Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the young woman home from NYC, hugging a toilet, and trying to figure out if she had bad tacos or caught a stomach virus.
Merry Christmas to me!
I’m a terrible sick person because no matter how independent, how successful, how self-sufficient, when I’m sick- I turn into a big, pathetic, baby. Growing up, when I would throw up or find myself feeling absolutely awful – I wanted my yellow blanket, orange juice brought to me, lots of sleep and cuddling, and to get the sickness over with as soon as possible. I can remember crying as I laid on the floor, praying that there was nothing left for me to heave up, and for me to feel a little less rumble so I could just sleep.
Now, as I lay in bed, water and trashcan by my side, trying to write as coherently as possible in between trips to the bathroom, I notice that for the first time, I don’t want any help. My parents have asked repeatably if they can bring me anything, if they can hold my hair, if they can get medicine for me, or if they can lay with me until I fall asleep. And to each response, I’ve thanked them and begged them to just leave me alone.
Sometimes, when you feel the need to let all of your messiness, all of your imperfections, all of your fears, all of everything in your tummy – the last thing you want is the company or audience of another person. When working through and processing all of our personal toxins – the best place to be is alone.
A huge portion of this journey to self-love has been learning to fall in love with who I am – even when I’m not on my A-game. When I take two steps back instead of one forward. When I allow my insecurities to rule my alluring characteristics. When I blame myself for things that are beyond my control and entirely not my fault. When what I bring to the table isn’t as substantial as what I hoped.
And weeding through the field of self-defeating and destructive mentalities has proven to be a job for no one else but myself. Often times, when we’re entering into new relationships, when we’re dating the trenches of men who come and go effortlessly – we are ignoring all of the muck we need to deal with before bringing someone into the mix.
While it is nice to have someone to pat our backs, tell us we’re wonderful and all is well, and hold us tight until we feel better – unless we sincerely release all that is brewing inside of us – we’ll never make progress in self-love or in romantic love. Because no matter how hard we try to prevent it or hope it won’t come – eventually, those toxins will take over and demand to leave. And more times than not – they will be spewing all over someone who didn’t create them in the first place.
Maybe it is growing up or developing coping skills, or this journey that continuously surprises me – but even though I can barely keep my head above the covers to type these words, my stomach is as empty as it has been in a long time, and I can’t seem to get warm – I’m glad I don’t have someone here to trying to soothe me. And not because I’m vain or afraid of looking vulnerable – but rather, when dealing with sickness (in whatever form) independently, there comes a sense of power.
A certain strength that makes me realize I can handle most anything that comes my way, that my imperfections are my own and merely needed to be accepted by me, and that if there was a reason for it to come up, I should deal with it in a way that makes me healthier.
And most importantly, it gives me the peace of mind that almost all difficulties and bad chemicals are only temporary – that once all is gone, accepted, and I’m able to stand again, the feelings or the pain that got me so down or made me hug a toilet – were just meant to teach me something.
To help me let go of the icky, so I can find the promising. And for now, the thing that sounds the most beautiful is taking a nice long sleep with prayers that all is gone, and Christmas will be stomach-bug/food-poisoning free.