I started 2017 determined to make it My Year. The year I wrote a book and launched a new website or two, the year I was able to make enough money writing and blogging to only do those things, the year I started doing yoga every day and lost 50 pounds, the year I explored every country in Central America.
The year I did All Of The Things.
(Isn’t that what we all wish at the beginning of the year?)
And for the first few months of 2017, I totally killed it. I was on my way to doing and being great things.
Then I got sick.
Two to three weeks of being in pain, feeling nauseous, unable to eat.
Then it went away.
At that point, I headed to Panama for a few weeks. My anxiety was at an all-time high and almost led to me cancelling the trip but my friend talked me through it and off I went. (More on traveling with anxiety in a later post, btw!)
When I came back, things started looking up again. I felt like myself, ready to take on the world.
Then, in May, I got sick again. Out of nowhere. At first I thought it was a stomach bug…then, as the days went back and my stomach settled but the pain continued, I thought it was the flu. Maybe dengue. Every ounce of my body hurt. Sitting up in bed to type on my computer hurt. The first weekend, it was okay. I read 4 books in a single day, something I haven’t done in years.
But after a week of not being able to work? Over it.
When I did finally find the energy to leave my house, I would return from volunteering and collapse on my bed crying because everything hurt.
I started to feel better in the days leading up to my Nicaragua trip but it didn’t last. I spent half of my time in my hostel bed sleeping instead of out exploring San Juan del Sur like I planned.
For over a month it was a rare occasion to have a day where I didn’t either nap in the afternoon or go to bed pathetically early.
I started to feel better but never 100%. There was always something “off”. I never felt quite right.
And then, just two weeks ago, I got sick again. This time it was a sore throat and ear ache. Exhaustion. My body hurt again.
On top of that, my anxiety was through the roof and depression started following me around again.
Now was not the time to be sick. Now was not the time to be laying on my bed trying to find the energy to get up. Now was not the time to be taking time to remembering how to breathe.
I was in the middle of rebranding Sky vs World. Already months behind on launching my new niche site. Behind in editing articles and even further behind in writing them. Less than 2 months away from a major trip back to the States.
I needed to be at 100%, and yet I wasn’t even functioning at 60%.
That’s when I decided enough was enough. My body, with this constant repeated sickness and pain, was telling me something and I wasn’t listening, just trying to push, push, push onto the next thing. Angry at myself and my body for not being 100% because the rest of the world was anxiously waiting for me to do All of The Things. (Spoiler alert – they weren’t.)
I needed to start listening. I need to listen. I need to allow my body time to heal. To do that, I needed to let go of this idea of doing All The Things and put my body first. I needed to make sure I was sleeping instead of staying awake all night to work. I needed to make sure I was getting some sort of physical activity in and put back the activities I truly enjoy, like sunset walks on the beach, back into my life. I needed to take time.
I still need to take time. I feel better but not 100%. My anxiety and depression are back and being assholes – taking the time to work through things surrounding them and methods of coping with them are my priority right now.
I am my priority right now.
And that’s why I am not where I thought I would be with this blog, why the new site is not up, why so many things are not where I thought they would be.
It’s difficult sometimes, I am still very attached to the idea of doing All of The Things, but I have to keep reminding myself that we are not only the things that we do and sometimes, we just have to listen to our bodies and put ourselves first.
So that, my loves, is a reminder to you – listen to your body. Take the time to heal. You are worth it. Your dreams are worth it.