For the past few months my health has been a bit below par. I knew something was a little “off” back at the beginning of June but thought it – whatever it was – would eventually go away. Of course that’s not really how it goes and I ended up going to my GP who sent me off for scans and blood tests. While waiting for the results things got worse and I ended up in hospital (while on holiday!). Finally, I was referred to a specialist and am now getting the treatment and help I need. Still got a bit of a journey ahead of me but am now grateful there’s an end in sight.
During this time of feeling pretty rough, I lost all my creative mojo [understandably]. I didn’t want to work or do much of anything. Physically I couldn’t anyway. I was exhausted and found myself slipping into a depression and being haunted by my past low self-esteem issues. Due to the nature of my illness, some days were good and others were just downright miserable. Everytime I tried to create something or write, I just wanted to scream. I felt frustrated that nothing was working. That I couldn’t express myself and it all felt forced. I had to stop and give myself a break. But not before I’d spent hours crying and talking it all over with Steve. Thank God for that man and his neverending patience!
I decided to do a couple of online courses that were just about me. Not work related. Not business. Time out to just heal, rest and know that it’s ok to take a break and get well again. I signed up for a couple of art courses by Jane Davenport and also a personal development course by Brene Brown (based on her Gifts of Imperfection book). At first, I felt a little “self indulgent” but as I started working on the courses I knew it was exactly what I needed. I realised it wasn’t just my creative mojo that had taken a hit, I was emotionally drained and physically exhausted not only from being ill but also from almost 4 yrs of grief after losing my parents.
I know now that we have to be kind to ourselves in order to be and feel healthy in every area of our lives. Whether you’re a stay at home Mum (as I was for 20yrs), got a 9 – 5 or run your own little online business, you have to take care of yourself in every way. We live crazy busy lives and try to cram it all in. We feel the pressure of outside unrealisitc expectations. To be the best wife, Mum, entrepreneur, artist, blogger whatever. I’m pretty sure that my illness was a direct response to being completely overwhelmed, not stopping to listen and continuing onwards in spite of the warning signs.
Taking time out to just reconnect with myself, those closest to me and get realigned is the best thing I could’ve done. Sometimes we do have to stop. Or we will be forced to.