Monday, October 22nd, 2018

I am Lousy at Self-Care

Hi. I’m Joyce and I’m lousy at self-care.

I’m in the thicket of bronchitis. I’m closed in by Bottles of Nyquil, scattered tissue boxes, inhalers galore, rumpled sheets, and an orange prescription bottle standing out from the flotsam and jetsam. Five days of snoozing and snoring and sniffing and coughing hysterically wondering if there would be one last cough and whoosh I’d zoom around the room like a balloon let go. I must be getting well because I’m crabby. Too sick to clean up the mess but too well to stand it. Off to a new bedroom. “Clean cup! Clean cup!”

I had the misfortune of having easy  health and energy for most of my life. Rarely missed school or work. Had abundant energy for a family of five kids, demanding work and a husband running his own private counseling practice primarily in the evening. People would ask how I did it. Don’t know. Just did. But, nothing put the brake on. I told my body to “go” and it did.

After retirement, I did have a heart attack. It was easy to ignore—no scars, felt good right away, hooray for modern medicine. Now I have what I call ailments.  I have two reactions. One is to ignore my body and the other is to be mad at it. Impatient.

I am horrible at self-care. I hate the phrase. But this round of bronchitis has me remembering that I was a varsity field hockey, soccer, basketball, and tennis player. I was a member of a formal dance group in college. I loved movement. I did not swim or bike or run. For me, there was no dance to those, no winning, no wonderful moments of a sweet spot.

I have a hard time thinking of myself as less than healthy.  Well, the fog of this almost ten days of limited breathing held up a mirror to me. (Maybe to see if I was still alive.)  I know the mantra of caring for self to be able to care for others. It just doesn’t move me. Literally, I guess.

I don’t mean this to sound perky or light-hearted. Or grim. I’m simply sharing the strength of my own denial so that I can hear it. Talk about Truth Burp. I am lousy at self-care.





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