I won't go through the list of all the things that have gone wrong with me lately, or the steps I'm taking to right them; what's foremost on my mind today is a different sort of list.
It's amazing what a shift your mind can make if you simply change the language you use when talking to yourself. I had gotten to the point that I was constantly angry at my body for letting me down (not to mention enraged at myself overall for allowing things to get so far out of alignment when I know better, and have done better), but finally last week the gods said, "All right, if she's going to bitch, let's give her something to really bitch about!"
And lo, I was felled by the mighty axe of gastroenteritis.
(This is simply a fancy schmancy word for stomach flu. But it was so awful that I decided it deserved its full five-dollar name.)
I missed three days of work and spent most of it either sleeping or sending up wailing prayers to the porcelain god. Even now that things have returned mostly to normal, I am simply wiped out--I have zero energy, and would love nothing more than to crawl back under my covers and stay there another three days. I can eat, mostly, but find my appetite wavering between ravenous and apathetic.
At any rate, somewhere between lying on the bed with a heating pad on my stomach, too weak to even cry; and finally managing to eat normal food on Friday night (which I regretted Saturday, but still), I found myself feeling an unaccustomed sympathy for my poor body and all she's been through lately. This morning as I tried to convince myself to get out of bed and go to work, I patted my various body parts with my palms, saying soothing words and thanking them for hanging on, and sticking with me even though I've been such a terrible steward of our health.
Thank you, body, for recovering from this nasty badness. Thank you for not having anything worse than gastroenteritis and a sprained foot. Thank you, immune system, for doing your best to get this crud under control. Thank you, heart, for continuing to beat despite your faulty wiring. Thank you, right foot, for trying your best to pick up the slack for poor, poor left foot. She hurts a lot, and you're being a real champ. Thank you, body, for not giving up on me through every false start and "I'll do better on Monday/Tuesday/next week/Ostara." Thank you, skin, for being smooth and supple and stretching to accommodate all the extra fat I've piled on you. Thank you, fat, for doing what fat does, and cushioning and lubricating and protecting all my insides. I think it's time some of you found another purpose, though, like turning into energy, but we'll talk about that later. Thank you, hair, for being awesome. Thank you, eyes, for having great vision. Thank you, fingers, for staying so nimble. Thank you, bones, for holding me up despite the strain you're under. Thank you, lungs, for breathing even when I don't really want to. Thank you brain, for being the conductor of this soft animal orchestra.
And so, despite the fact that I continue to feel worn out and puny this Monday morning, mentally I'm in a much better place--and I'm grateful for that too.