Although I thought it would be easier post-pandemic, I still find guilt and difficulty in resting, in taking time to do nothing, unless I literally cannot do something. I tend to push myself, ever the perfectionist. And I realize that, like OCD, although it can be difficult to get past that tendency it’s something I want to do for myself.
For the past two days I’ve been off sick. I’ve missed 12 hours of work and two music production classes that I was really looking forward to. And it’s been difficult to believe in myself that without going to class, I can still get my song done. That taking time off when I’m not feeling 100% – before I’m at 0% – isn’t going to make my world fall apart. That I have time, that everything doesn’t have to be “perfect” all the time. That I don’t have to be “perfect” all the time.
It started as un-caffeine-atable exhaustion on Monday in the mid-morning, then chills, then a decision to go home that I was able to make without feeling much guilt or worry, to two days of on-and-off guilt about binge-watching Manifest and eating everything in sight instead of working on my fanfic, calling my family, calling the insurance, working on my song, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
I’ve decided to treat my guilt similarly to my compulsions; I will do my best to not give into actions performed to silence my guilt. Of course I wanted to go to class, but I’m not going to let the guilt about the money the course cost or self-doubt that I can’t build a song on my own push me to burnout. I used missing class as an exposure and honestly it took me most of the day to half my anxiety. But I’m doing this for my health and happiness; I’ve had hormonal and physical, emotional, and binge-eating issues lately and I’ve felt like I’m in a bit of a spiral. I want to give myself the rest I need, and the honesty with myself that I need, to be happy as I deserve.
So I did the best I could to responsibly care for myself today. Made a huge pot of healthy chickpea pasta (and ate most of it), made plenty of cups of tea with local lavender honey, drank plenty of water, set up a second humidifier, sat around and watched TV, let myself feel bloated and out-of-it and enjoy a cheesy puzzle TV show for the entire day.
Sometimes, it’s just what you need. And I am working to trust myself to see what I need, and what I want.