100 Days Of Blogging #29 – It’s Ok Not To Be On Fire

It’s been a weird few days. Ill health seems to be the overriding theme of my life at the moment. Yesterday I was told I have IBS, and I’ve been referred on the two-week rule to see a dermatologist for a mole that’s snuck into my life. I’m handling the mole thing surprisingly well. My doctor said to me: ‘I’m being extra cautious. I’d be very surprised if it was something serious.’ 

When I was referred two years ago, again, on the two-week rule, my doctor (a different one) said my moles looked ‘very sinister.’ (The ones he was talking about were not the ones I’d gone in with worries about.) Needless to say, I ended up on diazepam. In the end, they turned out to be nothing to worry about.  

I’m waiting on the results of an MRI scan I had last week, but on the plus side, I spoke to my consultant’s secretary (does anyone else struggle with the spelling of that word?) directly, and she sounded nice, like she wanted to help. Not all of them do, I’ve found. So, I hope tomorrow I get news. 

I’m trying to get on with what I need to do, keep on keeping on, you know? But it’s actually pretty tricky. I’m not doing myself any favours by reading a stack of productivity books that are practically shouting at me about how precious time is. If anyone knows about the preciousness of time, it’s this gal right here. Mental illness has stolen an unreasonably large portion of my time.

When, on some days, I feel like saying ‘fuck it’ to the not imperative things on my list so I can just ‘be’ for a while, my head yells to me, ‘BUT TIME IS LIMITED! HOW ARE YOU GOING TO CATCH UP? HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY HAD ENOUGH MOMENTS TO YOURSELF TODAY? WHAT ABOUT THOSE FIFTEEN MINUTES OF READING YOU HAD AFTER BREAKFAST/LUNCH/DINNER, HUH?’ 

Even when I know something is good for me, like taking time away to rest, I experience massive resistance. This has been happening more or less my entire life. Julia Cameron strongly recommends having an Artist’s Date once a week. My stupid brain doesn’t even want me to have that, insisting that it would be a waste of time, though I know how massively beneficial it would be to me on so many levels. 

But. BUT. Bit by bit by bit, I’m coming to accept that it’s ok to not be ‘all that’ when there are significant, anxiety-inducing things happening in my life. It’s ok to not be ‘on fire.’

The other night, as part of my training to be at peace with just being, I watched the film Fall because I was too out of it to read. I gave myself permission to just be. Though I wish I’d chosen a different film. Fall was shit. Don’t watch it. Let me save you an hour and a bit of your life to spend on something better, like The Way of the Hare by Marianne Taylor, which is well on its way to being one of my favourite books of 2023. (It’s one of the books giving me breathing space. ) 

Taylor quickly won me over within the first few pages, and you’ll see why with her description of a hare’s ears and eyes: ‘Its ears were lovely and ridiculous, tall, broad radar dishes, nothing like a rabbit’s. Its head was shaped like a toy bus, and its high set staring eye, even over that distance, was wide and pale and looked utterly haunted, on the edge of reason.’ I hope you’ll read it too, especially if hares fill you with wonder and you also require some breathing space.

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