My appreciation of being sick
Last weekend I had a nasty stomach
bug that has seemed to have flattened people throughout Timaru.
Like Dominoes, we were all were being knocked down with awful symptoms and a long recovery process.
The most difficult part for me of this sickness was the fact I was facilitating a Mindfulness 1-Day course on Saturday.
My process went like this:
Friday night stomach cramps: My thoughts went 'It will go away soon, it was probably something I ate, stupid me eating shitty fast food from a cafe.'
Saturday morning 4am after a
power vomit session in the toilet: My thoughts went "I can do this, I'll be fine in a few hours...It's not so bad, I'm overreacting. Just focus and I'll be fine. Mind power works, you can make those cramps go away!'
Saturday 6.30am: My thoughts went 'No way can I run a course for the day, let alone stand up and talk. Plus I'll make everyone else super sick, then I'll be in massive trouble for making everyone sick, they'll all hate me and no-one will ever come to MindfulMe again.'
So my only choice was to cancel.
Thankfully my kind supportive 18 year old daughter Moana was able to contact everyone, cancel catering, explain everything was due to sickness and pass on sincere apologies. I am very proud of her ability to step in and take control of the situation, even driving to venue to ensure no-one turned up. I was in bed sick for the next 4 days, my internal self-criticisms and judgements ramped up, leading me on the downward spiral, being harder on myself and feeling more crap on top of the crap was already feeling. Plus got some not so positive responses from others, reinforcing my internal I'm doing shit stuff thoughts.
Wow, this was not going well. I didn't have anything else to do being in bed alone except obsessive thinking and feeling. So I started looking at what was going on inside my crazy thought process.
This is my reflection:
Sometimes I get sick, I’m not a super perfect human being
I’m going to have to cancel stuff, this doesn’t mean I am irresponsible or have a lack of integrity
I talk about self-kindness and self-care being most important - I have to model this - Walk my Talk!
I am so grateful for my health and being well most of the time
Breathing in and out is sometimes all I can do (especially through tummy cramps)
I can’t do it on my own - I need my community, whanau and support system
Be patient - getting well takes time and I can’t speed it up
Compassion for myself (and others) has helped me through the hard stuff
This has totally reinforced all I am trying to practice and bring into teaching. I'm grateful for these crappy life challenges, that helps to deepen my own awareness, the need for kindness, self-compassion and compassion for others. This is an ongoing... I'm trying to make sense of this shit and live life in the best way I can.
Phew, this is super hard. I'm giving myself a hug right now, hope you do too. Pass it on.