“I am angry that I starved my brain and that I sat shivering in my bed at night instead of dancing or reading poetry or eating ice cream or kissing a boy…” Wintergirls
I recently had surgery, so I haven’t been around for a while. I’ve been at home, in bed, trying to recover and heal as quickly as this old body will allow. It hasn’t gone exactly as planned, and I’ve learned something about myself. When it comes to taking it easy – I’m awful! Oh, and my tolerance for pain – not so hot!
Recovering from surgery for me has been horrible. I’m a doer by nature. I don’t like to sit around. I have a lot of get up and go. I’ve been called manic, a firecracker, even hyperactive. I always shrugged those words off, but this recovery period has made me think people just might be right.
I managed afternoon telly for about two days. Two days! I’ve been home for 2 ½ weeks!!! Just sitting in front of the tube made me depressed. I never watch television in the daytime. I’m either at work, or I find something else to do. When I watch it, it’s simply in the evenings to follow some series I’m addicted to (like The Following…if you haven’t watched that yet, you really should!) ANYWAY, back to me not watching television in the daytime. It’s awful. People are screaming at each other. They’re telling the nation their most intimate secrets. They’re talking about baby daddy’s and finding their first cousin attractive. Absolutely not for me!
I tried to read, but when on medication from a major surgery, that becomes really difficult. Each page was read about six or seven times, until I had to face the facts. I wasn’t following a single thing that was written. I thought I was, and to be honest, the stories I was concocting in my head based on what I was reading were better than what was actually on the pages. It was hard to keep up. It was hard to stay focused.
With television and book reading out, there was the old recovery standby, the nap. I never thought I’d say this, as I love a good nap. The sheer bliss of closing my eyes for a while in the middle of the day is a luxury. Well, it was anyway. I can honestly now say that there really is a limit to how many naps a person should take in their lifetime, and I, ladies and gentlemen, have exceeded it. If I never nap again, it really will be too soon.
Taking it easy when it’s not in your nature is difficult. Tuning out when you pride yourself on how tuned in you are, can actually leave you with a sense of loss. I worked from home on occasion, as it was the only thing that kept me sane!
I guess what I learned, and what I’m trying to say is that I found out I’m human. Sometimes I hurt. Sometimes things will take longer than I’d like them to. I am not able to move mountains and make things happen all the time. I am just a woman, and sometimes I’m going to have to let go of the reins and let things simply be what they are. And that’s been hard.
For those of us that are always on the go, slowing down can feel suffocating. It can feel like everything you pride yourself on is falling apart. I cried a lot. I got frustrated. Hours felt like days and the days dragged on and on. Through it all, though, I simply had to allow it to happen and to slow down.
I’m back at work when I can be now. Some days are good, some not so good. I’m working when I can, and am not pushing it when I can’t. I’ve had to learn to step back and let other people take control. I’ve had some complications with my healing, and have had to learn to be a bit more accepting of myself and my abilities to relax. I’ve had to learn that it really is okay to slow down. I’ve got a bit of a road ahead of me until I feel completely back to normal, but that’s okay. I can do it, but don’t expect it to last.
You see, this girl here is going to hold on dearly to the words of Kurt Vonnegut . “You were sick, but now you’re well again, and there’s work to do.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, Mr. Vonnegut. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take too long until those words ring true!