I’ll have another blog up relating to hysterectomy stuff soon – I’m wanting to blog about the CT scan and so on and so forth.
However, today personal life and recovery are going to be the focus (again). Today has probably been the most emotionally trying day of recovery. I finally made the hard decision to withdraw from school this semester. I’m hoping to get at least some of my tuition back, but since I had to make a special circumstances withdrawal two years ago for a case of pneumonia that nearly killed me might affect the Dean’s choice.
This means I won’t graduate this semester. For my degree, I need one of the classes that I was taking, and this class is only offered in the spring. This will be my seventh year as an undergrad. I can’t keep this up, financially or mentally. I have to move on, one way or another.
Part of my plan, pre-complications, was grad school. Today, I found out that I’m on the waiting list. Overall, this is not bad news. I’m not the best candidate for many reasons, but I’m also a great candidate for other reasons. I can be okay with this decision. I can’t say I’m happy with it though. I have this feeling of being able to do better work and not being able to because of physical limitations. To put it another way, I know I can do good work, but something keeps preventing me from doing so (and sometimes that something is myself).
So, I’m taking the rest of this semester and summer as an opportunity. I need to “get healthy” (more on that later) before I can devote myself completely to anything scholarly. I need to get to the bottom of why I’m constantly getting infections. I need to work on coping with upsets in plans. As my posts from my recovery start to die down, I plan on blogging about what I’m doing to improve myself.
I realize the goal of “get healthy” is probably one of the shittiest goals out there. It’s not specific, there’s not a step by step plan. As everyone says during New Years, resolutions need to be specific.
So far, I’ve divided health up into three categories: physical, mental, and spiritual.
Physically, I want to get back to running every day like I was during the summer and fall (turns out I actually have come to like running thanks to the Zombies!Run app). I also want to do yoga at least a few times a week (and this crosses over into spiritual). I don’t look at weight as a goal, losing or gaining. I’ve had eating disorders in the past and would like to avoid falling into that hole again. I want to be able to play a game of soccer with my friends without feeling like I should be the ball rather than a player, or sweating a large amount, or wheezing. That’s how I’m measuring my success here – in how I feel. Not how I look, not what I weigh, but what I can do.
Mentally, I want to develop coping mechanisms for when things go to shit. I do well with schedules. For example, at the beginning of the semester, I was up every morning at five and doing an hour of yoga. I ate a homemade, healthy breakfast. I went to class. Grabbed lunch (usually a salad from the Student Union) and did homework. Went to my afternoon classes. Lessons in the evenings brought in a (admittedly small) paycheck. I worked out a few time a week in the evenings and even had time to game, draw, and chill in general. Weekends were wonderful since I usually had my homework done before going home.
That’s how it always starts – I’m doing well, really well. And then something throws me for a loop: surgical complications, pneumonia, a PTSD flare…I can’t get my train back on the tracks. I need to learn how to cope and how to fix it. Hello therapy!
Spiritual wellness is probably hardest for me to define since I don’t really align myself with any particular religion. I find Buddhism and Hinduism line up with my values and beliefs fairly well, but I’m reluctant to actually call myself either. I definitely believe in the “Do unto others” that Christianity preaches, but I’ve had so many negative experiences in the church that I want to continue to distance myself from Christianity.
As for the spiritual goals, I want to meditate every night. I want to learn more about both Buddhism and Hinduism. Again, I want to do yoga at least three times a week (it makes meditation better). I also want to start giving back to the community, but I don’t know how to start doing that. Some folks I know would argue that community theater counts, but I disagree. Same thing with donating used clothes – it isn’t coming from a desire to help, but to clear out my closet. I’m think about checking out a few of the food pantries around and seeing what they offer in terms of volunteering.
I still need to refine these, as well as prioritize them and my hobbies. How much do I want to write this summer (I have at least two people who have threatened bodily harm if I don’t finish the draft of the book I’m working on soon)? How much do I want to sketch? Paint? Sculpt? And there’s the huge amount of time I want to spend with my friends…And the need for another job.
I guess the overall conclusion I can come to is that I have some time to figure it out. I’m both not starting and starting tomorrow. I’m not somewhere where it’s a good idea to run five miles every morning, but maybe I can do some situps and pushups tonight. I’m taking the necessary steps to start working on coping mechanisms already.
Mostly, I’m impatient. I want to be able to start NOW. Full throttle. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead…but my body isn’t allowing me to do that, or at least not in that way. I’ll have to settle for starting slow. It’s better than not starting at all.