Posted by: Judy | November 30, 2017

Self Care 16 of 25

I want to take the same care going through these as the last group of statements, focusing on solutions. I’m not good at self care, but I am learning.

Original link:

https://healingfromcomplextraumaandptsd.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/25-obvious-non-obvious-self-care-issues-complex-trauma-survivors-struggle-with-lilly-hope-lucario/

16. Not feeling like I’m a bad mom/housekeeper etc while I struggle with chronic pain and health issues.

My response:

I’m lazy. At least, that’s how I felt. It had been implied, often. I admit I cut corners on my chores. In my own defense, why should I put in the effort when no matter how well I did my work was declared lacking. I’d have to do it again anyway. More than once, I did little more the second time, and the job was declared an improvement. How could it be when I hadn’t changed anything? What was the truth and what was the lie?

Talking about chronic health issues is more difficult than I thought it would be. So many unpleasant memories. I suppose I’m not prepared to go there after all. Too much information to fit in a blog post. Suffice it to say, I’ve had my difficulties. I’m working hard to improve my health. Not having a family of my own, I often feel like God was sparing me from feeling guilty for failing to properly care for them. I have trouble enough caring for myself.

So what’s the positive side? The improvement? The encouragement?

My health has had its ups and downs. One of the low points was herniating a disc in my back. The struggle back has been long and hard. I had to reach the point where I could no longer pet my dog before I was willing to seek medical attention. I didn’t want to pay the bills. I didn’t want to see the doctor, afraid of what he would say, afraid of what I might have to do. I wanted life to be smooth and uncomplicated. It so isn’t.

Rule #1: Stop lying, especially to yourself. Pretending everything was all right didn’t make it so. In fact, it made it worse. It wasn’t until I was deprived of one of my favorite things, petting my dog, that I was willing to do something. An epidural injection and physical therapy improved things. That was twelve years ago. I’m still married to my PT and will be for the rest of my life. I’m only now back to my regular walking. I still can’t go upstairs normally. My back trouble started with ankle trouble and my knees were caught in the middle. I am improving.

I worked hard to be able to go on an adventure, this year. The journey to healthy isn’t over. I may never make it… I will never make it entirely. However, I will continue to work to become healthier, as healthy as possible.

God blessed me with a dear friend who struggled with horrible health problems. From her, I learned patience with myself and others. We would schedule a meal out and cancel more often than we went because one of us wasn’t feeling well. We kept trying. She’s been gone for several years. I miss her, her courage, her patience, her grace.

I’ve learned that pushing myself beyond my capabilities is a way of punishing myself for not doing what I think I should. With practice, of course, I’ve learned to take small steps forward and accept that I will sometimes fail. I’m doing more now than I have in years. I’ve had to learn to listen to what my body is telling me. It wasn’t quick. It definitely wasn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s as slow as molasses in January during a snow storm. Giving up is not an option. I will never improve if I quit. Resting and regrouping is not quitting. Reviewing and re-evaluating reminds me I’m not stuck. I am making an effort, and I am improving, even if it’s at a snail’s pace.

I suppose that doesn’t really help someone who is dealing with a chronic illness with no hope of improving. I’ll fall back on my sister’s example. She could only be up, as in not lying in bed, for fifteen minutes a day. She decided feeding her family was how she would spend those fifteen minutes. Her children, not yet teens, learned to help, including making simple meals.

My sassy side says that if someone complains about the dishes not being done, invite them to do the job. I’m learning to reframe what people say to me, especially as a criticism. I’ve had lots of practice with reminding myself that what they think is not my responsibility. What I think is the only thing I can control. If I’m drowning in guilt and shame, I’m to busy treading water to do what I AM capable of doing. No, I’m not perfect at this, but I’m doing better.


Responses

  1. […] Judy shares her views on self-care challenge #16: https://theprojectbyjudy.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/self-care-16-of-25/ […]


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