Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I Cannot Help Others Until I Help Myself

Every time this season comes around I swear I'll be more prepared than last year and every time, I'm bombarded and swamped with activities and/or physical ailments.

Is it stress from the season that causes more physical problems? Very likely. I had a conversation with my body yesterday and it basically threatened me that if I did not slow down, relax, and find ways to relieve stress it would manifest a way for me to do so. 


When your body tells you to slow down, relax and relieve stress or else, I think it's time to listen. 

I have been suffering from severe arm pain, so much so that it interrupts my sleep. I get very little sleep, most of it painful. I've seen a doctor, had x-rays and am waiting for the results or the next step. 

Living for so many years with Bipolar Disorder, I understand the need for sleep to keep the disorder in remission. I must be very cognizant that I can relapse at any time without sufficient sleep. Living with a pain so debilitating that it causes me to go without sleep for hours every night and toss and turn the rest of the night frightens me in many ways. I can't function without sleep, I'm useless without sleep and those around me suffer as well. 

The end of the year means our family celebrates many happy events: birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Every year, I seem to get further behind in preparations however much I attempt to prepare earlier in the year. 

The Florida Writers Association holds its annual four-day conference every October and as a founding member, Board member, and Board/Writers Group Liaison I attend and work very hard. This year I'll also be giving three workshops over the four days. 

Speaking of workshops, as a writer's coach I tend to overextend myself when it comes to committing to giving craft of writing workshops because I know groups are trying to fill their end of year speaker slots and I become quite popular as a guest speaker. I know, it's so difficult to say "no" when saying "yes" makes so many people happy. 

As a freelance writer and editor, my gigs increase as well. It's hard to turn down a paying job to write mental health articles or edit novels. The money is good, it helps pay bills, and I like the jobs. 

But, what's behind curtain number three, you ask? 

I decided to take some classes this Fall semester to help become certified as a journal workshop facilitator. It's about a degree that will help build credibility for me when giving workshops to others helping them understand how writing can heal. The extra time and effort put in now will result in greater dividends in the end for WRITECOVERY. I'm learning from the best and studying techniques I'll be able to apply in my workshops. 

So, even now, I understand what my body is trying to tell me. 

Slow down. 

I haven't even mentioned my weekly writers group I attend, weekly Bible study group, and the twice weekly physical therapy appointments. 

And, before this week I had a very aggressive blogging schedule. I keep up with several blogs some of which I write twice a week. I'm usually a week or so ahead of schedule so that I never have a lapse in posting. 

Until this week. 

My brain just can't seem to wrap itself around the number of blog posts I write and timing. I'm going to give my brain a break and post when I can, writing future posts when I can, and schedule be darned. 

My health needs to come first and without sleep there isn't much I can do that is productive. 

The needs seem to be many, and with my body's resources depleted, my options are few. 

I must slow down. 

So, with a heavy heart, I bid you adieu. Know that I'm thinking of all of you and will write as often as I can. I must heed the advice of my body and help myself heal. 

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