Radical Self-Care

Last week I decided very unexpectedly to leave San Francisco for a few months, much to my dismay. I mentioned in my last post I have maladaptive stress syndrome, which if I'm not careful could lead to chronic fatigue. It became very clear to me I need to take drastic measures to take care of myself. This is INCREDIBLY difficult because I don't typically prioritize self-care (obviously) and now I'm required to make a major change in order to heal myself.

Part of the issue for me about this is I don't want to stand out. I don't want to be the only person at the potluck who is eating spaghetti sauce without the spaghetti because I'm allergic to gluten. I don't want to be the person who is dancing at half-speed because going too fast feels draining. I don’t want to be the person who has to take a nap at 4 p.m. everyday but I am. I did all those things this weekend.

At this point I'm realizing it doesn't matter if I look stupid or people notice me or judge me. I have to take care of my physical body and make that a top priority. I can no longer afford to worry about other people because I have to worry about me. Sometimes you have to go against the flow in order to do that. And sometimes you have to do things you don't like in order to take care of yourself.

Screenshot from Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Sometimes you have to go against the flow.

As much as I want to stay in San Francisco right now I cannot. I need a quiet place to rest and relax. San Francisco is many things but it's not quiet or relaxing. Yes, I have so many friends and friends who are like family here. In fact, I'm writing this right now from the living room of beloved friends. I have to say goodbye to them for a while in order to take care of myself. I'm lucky in that I'm going to Washington, D.C. (where I'm going to stay) I've lived before so I already have an established community. I've wanted to go back and visit so this seems like as good a time as any.

It's sad for me to say goodbye but I know I have to for my self-care because sometimes radical measures are required.

I dream of a world where we prioritize our wellness. A world where we do what it requires to take care of ourselves. A world where we understand sometimes we have to do things we don't like, but in the end it's always worth it.

Another world is not only possible, it's probable.

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11 comments… add one
  • Jan Nov 19, 2012, 5:25 pm

    Best wishes on your journey "back home". May you find the peace and healing that you need. Sometimes, following the path is a lot of work and you need to step back, retreat to comforts that are familiar, before taking reins in hand once again and being the stand-out, take-charge person you were meant to be! Nurturing is necessary, Introspection important. You are stronger than you think! I can sense that you are following what is calling you. If only more people in the world would be so aware! All the best to you!

  • Rebekah Nov 19, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Thanks so much Jan! I appreciate that. =)

  • Krystal Nov 19, 2012, 6:09 pm

    Good luck, and we are leaving for the exact same reasons. It's a bittersweet move but I need the comfort of home to better take care of myself. I have been sucking at that lately.So cheers to us, for doing what we never thought we would, or at least I never thought going home ot Michigan would be what I needed, especially after becoming a mom. But here I go.

    • Rebekah Nov 19, 2012, 7:11 pm

      If this was on facebook I would hit the “like” button.

  • Liila Dec 3, 2012, 1:16 am

    Dear Rebekah, I was very moved by your post. I was a pre-med student at Vanderbilt when I "crashed" due to my over-achievment personality and poor self-care. I ended up with a severe chronic illness. My doctor said 4 years ago, I've suffered from chornic Lyme Disease my enitre adult life. Chronic Lyme and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have so many similarities, and the personality types of those who often get it are usually type "A" personalities, sensitives, and nice people who often stuff feelings so they won't hurt others. I've learned this past six-months through Mickel Therapy for CFIDS or ME how improtant it is to put yourself first and nuture yourself. to unstuff emotions in a health way, and to have fun and do a variety of activities. If you want to talk more about any of this please feel free to call me. 828-658-4311. Nice job with your blog site.Love, Liila

    • Rebekah Dec 4, 2012, 5:52 pm

      =) Thank you so much Liila. I’m glad to hear you are also getting the healing you need.

  • Liila Dec 3, 2012, 1:18 am

    Please excuse all my typos a grammar. 

  • Erika Dec 5, 2012, 8:19 am

    Hey Rebekah, 
    I was just thinking about you and your site the other day… you popped up in my mind, so I did a Google search and came upon your blog.
    Like you, I can be very disconnected to my body. I feel like I am super aware of any subtle changes on the introspective front, but my body can be ignored and put at the bottom of my to-do list. I'm learning that taking care of myself is the foundation of good health — not just physical health, but mental health. Even though I am learning it, executing it is hard. 
    I think it's very wise and admirable that you are taking time to take care of your body and to go to an environment that will support your efforts. Best wishes!

    • Rebekah Dec 9, 2012, 9:16 pm

      =) Thank you!

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