When Push Comes To Shove: Self Care

Self care is something I’ve only recently indulged in. It’s something I feel like I deserve now, rather than something I can do if I have time. I go to bed early, I read before sleeping, I relax for longer periods of time. I take Saturday’s entirely for myself. I guess I don’t push myself as hard anymore. This is becoming a problem. While self care should come before all other things, I find it hard to justify it when I’m not getting results in school. To go to bed early, 10 pm, means I end up neglecting other things. I might not finish my homework, or only partially finish it. I might only scan reading instead of analyzing it. I leave it all for the next day. While I have a two hour break in the day, it’s not enough to finish all my homework. It’s barely enough time to get really started on anything. Ends are not meeting. I don’t want to stay up later to finish everything if that means I’m going to feel worse in the morning. It’s a negatively fed loop. I all ready do not feel as confident in my studying as I need too. Midterms are coming up. I have an exam on Monday, a test to do over the weekend, and a paper to write on Monday. I’m just stressing out over. I’m taking more classes than normal. Six classes or 18 credits. The normal is 12-15 credits, 4-5 classes. I want to stop and take a deep breath but becoming idle is making me anxious. There is always the looming migraine on the horizon. Ends are not meeting and I am thinking when they do, when I start sacrificing sleep for homework, a migraine is going to come crashing through and break the functional medium.


5 thoughts on “When Push Comes To Shove: Self Care

  1. In order to preserve the self-imposed sanctity of blogs as advice-free zones, I will not offer any of the aformentioned. Instead, I will talk about my own experience, which is that my chronic pain finally forced me to reduce my credit load and apply for disabled student accommodations, and as a result, I will be finishing the undergrad degree in five years instead of four, with a mark on my transcript that indicates “DSS,” and I will be starting a master’s degree with no idea how long it will take to complete.

    Am I angry about it? “Angry” is an understatement that fails to include rage, resentment, depression, and crippling self-pity. As with other markers of my ability to function “just like everyone else” (whatever that means), full-time student status and full-time work had to be pried from my hands and bear the deep impressions of my fingernails.

    I still can’t say that I’m glad I bowed to the pressure of my injury. I still can’t say I don’t have lingering doubts about whether I “deserve” special treatment. I wish I could tell you I was grateful for it, but gratitude is a long, long way from here, and I haven’t even started walking towards it yet.

    All I can say is this: Stress and anxiety exacerbate my pain, and now that I have less of the former, I have less of the latter. And whether or not you believe it, you should know that you ARE special and you DO deserve special treatment. And if you come to a point where you decide to accept it, I think you’ll be surprised how understanding people can be. (Not all of them, of course; people will still suck, as I’m sure you’re aware…)

    In the meantime, you are doing the best you can, and what you are able to do, all things considered, is truly amazing. There are perfectly healthy students that don’t push themselves and don’t perform at the level that you do. You focus on the things you aren’t able to do, but all of us see all of the things you ARE still doing, and it’s awe-inspiring. Hang in there; you are doing everything exactly right. 🙂

    This comment totally got away from me…. sorry for my longwindedness! hugs, TGA

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so bone headed and stubborn that despite drowning in pain and anxiety, I would rather drown and admit defeat. It’s not even admitting defeat, it’s acknowledging my limits and abilities. It’s so deeply ingrained in my brain that if I try harder, push more, study harder, stay up later, that I can still do this, that I can function like someone without chronic pain. It’s stupid to ignore my pain, it’s impossible not too. When I push harder, something’s going to give. I think it’s going to be the migraines, that if I function normally, it will be like I don’t have them, that they’re not a problem. I go to school full time, I am fortunate enough that I don’t have to work on top of that. I am grateful for that. Being in pain is my full time job, it’s a pity I’m not paid to do so. I still struggle with the “just a headache” mentality. Everyone gets headaches and I shouldn’t get special treatment because no one else does. I know I am special, I am my own individual but I don’t know if I’m that kind of special. I am on the Dean’s list and I have a high GPA. I am doing better than a lot of other students by hat measure. There are students who have a much better social life and/or mental health status but they don’t have migraines. A lot of people only seem to care about the GPA, I’m fine with that, let’s focus on that. A disability is only a disability when it interferes with normal functioning. By that definition, I am disabled. I don’t want to admit that it has interfered with my life so much. I am bitterly okay with my functioning now, I call it normal. It’s normal for me. While I am stumbling in life, I have still kept my footing surprisingly well, I have had a total wipe out yet, just a couple trips. And much like when I was a child, I get right back up, take a couple balancing steps and start running head on, back on track, to my goal.

      Your comments are always welcome, you know that. ❤ Hugs, Em


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