Yesterday I woke up sick with a sore throat, achy head and neck, and a stuffed up nose. So today I took the liberty of staying home and resting all day. At first, I saw this as a sign that I was willing to take care of myself-a thing I so commonly disregard-, but as the day trickled on I became heavier and heavier. In the time I had for myself the high I had been riding nearly all week was slowly pulled off me until I was left naked, cold, and painfully aware of how difficult recovery can be. The laughter that was so present yesterday has turned to silence and the excitement and dreams for my coming year have turned towards painful memories and hurtful words said to me. My mind that thrives in busyness was met today with too much time to ruminate on my past hurts and mistakes.
But what am I supposed to do? I am sick and I took a sick day. That is 100% justifiable and yet somehow I am left with a pile of guilty and regretful feelings about it. The day at home-writing, painting, and reading-has left me down in that dark place I had worked so hard this week to stay out of. Thoughts of worthlessness and incompetency are plaguing my mind as I dwell on my past mistakes or, rather, my past in general. My mind tells me that I need to self-destruct, that I need to punish myself for my mere existence…
But I stop my mind. I stop it from continuing down this self-deprecating path because I know where it leads. To a relapse with self-harm or purging or any other behavior. To a ton of tears as I lie in my bed and think of how much I hate my body and what has been done to it. To a night full of restless sleep as I can’t seem to turn off the tape of rumination and insults playing on repeat. To a start of a week in that hole of darkness that is so difficult to climb out of. I stop my mind so that I may instead I think of the little things that are good.
How I am excited to wake up tomorrow and have my hazelnut coffee…or how I am going to wear my favorite dress tomorrow-the one that looks like I stole it from Laura Ingalls Wilder…or that how I love brushing my teeth and lighting my candles and having hot chocolate before bed…or how my hair smells and my sheets feel and my gum tastes.
And suddenly I am grounded, back in the moment, able to write this post, and confident that soon these days by myself won’t be so hard. Though the memories are still there, I can choose not to dwell on them and though my body is still uncomfortable I have the choice to say “screw it” and make myself my some hot chocolate and write. Because I have given in to the critic and bully of my mind too many times and fallen flat on my face. And because I know though I may have fallen down seven times I have the choice to get up eight.