chilling on my rainbow rug
When health, whether physical or mental, becomes more than just a factor to consider but a defining feature in how you live your life, difficult decisions often arise.
Sometimes it seems like the questions you ask yourself are never-ending, and having a satisfactory answer feels impossible.
Some of the questions I have had to face up to include:
- Am I running away from dealing with social situations (ie. this party, that music concert) because I can't cope with anxiety, or is it that I need to rest because of some 'real' (this word is difficult) health issue?
- Does staying home mean I'm lazy or genuinely sick?
- Am I trying to escape this particular person/situation, or am I trying to do what is best for my own wellbeing?
As I write this, I recognise that a lot of these are very similar questions, but they come down to a very basic insecurity - am I doing what is right?
When I am stuck in this insecurity and feeling vulnerable and frantic, everything can seem a lot harder and like I'm doing everything wrong. Often the first step in this is to distance myself from this frantic energy and feel calm.
After that, I remember that letting 'shoulds' and other people's opinions (or my imagined ideas of what 'other people' might think) colour my perception is not the right way to go about things. That way lies more frantic energy, and possibly a mini (or mega) meltdown.
Weighing the options comes next, and also listening to what my body is trying to say to me. Often I can figure out when anxiety is standing in the way rather than an actual real need for rest. If I can't, more calming energy is needed - deep breaths, noticing my surroundings, maybe even reading for a little while.
Really, what it comes down to is recognising what I need, and what experience is going to serve me best at that point in time. This varies day-to-day, and from person to person. While I may choose to stay home from a social event because I decided I need rest more, another person may decide to go to the party because social interaction is what they need more.
A lot of the issues I mentioned above feed in to other anxieties of mine (including the fact that I don't 'look sick' to most people), but I like to think that over time I have become more effective at deciding what is best for me in each situation. And I am lucky that I have a great support network that understands when I need rest.
If you should ever get into a situation like this where you're winding yourself up into a tight knot over a question, just remembering the breathing and distancing yourself from it DOES help. And remember that, regardless of those 'shoulds' in your head, YOU are the only one that can make decisions about your experiences.
Love to all who read.