So this weekend I have had another water infection. I know gross and way more sharing than some people will manage but the context matters.
This morning I found myself in a familiar position of beating myself up because I was not up to my usual performance. I did not have a great night, awake in pain and I was was feeling the effects a little more than the day before.
I found myself profusely apologising to Stephen because I had spent so much time in the bathroom. I was worrying and apologising that I was not sure if I would make it to a family meal in the afternoon.
Then I noticed it. That internal voice. You shouldn’t be leaving Stephen to look after the girls, you shouldn’t be having a bath when you have already had an extra hour in bed, why aren’t you just getting on with it, stop feeling sorry for yourself, you are ridiculous it is only a water infection, just get on with it…
This was just some of the dialogue. But the break through. I caught myself. I stopped. I reminded myself I hadn’t asked for a water infection, I didn’t choose to be ill, that it was normal to feel tired and in pain and that I deserved to be a little kind to myself.
It may sound like a small thing to many but for me it was huge. I managed to turn my approach on its head. I did push through a little and managed some shopping, helped Gwen with her homework and went to the family meal. But not being one to wallow is a part of me I love and I won’t change.
What was different was that I also managed to sit down a little in between, take painkillers, drink lots of fluids, indulged in extra chill out time and I had two baths in the same day!
Stephen was pleased too. He pointed out he has been trying to coach a kindness towards me for years. He will often say “Be kind to Al” but He said I rarely if ever listen. He has always been amazing and I have heard him say it but I just never believed it. I think I needed to realise it myself.
I understand now, in many ways I have become by own worst enemy. Always pushing myself sometimes close to breaking point. Blaming myself for everything even getting an infection. Now it’s time to learn to be a friend.