Warning: Personal post ahead! This post might better be titled “Lessons I’ve learned the hard way”, because boy, have I learned this one by doing it all wrong! I have been absent from the blog for the last 2 months and it feels so good to be back!
Where I’ve been…
Eight years ago I was in a horrible car accident with an SUV, 2 cars, and 2 semis and it is a miracle that I am still alive. Since then I have lived with almost constant severe back and neck pain. I’ve seen 10 chiropractors, had physical therapy, taken muscle relaxers, cranio-sacral massage, deep tissue massage, myofascial release, kinesiology, acupuncture, strength and flexibility training, functional medicine, cleanses, more tests than I can count, and the list goes on with a heavy price tag attached. While most of them offered a little relief initially or at least more information to add to my arsenal, none solved the issue… until now. I had a procedure done on my spine (learn more here) that uses x-rays and then a manual adjustment to the atlas at the base of the skull to restore perfect alignment. The results have been nothing short of miraculous. For the first time in over 8 years I am almost pain free with the likelihood of being completely pain free by the end of the 8-9 month recovery period. I’ve spent much of the last 2 months on my back letting the muscles recover around my spine. My amazing mom came to take care of our toddler. I had all intentions of using the time to do lots of blogging, but a few days into it I realized that my body was going to need a lot more rest to recover than I anticipated and when I was able to be up and around my attention and energy needed to be focused on my family and limited work commitments.
Self care is not selfish
Valentine’s Day 2007 was when the accident happened and we found out quickly that my insurance wouldn’t cover my medical bills since it was 100% the other guy’s fault. Unfortunately he was in the U.S. illegally and he fled the country after the accident. I knew that the medical bills would start rolling in quickly. Initially I was not aware that I was injured far worse than I or the doctors thought. We assumed the pain I was in was normal for a car accident. I spent the first 6 months working 80 hour weeks from my back on the couch since I was in too much pain to sit upright for very long. I literally took one day off and then attended a business meeting less than 40 hours after the car accident and then took a scheduled trip out of the country the following week. I have almost no memory of the first week outside of scribbled notes during meetings. I hosted a party at my house 2 days later and then asked one of my friends why she hadn’t come – and she informed me that not only was she there but she co-hosted with me!
At the time I thought I was doing what needed to be done and in pushing through the pain to take care of my responsibilities, but if I knew then what I know now I would have done many things differently. So this time around I made a decision that was a big one for my slightly (recovering) workaholic tendencies: I embraced self-care and resting so that my body could fully recover.
I’m not going to say that it was easy…it was completely counter intuitive to how I’ve lived all of my adult life starting during my undergraduate degree when I just about worked myself into the ground juggling multiple jobs, an internship, and the practicing/performing life of music major so I could graduate debt free.
Chucking my lofty work goals, I decided instead of pushing myself to work from bed, I was going to take the time to focus on rest and healing. I read around a dozen books while laying on my back deck soaking up the gorgeous Nashville spring weather, did a lot of dreaming about personal and business direction, ate lots of delicious food, and was totally present in probably the only extended rest time I will have until our kids have grown up and left the house! Some days I am doing well with this self care thing, while others I’ve had to have a strong talk with myself when I’ve let guilt or a hefty to-do list influence my decisions. I’m in this life journey of health and healing for the long haul so learning to set a marathon pace instead of a sprint will insure that I pass the finish line on my feet instead of on my hands and knees!
Come back to visit over the next few posts where I will tie in my personal journey to my professional progression to self care. The more I’ve shared my journey with other creative entrepreneurs the more I realize that this tends to be a common theme in so many of our lives! We’ll talk about some practical steps we can all take to be passionate and successful creative entrepreneurs while still making sure that we are caring for our most important asset: ourselves.
- How do you embrace self care in your personal and professional life?
- Have you had to learn some of these lessons the hard way like I have?
- What are some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned?