So, my last post was about the car accident my family had in December, and the bad news, and good news that resulted.
Today, I have a follow up to that, and it’s about my realization that I am not going to heal completely from the accident unless I make a conscious effort to slow down, and rest. I’ve gradually come to this realization since Friday.
What happened? Well, for the past few weeks I was really feeling better. In fact, I was feeling better than at any other point since the accident. Couple that with some beautiful weather last week, and I felt like doing more. So, I had the kids out enjoying the weather, I was getting chores done, and errands run. It was great!
Then, on Thursday, I woke up feeling like I had just been in a car accident. I was thinking, what is going on? I had to cancel plans for Thursday and Friday, and have someone drop off and pick up my kids from school. All I could do was lay in bed. I saw my physical therapist Friday, and ask what happened. He simply said, you may be feeling better, but your not better. All we’ve been doing so far is working on getting your muscles to relax. That’s what the stretches you do at home have been for. We haven’t started on getting your strength back, and you have lost strength due to the accident. So, if you try to go at the pace you did before the accident, your going to start hurting again.
When I first thought about what he said, I got frustrated and, truthfully, mad. This sucks! Was my thought. My mindset was that I can’t fit two hours of stretching a day into my schedule with two young children, a husband and a home to take care of! Just trying to get to the multiple accident-related appointments each week– which meant finding a sitter for the kids, and often making dinner late– was hard enough! I just want to feel better now, was my heart’s cry! And, I did cry.
This morning, it struck me that I don’t have a choice. If I want my health back, I have to slow down, I have to rest, I have to do the stretches…or else!
That means I have to be patient with myself, and I have to let go of the idea that I should be feeling better now. I have to say no to activities that are great for the kids, but exhausting for me. I have to release the guilt I feel about the dirty floors, piled up laundry, dishes in the sink, etc. I have to give myself permission to ask for help, again. (I had asked for help from family and friends right after the accident.)
Something amazing happened when I accepted this truth. I stopped feeling frustrated, and angry. I felt a sense of peace. I felt a weight lift off my chest. I think I was subconsciously trying to be a super woman, and getting angry because my body wouldn’t agree to it.
Also this morning, my husband and I were going to take the kids on an outing. Yet, when looking at that outing from the perspective of healing, I realized that that wasn’t going to be a good idea for me. As my first act of putting healing first, I asked if I could stay home. He was for it, and ask his sister if she wanted to go in my place. It turned out that she and her husband wanted to spend time with the kids. And, the kids were super excited to know their aunt and uncle would be going with them! What’s even cooler was that everyone got to ride in our new minivan instead of taking separate cars like we used to have to do! Praise the Lord!
While they enjoy a wonderful extended-family outing, I am writing this blog from bed, with the heat pack on my back, while sipping tea. I feel very productive indeed! 🙂
I’m praying that all productive mommies stop trying to be super women, and take the time to heal in whatever way is needed.