Conflicted Attempts At Healing

As I take the first steps in this blogging endeavor, intended to chronicle my journey towards health and well-being after ten years of struggle and Western medicine, I find it fitting that I am in the throes of the glory that is the common cold. It brings me to question, must physical illness always bring with it woeful self-pity, cranky whining and mild despair? Is it always there to fend off when illness is present?
 
I started this day with smiling acquiesence, assembling my tools of the (common cold) trade: a roll of toilet paper (no tissues), Ricola cough drops, hot tea, water bottle, vitamins aplenty, and the latest issue of Yoga Journal, fully ready to embrace the day of sore throat, congestion, headache and restful entertainment. I even initiated the venture outdoors that took our dog, Jasmine, boyfriend, Drew, and me to the sunny field across the gravel drive, meeting a new neighbor and his lovely dog, Gypsy, and watching the two dogs bait and chase each other. I returned exhilerated and drained, again grateful for my comfy couch and supplies at the ready. Perhaps it was when Drew left for the day, leaving me alone with the critters for the next 8+ hours that Guilt slipped in, with its best friend, Inertia, in tow.
 
I began to bemoan all that I should be doing to contribute to my healing that didn’t include following links from Facebook to depressing videos on the enslavement of the human race, or re-reading old poems from a much darker time in my life that had slipped out of my journal onto the floor. I should be meditating, stretching, napping, blahdy blahdy blah. I am rarely short on ideas of what I should be doing. Jasmine would surely love to spend more time outside, where it’s too cold for me and my snotty self, and the half hour from before has lost its value in my mind. But I can talk to her and stroke her and she is easily appeased. Yet always the question of  “surely I could do x if I just pushed myself (dishes, cooking, cleaning up)?” But to what ends? Not healing.
 
My body is speaking clearly to me, if only I listen. It wants to rest, drink wet things, gaze out the window with wonder, not self-recrimination. It wants to laugh, read some inspiring words from a book, not a lit up screen. It wants to be warm and made to feel loved and comforted with soft blankets and thick socks.
 
And so I celebrate the small successes amidst the intermittent clouds of guilt: the organic spinach salad I’m about to eat with my most favorite Annie’s Goddess dressing, roasted garlic cloves, chopped almonds and raisins (instead of another bagel), singing a song inspired by Drew’s four year-old twin niece and nephew (i.e. no rhythm or melody or rules of any kind) to Jasmine that makes her stretch, yawn, lick my hand and give me love-y eyes, and writing this. I have episodes of The Office on deck, along with the neti pot, ginger tea, and another full water bottle enhanced with vitamin C, apple cider vinegar and a splash of juice to make the medicine go down. I am taking care of myself.
 
So if the guilt and inertia / guilty inertia / inertia-induced guilt are indeed part and parcel of the ick, if the woe-is-me voice persists, at least I can counter it with goodness, right now in the form of deep breaths and eyefuls of the sun setting on the parade of trees out my window. I can say, “yeah yeah yeah, you again, eh?” and return to thoughts and activities I know will truly contribute to my healing. And I can even enjoy the courage it takes to overcome the mysterious fear that has made this whole blogging dealio so daunting.
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