This was the spring garden last year, warts, weeds and all. There’s even more tulips this year – which I am quite pleased about – to burst into bloom with a backdrop of rusted corrugated metal. The weird dichotomy of my garden appeals to me on a deep level – whenever I find myself paying more attention to the weeds or the rather ghetto backdrop, I remind myself to look at the flowers more often, and give thanks for their presence; besides, a lot of the weeds in my beds are actually rather beneficial, so I don’t nuke them from orbit with Roundup if I can help it (much to my neighbour’s irritation).
The past couple of months has been more or less perma-flare; this week sadly has proven no different, with my eyes flaring up so regularly I’ve given in and decided I need to get into an optometrist, stat. I’ve been struggling so much with my vision I can’t see to thread needles for my crafting work, and can’t read small print. What makes this really frustrating is I know in a year or two, the problem may suddenly become different, so the glasses I will probably need to get will be useless. Inflammation just does what it likes.
I scoured Dr Google for hints on how to kickstart my body out of its current inflammation flare – I’m frustrated and my patience with my body and its issues is pretty much gone. As I shivered in a house which is practically too hot because my internal body temperature is whacked, struggled to read because my eyes refuse to focus, and was irritable and exhausted, I stared at the kettlebells in the corner of my room (untouched since last summer, when I was lifting them with ease). I could feel my jaw clench as I swore to myself I was going to just suck it up, and work out today, pain or not. I was gonna make the day my bitch, and I wasn’t going to let pain or inflammation or squinty eyes stop me.
However, just as I got up and strode over to the weights with purpose, I found myself coming to a halt. My P.T.B have my back – from the realm of UPG, a Voice seemed to whisper out from my subconscious “Why do you want to punish yourself?”
I let that ferment a bit, and then found myself needing to sit back down again…because that was exactly what I had intended on doing. I was going to work out even if it hurt (and it would have done) and it had very little to do with being of benefit; when I’m flared like this, it won’t and I know it. There’s a lot of arguments for exercise for my conditions, and I’m aware of all of them, but it helps not a jot when the whole reason to try and exercise is because I am angry with my body. And I am – I’m really bloody angry with it. I want to punish it for being fat, for being out of shape, for being ill. My body has betrayed me, and I am angry, even after all this time. It’s apparent in the way I keep pushing to try and work even when I feel exhausted, in the way I refuse to listen to signals, I refuse the simplest cues, I don’t stick with any of the plans and just keep trying to barrel through – teeth gritted and joints swollen, because to suffer is seen as a badge of courage. I’m feeling pressure to work full time, even when I’m clearly not ready to do so (and even my GP has shown concern for my working schedule). It flies directly in the face of all the healing work I’ve been studying lately. It’s ignoring the flowers, and seeing the weeds as, well, just weeds.
So I had to sit with this realisation for a while: it wasn’t fun, but I needed to acknowledge where my head is. Only once I worked through all that mess was I able to see what I was doing, and why it wasn’t (and isn’t) going to help. I did some meditation, and went Within (what I call Going Deep); I assessed my current malaise and why I’m feeling so crap at the moment. I established a dialogue with my body – and this sounds so flaky, I know, but bear with me – and came to a few glaring, perfectly obvious truths which I would have figured out sooner if I hadn’t been so damn bloody-minded. I’m eating too much grain again, drinking too much coffee, not taking my daily herbals for healing and balance. I’m avoiding doing any exercise but gardening because I’m using it like a monk would use a scourge, and naturally my body is rebelling. I’ve even stopped dancing because the instruction DVDs I bought are all very advanced, and when I realise my body is nowhere near that level of ability, I give up entirely. I have made exercise a form of torture, rather than enjoyable. I’ve been eating crap again – even though my version of “crap” is just eating too much bread and too many legumes.
This is a lesson in Live, Laugh, Love for me; for all my assertions about making my peace with running on low batteries and low “spoons” – I have moments when things are Not Okay. I get angry with myself and my inability to shake myself out of a difficult time. I thought the flare was done and dusted and I could get back to work, but that isn’t the case. My frustration and my lack of patience is making things worse. So I’m making some changes to try and get back into the rhythm I need to be in, and the first thing is to cut back my working hours considerably. I need more rest, especially with the growing season coming in – I’ve got hens to take care of now, which has added a lot of work and a lot less time to sleep in the mornings. I’ve got to get some glasses sorted out so I can see what I’m working on without frustration, because the vision problems have made my work very Un-fun indeed. I need to get out of the house a bit more, too, and I need to make exercise fun again. There are some beautiful gardens and castles and things to walk around in very near to my house and, now I’ve got a car, I can go to these places and get about on even, paved walkways.
I have been reminded to slow down, and get back to enjoying life again, to not punish myself for my “failures” and to just work through my issues as I can. I’m actually rather surprised at today’s epiphany as in former times I would have just worked out anyway. Perhaps I’m finally learning.