The struggle to rest is real
So, I’m writing about this photo, with a range of emotions. It IS my truth at the moment; without a doubt…. My body needs a rest. But, then, that part of my soul, my psyche, the one that has such strength: She has differing thoughts. The struggle to rest is real.
I am so grateful for her every purpose: Never accepting segregation, reminding me of how achievable my life is; that I am like any ‘normal’ person. The part of me that finds how to adjust and achieve by ‘bending’ the rules (pun totally intended). That incredible, amazing part of me is harsh at times like this. She’s compassionate for half a day; then she sees the explanation as more of a cloak; a way to hide. Saying she sees it as an excuse is a bit excessive, but we are our worst critics, right?
When I’m physically run down and need to rest, I can find myself critically asking: What did I do, that got me to this point? Could I have prevented it? Did I make choices that tipped my scales and now I’m forced to rest? How much harder will it be to catch up? If I didn’t have Loeys-Dietz Syndrome would I have crashed and needed this rest?
Running late, to everything, is a mastered skill of mine! And nine days out of ten, I am ok with that. Because more often than not it’s the best I can do. But for that one day out of ten when I am mega critical, I think: can I be better? Can I do more? Can I be better at preparing for low days?
Sometimes it’s the small choices that can affect our bendy bodies SO, SO much more than most people can even begin to understand! For example, foods I know will make me sluggish, staying up too late just to watch one extra tv show (thanks, Netflix and your access to binge watching), carrying way too many shopping bags just to save a trip back to the car…. Why after 30 years do I still make these choices?
The picture says “I am not weak. I am doing what I need. I am resting.” And, although that critical voice can get in the way, even she needs to rest. And once she does, I remember:
Breathe. Even if it’s just one breath at a time, I slow down and just focus on my breath; connect with my breath. Some say the link to our soul is through our breath. Each breath is like my cheerleader reminding me I’m here; I’m alive. That deserves a smile.
Relax. Not just the body but the mind. My body has already demanded the need for relaxation, I’ve connected with my breath, now I need to calm my mind. And relax. A bath, a long hug, laying beside my sleeping daughters, they are 3 of my secrets to relaxing my mind.
Balance. This is to remind me that this is rest time, this is me EXECUTING balance, not that I NEED better or more balance, but that I am doing it – right here and now. I can and I am achieving balance. My life is so “go, go, go!” and I achieve so much, the only way I can do that is through balance; this is a quiet time to my loud; this lets me be balanced, to be in the moment.
Acceptance. That it is, what it is. Being ok with it is not always easy. Believe me, I know. But acknowledging it and calling low times or shit times, what they are, slowly brings with it, flavours of acceptance. The more I talk with those closest to me about it, the more I feel understood; which also leads to acceptance.
Recognise. Recognise my early warning signs, if I missed them, I still recognise them after the fact, it will help me not to miss them the next time.
Gratitude. Gratefulness that I can rest, because resting now means I am one day closer to achieving more, getting back to my adventure of life.
Faith. Faith in myself, faith in my body, whether we are light aircraft or mega jet planes, they all have a purpose and all run their own course. We are all destined to fly. I have faith in my body.
Our days of hardship are only there to help us grow. For a slingshot to work, we have to pull it back on a rock really far and tight and hard. The harder the tension on the slingshot, the further forward the rock will go. If we feel tired and like stuff is hard, trust that it’s life’s way of putting us on a slingshot. We will fly… We will grow, we will achieve. Just remember to take the time to recover. We all need it every now and again.
Is this something you struggle with too? What helps you to give yourself the rest your body needs? Share it with us!
Hi! I am Renee, at 31 years young I am extroverted, inquisitive, adventurous and passionate by nature. I was diagnosed at 8 into the connective tissue dysplasia family and have had plenty of ups and downs along the way. Graduating with a degree in medical radiation science, I am a Radiation Therapist by day, a fun loving cake creator by night, and for 12 years have volunteered in various roles with ConnecTeD Foundation. I fell in love, and we have two sensationally, life-changing daughters together; we are a family affected by Loeys-Dietz Syndrome. My eldest daughter and I have Loeys-Dietz, and I have 2 unique journeys: one as a patient, and one as a mother. Individually and as a family, we navigate our way through the roller coaster and adventure of life. I look forward to sharing parts of my journey with you, and hopefully learn from yours too!