Perfection

It is beautifully quiet, for a few precious moments. The sunlight from our frozen outdoors, bounces off of my ring onto the pillow next to me in small dancing dots. Clove is free to wander the apartment but she has returned to her cage for a mid-day hay snack and possible nap.

At the beginning of this year, a few weeks ago, I chose what goals I was going to focus on this year. Since I could not pursue them all at once, I chose to save for a house and to focus on and pursue my health all out. The result of this, has been decreased eating out with friends, fast food stops, and more appointments than time to take a breath.
For my chronic pain and fatigue, I’ve gotten two diagnoses. Hearing a medical professional say that it’s not all in my head and no, I’m not being dramatic or overly sensitive is so reassuring. Admittedly, though I am happy to have some answers, there are no cures, only treatment for symptoms to try. I now go to physical/occupational therapy twice a week before or after work, and am still working with my primary on what medication is the best for me. The other part of my health is mental health. I finally am pursuing full answers to my questions so that hopefully, I can be better equipped to take care off my brain.
I read somewhere that someone was trying to change the term to brain-health because it decreases the stigma around mental health. Mental health seems to have worth and morality assigned to it, while physical health does not. Did you know that anxiety can literally damage your brain? Brain health.

Mental health doesn’t just cover people who struggle with your labeled conditions though. Stress and our perception of ourselves affects mental health. One of the providers that I’ve seen looked at me and told me that I have amazing memory and talent. I must have looked properly shocked. “Do you not think so?”
Do I not think so… What do I think about myself on a regular basis?
“You’re letting perfectionism steal your joy.”
Wow. In my pursuit of being the best me that I can, I was self-sabotaging. I speak to myself in a way that I never would speak to a friend, often in the name of being who I want to be. Nothing I ever do is good enough for me.

I had a friend over last night and ended up reading her some of my old writings. She is absolutely convinced that I’m an amazing writer and that I need to be published. I downplayed it, made excuses, and eventually was told “I’m going to shake you every time I see you if you don’t give this a chance.” She believes in me far more than I do. It’s warming to have a friend stand up for you, even if it’s against yourself.

I’m working on it, friends and strangers.
What is your idea of perfection?

Restless

Hello Strangers and Friends,

Sitting in my bed, still un-made from washing my sheets and mattress pad, the sunlight is glowing through the sheer window shade, reflecting off of the foot or more of sparkling snow we got last night. I’ve been sick; in concentration, the past two days. I’ve been unwell a lot longer than that.

It’s been drilled into me, whether by society, work, people I know, or my own perfectionism, that rest is not only something you need to earn, but the sleep you get at night should suffice. Rest in itself is not worthwhile. I’m no professor or renowned researcher on the topic. All I have are my own observations and experiences. Still, I’ve been finding the above sentiment altogether wrong.

I don’t “feel like death” today and my brain is jumping at me, telling me I need to do EVERYTHING productive, right now. My body attempts to plea it’s case. I am still sick, recovering. Ragged cough still drills it’s way out of my chest, nose still drips, body still aches. Gently, I stand up for it against my mind. “Just because I can get out of bed now, doesn’t mean that I no longer need to rest.” The long list of things I need to do right now, are they really more important than listening to the needs for my body’s health?

Lately, I’ve realized that I exist in almost a constant state of guilt. I’m not accomplishing enough, never doing enough. Instead of being happy with the things I do accomplish, there’s always the next thing looming. Cool, I dealt with the trash, gathered dirty dishes, followed up on X, Y, and Z, but those accomplishments dissolve into the black hole of tasks unfinished, or even worse, un-started.

Guilt translates to stress and stress is not good for your health. So what am I supposed to do? When I rest, the tasks pile up around me. When I don’t, I lose the ability to do them. This isn’t an issue of motivation, an upheaval of laziness. It feels like I have been tired since the dawn of time, to put it dramatically, and all I want to do is accomplish everything.

I guess there isn’t much resolution to this spot of brain dump but I thank you for joining me once again in my thoughts. What a journey we are on. Be kind to yourselves.