I totally slept through yesterday. My body has a funny way of letting me know when I’ve pushed it too hard and when I need to take time to recharge my batteries. I would say the last month or so it has been complete chaos.
The hubby man has been working a string of absolutely insane hours. Our weather has been completely crazy. We will get lots of snow or rain and then suddenly we’re in almost sixty-degree weather for a few days. Just when we are starting to think Spring is really around the corner it goes and dumps snow on us again.
I used to really hate snow. The frigid temperatures make my body ache. My arthritis is the worst either in the cold or when there is a storm to come. Somehow I haven’t minded so much this year. I’ve actually enjoyed most of the snow. I think that has a lot to do with the fact I just simply haven’t been out of the house much this winter. I don’t travel on ice roads a lot. I don’t endure frigid temps thanks to the power of space heaters, so it really hasn’t been too bad this year for me.
Anyway, as everything threw chaos into our lives here in Utah we handled it like champs. We adjusted our sails when we needed to and really pulled together as a family. It was so great to watch what was once a very broken ship work so much better this time. We are definitely growing and improving as a family every day.
What most people and even I forget at times is that while the sails are adjusted and we change course for calmer seas…it takes a real toll on us. One that depletes our mental and emotional standing. Sometimes it can even have an effect on our physical well-being.
I’ve kept saying over and over again, I’m going to start on my next novel. That I was toying around with ideas or plotting a novel and then the floor would drop out of the project and I’d be left flailing about. Man, it was beyond the point of frustrating and I was really taking more out of my already depleted self by being cruel to my mental state.
I have this nasty editor in my head. He’s a mean cantankerous, pipe smoking newspaper man and it’s always about the next big thing with him. He pushes me when I need it and keeps me going when I want to quit. However, sometimes he can push when I’m not mentally capable of going forward.
During those times it causes that whole plotting and floor falling cycle that I go through. It is usually followed by the self-doubt troll taking great glee in my dark thoughts, and probing open seething wounds just to watch me squirm. He is a cruel part of the creative makeup.
I will continue to push myself in these cycles until eventually, my body takes me down a peg. First will come barely sleeping. I will go through bouts of spattered sleep, speckled throughout the day, until I sleep maybe two hours a day (exhaustion). I’m generally plagued with a fever shortly after (physical toll). It knows that a fever will slow me down mentally as well as physically. That is when I know I have truly exceeded my limit of energy and I’m going to crash to recharge. Not the healthiest way to go about this. I should know to take care of myself by now and really heed the warning signs before it hits such a point.
After I spend a day or sometimes it can extend to a week lounging about. Mostly I watch shows I’ve seen a thousand times, that I’m familiar with and love so that it doesn’t trigger any sort of mental stimuli. While that sounds horrible and counter-productive as a creative it helps me. It allows the parts of my brain that are perpetually moving and creating to downgrade and shutoff. Then at that point, they can begin to recharge and recoup from the chaos.
During all of this, the fever is low grade, but still enough to keep me down and out. While most people can push through low-grade fevers, I can’t. Not out of weakness, but due to the fact, my body has this funny way of going from 98 degrees to 103 real fast. It will literally do anything it has to at that point to keep me down and out to recharge. I’ve spent a ton of time in the ER being ice packed to keep my body from boiling my brain. Not a pleasant experience at all. While I can’t remember them with as much clarity. I do remember how much they sucked.
After my body has finally recovered enough it brings me out of my creative coma. I am revived, recharged, and I’m ready to move on. I’ve never given it too much thought up to this point, but have always understood it on a deep down level. I think because it’s something I’ve dealt with for so long.
As of today, I wouldn’t say I’m back 100%. I still feel low energy and chilled, which means I will need another day of recovery. Hopefully, it’ll only be more than these two days. It’ll give me a chance to read the dark fantasy novel I bought yesterday or Hollow City. Maybe catch some more sleep and start tossing down ideas that come to me, if they come (I hope). That way upon my reenergizing I can start work so soon.
Tell me, do you have your own cycles? Do you know signs of when you’re in desperate need of selfcare?
Remember L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.