My mojo has gone missing.
I find myself avoiding eye contact with everyone, especially children, in a feeble attempt to save my energy. All I end up doing is completely disconnecting myself, and then I feel extra awful. But it does make me start digging to find out why I feel so awful to begin with, why I’m so protective over my energy and feel the need to disconnect. It usually always comes down to pain.
By my estimations, I am about 20% of what I used to be. I know this seems low and possibly exaggerated, but I do believe it to be true. In order to conserve precious energy so that I do not cause myself extra pain, I have had to make many changes. More accurately, I have had to stop doing things. Yes, I’ve stopped doing 80% of things.
Hygeine, social life, cleaning… Anything that is not directly related to caring for my son and our occasional guests has gone on the backburner. I need every ounce of energy I have to get through the day, and sometimes I run out. I work hard to ration it all, making sure to take breaks wherever I can or modify tasks and activities to better suit me… But sometimes even the best plans go awry.
When I start retreating and avoiding people, I know my reserve is in the negative. I’ve done too much or am in too much pain. Sometimes I don’t fully realize how much pain I am in until I notice how distant I am. Once I take inventory, I am shocked at what bad shape I am in.
The most difficult part isn’t the pain or the exhaustion. It is the fact that *this isn’t me*. I am connected and loving and giving. I am! But not today, and not yesterday. To me, these days feel so wasted without giving the gift of my time and attention to those I love the most.
But then I have to force myself to look at all I did manage to do in spite of everything. Everyone was fed, looked after, clean, and had fun. I had a real conversation with everyone I saw today, even the little ones. I laughed at unexpected joys. I taught in the moment. Everyone was kept warm and safe, and I gave a lot of hugs.
The only thing I’m complaining about is the one thing I couldn’t control – that I just couldn’t stay directly plugged in for an extended amount of time. Strange. Not that I didn’t shower or that I slept in my clothes and wore them all day. Not that I didn’t brush my hair or my teeth, that I didn’t do the laundry or the dishes, or that the cats are mad because their litter box needs attention. No, I’m upset about the one thing that really *matters* to me that I couldn’t do… And I’m working on understanding that it is a symptom, not a choice.
I am still learning how to take better care of myself, but mostly how to be more kind to myself. I’m learning that even on the days where I’ve lost what makes me “me”, what’s left isn’t so bad as it surely seemed good enough for the ones who needed the little I had to give.
Well. Maybe I am learning, afterall.
I’m glad we had this talk. (: