Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post Workplace Abuse: After Victory comes the Need to Rest

My sister-in-love  makes quilts.  Like me with crochet and knit, this is what she does and how she blesses people.
In May, she and a friend gifted me with this quilt made especially for me.  Each white section of each square has the name of one of the ladies from their church group and a Bible verse especially for me.  I rest under it feeling nestled in love.

Today.

Mid point (kind of) in the week.  (Because actually for all intents and purposes Wednesday is called "hump day" - not Thursday.)  But I figure I can get away with calling it the mid-point since what I experienced happened on Wednesday even though I'm writing on Thursday.  

Yesterday was a low point for me as the thrill of the victory of the weekend receded into the past and the physical reality of exhaustion sunk in.

Yet, I know from experience that this bone-sucking tiredness is part and parcel of the processor recovery from trauma as the body reacts ... or is it responds? ... to whatever stress I've put it through.  Whether the stress is good as in the Writers Conference or bad as in something negative happening or just so-so as in overdoing with exercise, my body will at some point in time at its own choosing respond.

Physical.  Mental.  Emotional.  Spiritual.  All are in this together.  It always seems that Physical - which I put first - has the last word.  It always gives me a delayed reaction on its view of things.

So it is now.

*******

But aha! physical.  I fooled you!  I expected you to show up to the party sooner or later.  I knew you would come.  And I was ready mentally, emotionally and spiritually for your appearance.

I have become so familiar with you during this sojourn since you started to rear your head in the fall of 2011 and demand my entire attention, that I know both approximately when and how you will show up after the party.

Knowing this.  I no longer fear you.

I no longer fight you.

I'm not sure I exactly welcome you, but I accept you for what you are.

The voice of reason in a sense.

The voice that says, you have to slow down, Cassie.  You've done enough for one day.  It's time to rest and regroup.  It's time to refresh and recharge.  It's time to stop doing and start being.

*******

So, I've learned to listen to my body.  To obey it when it says "stop".

Of course, I have to admit that sometimes it says "stop" in rather demanding, uncompromising ways much as a police officer in front of your car with his hand up.  Impossible to ignore.  To defy, yes.  To ignore, no.

As defying a police officer comes with unpleasant consequences, so does defying the physical.  Neither goes away.  They just ramp up their tactics to get your attention.

I've learned it's easier to acquiesce to the physical rather than defy it.

Befriend it, so to speak.  Make it my ally rather than my adversary on the journey to wholeness.

******

Yesterday was one of those times.  My energy sank like a stone to my toes, it seemed.  No matter that the young lady I euphemistically call the cleaning lady, because she is so much more than that, was at my house for her weekly ministrations.  No matter that I had grocery shopping to do.  No matter what my plans were, my energy sank like the proverbial stone and would not be denied.

I had to rest.  I had to lie down.  I had to leave all the newly acquired books and thoughts aside.  All the to-do list.  I had to go to that "other" safe place in my life.  My bed.

*******

At a long ago writers conference, the first one I ever attended, the key note speaker whose name I have long since forgotten, said something I've never forgotten:  "Lean into the pain."

I've done that through this sojourn - and blogged about it.

Now, I'm learning to lean into the tiredness.  Not to fight it.  But to lean into it, to experience it, to allow it to flow over me and, eventually, succumb to sleep.

Under my special blanket (pictured at the beginning of this post) made with love, I feel sheltered.

On the back side of the quilt, I always keep this square by my head to remind me I'm loved.
See you tomorrow.  After I wake up from my nap, that is.

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