I have to sincerely apologise for missing a week of blog posts. Apparently a sinus inflammation can seriously cloud and contaminate my ability to keep the flow of my creative juices…
I have this tendency to think that I’m some kind of inhuman, invincible being that cannot comprehend the idea of her body malfunctioning..
No, no, no I do NOT get ill
But when I DO it hits me like a tonne of bricks.
Sinus infection, followed by catastrophic pressure headaches and dizziness, followed by a cold that cut off my oxygen supply for a good few days and a gland/tonsil/larynx inflammation
(which could be something bad but I’m too scared to get it checked)
Then today to top it off; I lost my voice
It was so great
10 days of feeling sorry for myself, skipping the gym and attempting to power through with work like the super trooper I am (rolls eyes)
I kind of realised something.
Nobody Was Looking After Me
Single Independent Woman Status Level = 100!
I know this isn’t exactly anything to call home about, but think back to the times when you were ill as a kid.
A warm flannel placed across your forehead
Tactical family sick bowl next to the bed (one bowl fits all)
Calpol on tap (blackcurrant. definitely NOT orange)
Parents turned slaves at your beck and call
You just lie there and do nothing, other than watching Disney movies and chuckling to yourself at the fact everyone else is at school and you get to stay in bed with your cuddly toys.
Suddenly I blink and I’m 26, driving to Asda to stock up on my over-the-counter drugs before heading to run my over-due errands for the day.
In adult life It’s like we’re expected to just pick ourselves up and carry on. While still sick. And for some reason, when you feel like you can’t tear yourself out of bed one more morning and end up calling in sick for work; the guilt looms over you like that bad smell you get after a 5-day festival.
In theory, we save ourselves. We have to. As much as you want to play the ‘woe is me’ card with your partner or friends and seek out all the sympathy in the world, we are accountable for everything we go through in life
And knocking on your parents door at 2pm randomly won’t help either…
We Are Our Own Superheroes
Reality Check: this isn’t just about sickness anymore. This is about to hit a level deeper than the wreckage of Titanic.
(maybe all the drugs have mashed darkness into my brain)
During those Disney movie marathons that got us through the days of illness, we are taught that as women, knights in shining armour will eventually come and rescue us. They could gently wake us from our longest nap ever, remove us from a really high building, defeat the future Stepmother-In-Law, or just have a large family bank account and a title…
But with this fairytale fantasy sprinkled in our minds like glitter on a home-made holiday card, from such a young age we are projected with this false idea of being rescued when the ‘going gets tough’.
Our bodies are built to naturally fight foreign substances that cause us to wallow around with sunken eyes and hunched shoulders for a week. Every immune system is different and works at paces that can alter from one to the next – but some unnatural life patterns and moments can leave us feeling vulnerable, alone and helpless.
18 months ago I went face first into a brick wall and (eventually) through the other side
(This isn’t literal by the way, I just enjoy a metaphor)
I was in a relationship with a guy who in a nutshell was belittling, controlling, possessive and down-right abusive. At this point in my life, I had never been made to feel so worthless to someone. And the worst thing is, when the person closest to you at the time puts you down enough, you start to believe it.
You don’t try and seek out a friends help, or cry on your Mum’s shoulder. Because in your mind, YOU are the one in the wrong.
You don’t try and deal with the situation or remove yourself from the bubble, because they won’t ALLOW you to leave.
Through all the paranoia, the false accusations, the cheating scandals I ‘just let slide’, the broken promises, the apologies, the screaming, the arguing, the lack of sleep, the being scared for my own safety and hiding all of this from the people I hold dearest to me, I decided enough was enough
And this is where I learnt to be my OWN superhero.
I couldn’t get to grips with it straight away. I still believed I was going to get rescued. The monster of an ex-boyfriend would get slayed by my handsome saviour and we would both live Happily Ever After.
But that Prince Charming in shining armour turned out to be just another prick in tin foil. He spoon fed me all the ‘lines’ until I was pleasantly full and ended up wanting seconds. We were galloping along on the back of his noble steed, until I slipped and fell, being left in the mud alongside my dreams and dignity…
He took what he wanted and disappeared beyond the horizon
There was that familiar feeling again…worthlessness.
(Suddenly I hear Sound of Silence playing in the back of my mind)
Yes, ‘Hello Darkness my old friend…..’
It was at this point where I looked in the mirror and I admitted to my own reflection that I was DONE with being made to feel this way. I had been looking in the wrong place the ENTIRE TIME
I wasn’t going to find worth within others!
If I wanted to feel like I was worth something, I had to find that within MYSELF
Because NOBODY can understand your value until you know it YOURSELF.
Before this gets too feminist or ‘anti-men’ and I lose my male readers, this is just
MY personal example of saving myself
You can save yourself from many different life situations
The art of self-care is CRUCIAL to your personal wellbeing and mental health.
We can all seek out help from friends, family, peers or professionals.
But that is only half the work. As adults, we are no longer trotting along as toddlers.
They say you should do something for 10,000 hours to become an expert in the field.
We learnt to walk 10-12 months after we were born. We are professionals.
We may need a gentle hand at some points for the suspended bridges, the wobbly rock faces or the water stones – but ultimately most of our paths are travelled alone.
And when it comes to that wall of stone that is impossible to climb and you’re left feeling feeble at the foot of it all?
You SMASH through that wall with your new-found Superhero strength.
Most will look on with beady eyes expecting a failed attempt, others will cheer you on from the sidelines.
It’s up to you who you choose to believe. And the belief in yourself will catapult you through that wall so fast, all that will be left to do is;
stand up, brush yourself off, and continue along your path.
And that’s the moment you realise, you never needed to be rescued.
You have just created the ultimate relationship with YOU
For better for worse
For richer for poorer
In sickness and in health
Vow it to YOURSELF
Because you OWE it to yourself
You ARE strong enough
and you DESERVE to have worth
You deserve to have VALUE
Free your mind from the fantasies, and learn to depend on YOU
Ride into the sunset, and don’t you dare look back
Stay Beautiful <3