there (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZimx1wHYcs).