Meet yourself where you are: a lesson in acceptance
Ok, so sometimes life gets hard. It's a fact. But sometimes it gets so hard that you end up making yourself sick. At least this is what happened to me about 3 weeks ago. Hence the blogging hiatus (Sorry!).
3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with pneumonia. For those who don't know it is an infection in the lungs. I had a fever for about a week and a half, and spent the better part of 2 weeks in bed. Not only was I completely out of commission, but this also happened to arrive conveniently right at my exam time. Naturopathic medical school is intense. We have 10 classes each term and our first two years have a heavy emphasis on biomedical sciences (aka all the really important stuff that allows us to use the word "doctor" in front of our names!). Needless to say this couldn't have come at a worse time. I ended up missing all of my exams and a couple of assignments. Thankfully my school is extremely understanding and these have been deferred until I return to full health.
A new term started up just under a week ago and I was feeling like I was on the up. My antibiotics were finished (side note.. 2 rounds of antibiotics was a lot for me. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I have been on medication. I don't enjoy it!!) and I was just starting to feel like my old self. I was in the process of organizing when I would be making up my finals, and starting to mentally prepare myself for the stress to come. This was when life threw me another curve ball. Saturday afternoon in the middle of studying for my upcoming biomed quiz it hit me hard. A fever came on fast and I instantly felt super weak and tired. Seeing as I just had pneumonia I was scared it had come back. I took a cab to the hospital and immediately got checked into emerg. I was there for 6 hours with a worsening fever. Hooked up to fluids and antibiotics as my blood pressure was super low and heart rate was high. After running every test under the sun on me I was sent home at 2:30am and asked to return the next day. The next day I woke up at 2pm (yikes) feeling like I had been hit by a train. I slowly made my way to the hospital and was told I had a c. difficile infection. This was definitely not good news. This infection was a result of all the antibiotics I had been on for the pneumonia. When your good gut flora gets knocked out, c difficile can thrive. The doctor then told me I needed to stay at home and not be at school for at least a week! This felt like a major blow as I was just preparing myself to get caught up, and now catching up felt like an even more daunting task.
So, here I am now. Sitting in bed and drinking tea and focusing on writing this post with the little energy I have!
Where exactly am I going with all this venting?? Well, I have definitely had plenty of time to think the past few weeks and contemplate life and its craziness.
This quote in particular resonated with me this morning as it popped up in my inbox...
As frustrating and debilitating as these past few weeks have been, I am striving to ensure they are a lesson for me. What happens when you spread yourself too thin? This term I am definitely guilty of that. Stress and immunity go hand in hand, this is a scientific fact. But then why do we push ourselves? Why do we let ourselves get to the point of no return in the land of overwhelmedness?
A couple of years ago a yoga instructor said something in a class that I found quite profound. It has stuck with me and I always return to it in times like these.
meet yourself where you are
We all struggle with daily personal challenges and doubts, and under stress it is really easy to allow negative self talk overpower. I know for a fact that I am too hard on myself (as a lot of us are). I am by no means a perfectionist, but I do expect a lot from myself. It is not always a bad thing and has of course allowed me to get where I am today. However, sometimes it is indeed a flaw. Especially if it leads to making yourself sick.
The importance of self love, acceptance of where I am at, and self compassion is something that I was reminded of. These are all things that can (and should!) be practiced everyday.
We are not superheroes, we are human. Stress happens, it is inevitable. How we deal with that stress is what is important. Check in with yourself daily. How do I feel today? What do I need? What do I not need? These are the questions that should be asked. Accepting where you are and what you need can be hard and takes vulnerability, but it is so so important. This I have learned.
If you can meet yourself where you are, you'll be better able to meet others where they are too.
As someone who is in health care this is extremely important for me to remember. But it is also important for anyone who has contact with other human beings. So um ya, unless you are Matthew Mcconaughey flying through a black hole for years on end, that would be everyone.
With all this in mind my health is my number one priority right now. Protein, fluids and bone broth for now. I can't wait to be able to focus more energy on my blog again.
Thank you all for the support and encouragement I have received about this blog thus far. It seriously means the world to me. If there is ever anything you would like me to write about please drop me a line! This blog is here to serve you, my readers!