Plow Through and Make Due
December 2017 Blog
I started a challenge this month for 30 Days of Touchdown: Gain Grounding. This experience piece is only fitting.
My life has always been action-oriented. I could never sit still. My mobility and energy is what I prided myself on. I have always definitely been a thing to see. People would tell me that I would make them tired simply by watching me. This seems great, but it led to a devastating halt in my life. This is a story of how I used to treating my body and how that left me nearly immobile. Call this a cautionary tale, if you will.
As soon as I could make decisions for myself, I have been plowing through life. At 16 years old, I had school, in-school and out-of-school activities, and 2 jobs. Even on my short leash, I went out with friends and enjoyed my school days, maybe more than I should have. I always wanted to be out and DOING. I wanted to DO. Even for learning, I had to DO.
I’m a Kinesthetic Learner, which means my intelligence is in physical action. A.K.A. doing is my jam. I rode this ‘til the wheels fell off.
I had always been reminiscent of an In Living Color sketch. Multiple side jobs constantly supplemented my full-time jobs. I’ve had so many odd jobs that I don’t know if I could even remember them all. The majority of them were physical jobs because that’s where I excelled. That means the majority of them had me running around which didn’t allow much time for healthy eating or snacking; it’s a challenge to prep healthy when you’re young and your breaks are in your car to the next job. So, I ate crappy snacks constantly.
This was a constant in my life from 16 years old until the age of 34. All I knew was that I had to make money and I treated my body like workhorse without the proper nutrition - crappy snacks, lots of drinking partying, rich restaurant foods (at one point, I was a teacher, bartender, server, and dance instructor)... I did well fairly well with it all. I did well until I didn’t.
In 2016, I had been working for 2 ½ weeks straight teaching, dance classes during school, dance classes after school, serving, bartending, and spending time with my lovely boyfriend. I had the healthiest diet I’d had in years and drinking MUCH less. But, because of the workload I put on myself, I was exhausted and my feet were letting me know. But, I had to keep grinding, make more money, fill my hours with things to be done and responsibilities to be fulfilled. But, after working 8 plus hours every day putting my feet through ultimate beatings, my feet were done with me.
"But, I had to keep grinding, make more money, fill my hours with things to be done and responsibilities to be fulfilled. "
I felt pain in my arches, a constant strain, but I didn’t pay attention until it damaged my knees. Soon after my knees, I went to go to the doctor. All they required was rest. They told me not to do any physically demanding work. So like that, I was forced to quit my serving job, my bartending job, and only verbally give direction to my dance classes. All my school site classes that I taught were upstairs, meaning I had to wait for elevators to get me in the classroom. I did that for over a month. The doctor insisted that rest would help.
For three months, I could barely walk. I didn’t pay attention to much to it because I was finally going to get my much needed Taylor’s Bunion surgery - the bones that stick out on next to the little toes on the outsides of the feet. My doctor assured me not only a quick recovery but that my arches would heal too; they were simply fatigued. Both of those were lies. Even with a healthy diet, my body did not bounce back.
I couldn’t do anything beyond three days of regular physical activity before I was laid out on my ass. And, not MY three days of regular physical activity. I mean, three days of shopping in the store for groceries, house work, and the occasional family gathering, mundane regular physical activity. I tried getting some work substitute teaching again, but I couldn’t get through more than a day. So, I let my feet rest and got the much needed surgery I had been waiting for 8 years to find enough time to have done.
It’s been this roller coaster of feeling good enough to do regular “life” activities - you know, try to find a job, walk around, drive, start to exercise. Sometimes I’d feel great, then by day four, out again. Some days I felt really strong, then by day three, done. Along with that was my roller coaster of healthy eating because, I don’t know if you’ve guessed it, I’m an emotional eater. Sooooo...yeah. To make myself feel better, I tried throwing myself into businesses that didn’t take a lot of physical presence. But I was grasping.
I was grasping to feel useful because I couldn’t physically do much. For so many years, plowing my way through life got me through. I worked longer and harder than most. Working was my outlet and physical work was my escape. I could avoid the inner work that had to be done if I just did a shit ton of outer work. Busy work.
"I could avoid the inner work that had to be done if I just did a shit ton of outer work."
It’s been 1 year and 7 months since my initial injury. I finally got to see a specialist about my feet. I felt bad going in. I felt worse coming out. I just got cortisone shots to both of my feet because of the diagnosis of Bilateral Plantar Fasciitis. I was ECSTATIC even though I knew it would be painful because I was promised “immediate relief.”
Now, how many days would you consider immediate relief? Maybe one, two, or four? Well, I have been injured for over a year, so maybe seven days? It had been twenty days before I finally almost feel better enough to feel just as bad as when I went in. Day 3-5 was a little better and things had to be done around the house, so I plowed again. This rendered me immobile for two days.
"Working was my outlet and physical work was my escape. I could avoid the inner work that had to be done if I just did a shit ton of outer work. Busy work."
In this process of healing, I’m eating the healthiest I ever have eaten. I eat whole foods, very little processed foods, nearly no dairy, no refined sugar, and hardly drink any alcohol at all. I could also no longer avoid doing A LOT of soul healing - my inner work, making me the overall healthiest I’ve ever been. My muscles are flimsy because I haven’t been able to work/workout in over a year and my weight has increased because, again, emotional eating, and I’m not burning fat like I used to. But, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, even with half the physical ability I was accustomed to in my lifetime.
I have learned that taking time for self-care and healing does not make me useless or less lovable. Taking time to help myself or asking for help from others does not make me weak. Being careful with how I handle my vehicle, my body, does not make me a party pooper. All the things and time I take for myself is necessary for my wellbeing.
I asked a friend, who is also a life coach, advice for what to do next with my life. She asked what I know I can do. Well, I know I can write and help others with writing. I’ve done it for a decade now. But, how do I make that a business. She introduced me to copywriting.
I have learned to harvest my creative energy to start writing, start helping businesses that want help. I’m using my gift to help people who are putting their energy towards helping others. For those that are soul searching, I want their journey to be easier than mine. Isn’t that what it’s all about: paving the way for the next person to have an easier go at life, to uplift and help humanity? Well, I’m making that my focus now. I have to.
"Taking time to help myself or asking for help from others does not make me weak."
I can’t plow anymore, nor should I. My future years come will be one of feeling what is good for me and sticking to it.
I’m ready to heal and I’m ready to help. Cheers to whichever comes first.