I’ve been struggling a lot with balancing finishing up grad school, working, interning, managing personal relationships and self-care.
It’s been a long journey, but I’m able to identify when my body needs rest. However, I riddle myself with guilt when I do take a break. Take tonight for example. I have a paper that’s due Tuesday. 3-5 pages, no big deal. I’ve slept most of the day, and forced myself to get up to start my paper, which became unproductive. I became unmotivated and dreading it. I managed to re-watch half of a video for my paper that I watched last week, and took notes. That’s all I could manage for today.
And now that I came back home and pampered myself, my brain is guilt tripping my for taking care of myself when I know that I needed it. I know that when I apply self-care, I am able to become productive. But my brain won’t let me rest.
My body and my mental health has been going through some changes lately. Life in general has been going full-speed ahead. It does not wait for me.
There are many positive changes. I’ve been been growing my tribe with more positive and like-minded people. Like-minded as in, we are on board with giving each other support and keep each other accountable, but if we have differences and misunderstandings, we learn how to work it out and we want to work it out. That’s what I mean. Like-minded. I’ve also been learning how to take care of myself, and asserting my needs and boundaries in my relationships.
I’ve just been hired to work per diem at the hospital I have been interning at. I’m finishing up my program @ USC, which I am so excited for. I’m taking care of myself more. I’ve met this wonderful man. He’s been incredibly supportive and positive about where I consider my deficits.
There are so many positive things going on for me. I am really blessed, but that does come with obstacles.
Since I’ve turned 30, my body has been through a lot of changes. For those of you who don’t know, I live with chronic Hepatitis B. My mother breast-fed me as an infant before I got my immunizations. (If you don’t know what that is, I would suggest looking it up).
Hepatitis B has left me chronically fatigued. Sometimes it’s hard to manage my medication, and I’ve been more mindful about taking them at the same time, every single day. I’ve discovered that I am more prone to joint pain and tendonitis. How do I do the activities that I love? I’ve had to work really hard to work around the disease. If I climb, I have to take longer breaks in between. I can’t go for more than 3 times a week. If I have a busy schedule, I tend to choose being by myself, rather than out with my friends because I need that time to recharge. If I’m working and interning consecutive days, I tend to spend my weekends sleeping…and sleeping.
I am in constant struggle with my diet. I know I have to eat healthy, but have poor impulse control because I’m so tired all the time. I eat everything in sight. I need to lose weight. But I’m stressed all the time and it’s so incredibly hard to eat right. I’ve started meal prepping, but life got in the way, and that’s temporarily on hold. And don’t even talk to me about alcohol. I’ve discovered I’ve developed an allergy to beers. I get itchy and my limbs and fingers get so swollen, I can’t even peel my jeans off my legs.
I also have been recovering from severe tedonitis in my left foot. Although it’s been better, I have not been able to exercise for weeks now. I’ve become restless and moody, and I feel fat.
How I got through 2 years of grad school is beyond me. How I’ve been able to maintain my friendships and relationships is beyond me too. All I have to say is that I am so lucky to have really understanding friends, family, and coworkers. I’ve made my first appointment to see a therapist starting Monday, and I’m really looking forward to that. All I can tell myself is that it will get better. And it will.
Physical self-care. Mental self-care. Self-love. Empowerment.
That’s all the thoughts I have for tonight. Goodnight 🙂
[Original photo, Fremont circa 2015]