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It’s been over a week since my last post. I have disappeared for longer, particularly last fall, but this is my first time since beginning GAPS.
I had a hard week. At first, I was just behind because I did not get enough work done the previous week. Then came the fatigue. Then I lost it emotionally. Then I got extremely sick one night and needed to spend the next day recovering and batch cooking. Then more fatigue.
I was a week (more than a week, really) behind in work and I was beginning to experience extremely bad money anxiety. Everything came to a head yesterday: despite 10 hours of sleep, I was extremely fatigued and had no tolerance for emotional stressors. I cried a lot and felt awful in general. I made sure to increase my carb intake, which I had been suspecting was too low, I spent time in the sun, and I gardened. I took an intense detox bath and went to bed early. I slept another 10 hours. While I am not 100% today, I am feeling much better.
Throughout this past week, I spent time feeding my downward spiral by panicking about what I was doing wrong. I made an effort to spend even more time honoring what my body asked of it. Some days my family made this harder than others, but I luckily was able to take quite a bit of time for myself.
While I did need to increase my carb intake, I eventually came to realize that I was in fact in the middle of a healing crisis. My body was detoxing and healing. It begged for rest, sleep, and nourishing foods. My mind wanted rest as well – it wanted to shut out the rest of the world and all its cares. That’s slightly more difficult to do. However, by doing my best to honor my body, I have been able to crawl out of this setback enough to share this post with you and revisit my to-do list. If I had tried to continue to push myself, I would likely still be horizontal on the couch or in bed.
Being sick is not easy, and neither is healing. I spent the majority of Fall 2014 on the couch watching Netflix because I was too exhausted to do anything else. When I began GAPS Intro, I was back to working within 3 weeks. So it was scary when this crisis hit me about 3 weeks in to my second round of Intro (read about why I restarted here). I need to replace my husband’s income in the next 4 months, and I have a lot of work to do before I can accomplish that. If I start getting sick again, I can’t get that work done.
So you can see why feeling awful and being unable to work stresses me out. And since anxiety and dysthymia are some of the problems I am trying to heal, they come out in full force when I am having either a reaction or a healing crisis. Which just makes the whole process harder. It will keep spiraling down and down and down and down and down….
Until I stop it.
I’m on a budget, living with my in laws (more on that in a future post), and Minnesota hasn’t fully committed to spring yet. I really only have so many options at my disposal. But what I can do is continue to eat well, and not let the stress and emotional despair derail me. I can take detox baths for relaxation and to relieve the burden of whatever toxin has gotten loose in my body. I can use essential oils to address both physical and emotional symptoms. I can go to bed early and sleep in, thanks to working from home. Plus my calming essential oil blend and something about my sister-in-law’s old bed allow me to sleep soundly all night – which never happens! If the sun chooses to grace us with its presence (which only happened once during this whole crisis), I can go outside, ground myself, and experience all the benefits of time in nature.
To allow myself to heal from this past week, I needed to give myself permission to do so. This meant giving myself permission to take time off of work. To ignore my responsibilities for a few days. To watch Frasier and read Chronicles of Narnia in bed. To heal I needed to remove any guilt from spending my day that way. Guilt would feed the stress and anxiety. And sometimes it did. And it was never pretty.
I hope to be back on schedule now. But to be honest, I am not going to promise that. Today is my first day beginning to feel normal. I have seen the consequences of feeling good and pushing myself too many times, and I don’t want to go there. So hopefully I will be back on Wednesday with a new post. Thursday at the latest. But if not, that’s okay.
I need to take time off for healing. And not just me – everyone who is sick and needs to heal their body will need to take time off.
And that’s okay.
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