This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.
I grew up with parents who never stopped for anything.
My mother broke her back and it took everything to get her to lay down long enough to heal. She just kept going, there were things to be done.
My father routinely laughed when doctors would say take it easy for X days after this surgery. “I know my body best” and he’d be back in the shop the next day working for 12 hours.
Self care wasn’t in their vocabulary. I came to see down time as a weakness. I question myself for every illness, am I really sick enough to need to rest or is this just me slacking off. Maybe I’m just depressed and using this as an excuse. Maybe I just need to push harder and get through it.
If I do decide to rest, the whole time I’m resting I’m berating myself. Telling myself how weak I am, how useless I am. How it’s just an excuse and I could be doing more and better. Even if I don’t leave the house I end up pushing myself to do more around the house, cooking or cleaning.
I rarely just stop.
I’m fighting vertigo right now. I’ve dealt with this in the past, it’s probably just that the cold is effecting my inner ear. I’m waiting to hear back from my doctor to see if I should go in and in the mean time I’m taking OTC meds but they only give limited relief. It’s just dizziness. But I feel like I’m going to fall over and get sick at the same time and it makes me feel unsafe. Every step is more than uncomfortable, moving in bed is like a roller coaster, and cars are pretty miserable. The mobility bus was a new kind of hell because it moved so much.
My therapist asked me why I didn’t cancel appointments yesterday and stay home, I couldn’t give her a good answer. It just didn’t feel like a good enough reason to stay home, even though I felt so bad. There were things to be done.
Last night I beat myself up for not going to the gym.
Today I stayed home from everything and I’m still questioning if it’s the right decision. I still cooked breakfast this morning, I still won’t ask for help around the house.
My world is spinning and I’m still having a really hard time letting everything stop so I can take care of myself.
Is this self care or am I just being lazy? Am I just giving into the depression that wants me to stay home anyway?
These questions are hard and constant and I’m not sure there’s ever one final answer.