On December 28th my body broke down. Again. Since August I have been plagued with colds and coughs and almost asthma attackes, put on antibiotics and steroids. On December 28th my head felt like it was inside one of those victorian metal diving helmets. On December 29th, I woke up feeling completely drunk, holding onto the stairs to walk and feeling so sick. After yet another quick call to the doctor, I was diagnosed with vestibular neuronitis. A viral ear infection causing imbalance and motion sickness. New Year’s Eve celebrations were off. Alcohol was off. Moving too quickly were off.
So I stayed in bed. As the doctor suggested. Luckily I was totally alone so only had to fend for myself. I had to sell tickets online that I had bought to a NYE party and I had to tell my friend to rearrange her plans who I was looking forward to celebrating with.
So for the past 3 days I have been in bed eating a stenching amount of raw and cooked garlic with my meals and throwing turmeric on and drinking endless cups of hot honey and lemon tea. Netflix has been on constantly and my duvet is smothered with books, my iPhone, laptop, tissues and my eucalyptus candle burning bright on my table beside me. Clearly my body is telling me: it’s the end of the year. It’s time for you to shut down for a few days.
But something more importantly has happened for the past 3 days. Like a butterfly I’ve had time to “emerge”. To think. To reflect on 2017 as a storm raged outside. I’ve done lots of my meditation and resumed my Reiki practice both of which has been very relaxing and comforting indeed.
Frequently I’m running on empty in my life. Juggling motherhood with daily chores and working from home. Dealing with the demands of doing my house up or finding tradesmen to come and do some work then eating toast in my car on the way to the supermarket or throwing dried almonds down my throat as I’m power-walking to school in the afternoon for pick up time. Making dinners, running showers, doing homework, shoving washing in, polishing school shoes and persuading a 7 year old that bedtime is not the time to dance naked to Ed Sheeran or dress up as a King with his cape on.
Life is hectic! I packed my life up in August and moved my son and I 160miles away from familiarity, from people we love, from my beautiful house, my son’s friends, my neighbours. Long story. No option. It broke my heart. I had to find a new home, find my son a new school, buy uniform, get into a new routine. My car broke down twice so I had to get a temporary car, endless trips to the garage, find a new doctor, new opticians, find out where shops were, find myself a new life. My ethos is: Just get on with it. I am a single mother with little family support but amazing friends who are my lifeline. I am as strong as an ox, capable and independant, brave, sociable, crazy and creative. But then my batteries run out. And clearly, now was the time, when my son was with his father for NYE, that my body instructed me: lay down and shut the fuck up!
I couldn’t remember the last time I spent the whole day in bed or even half a day actually. At first it was lovely and I lay spreadeagled under my feather duvet with the sun’s rays stretching through my shutters onto my face. I listened to the birds outside whistling raucously as they pecked at seeds I’d left them and I listened out for my cat mewing to come back inside after her garden explorations. At your service m’lady. But then after one day in bed I grew fidgety and restless. I’d beaten a Turk and a Spanish man at backgammon online. I’d wished everyone HNY on facebook and liked everything I could on instagram!
I’d written my dreams down and finished my book and meditated some more. I found a new love and deep sympathy for Queen Elizabeth I from Netflix and discovered how much of a slut Henry VIII was! I fell asleep in the afternoon listening to debates on the radio about Theresa May and woke up to debates on the parking problems at hospitals with the sun setting a crimson hue across the evening sky.
So this time has been really restorative and peaceful for me. I’ve thought about what I want to achieve in 2018 – more writing, more Reiki, more self-love. I’ve thought about how I’ve developed since a year ago, how my life has changed and what I’ve learnt from my journey. Despite the upheavals and the tears and the obstacles and the stresses and the constant demands, I’ve “emerged” stronger, more resiliant with far more self-respect than I had in January 2017.
Without this period of bed-rest and self-reflection though, I wouldn’t have recognised how far I’d come and how much more I respected myself. But we have to listen to our inner voice, our instinct, our gut-reaction. This year has been about alot ot instinct and gut-reactions and despite the sadness and stress, it’s all paid off. I’m proud of myself.
So, back to bed for another day of meditation and writing and Netflix-ing and I will be rejuvenated and roaring to tackle 2018 head on! Happy New Year everyone!