For the last 6 years or so, I have suffered with chronic pain. It comes and goes and I have had countless tests that all come back negative. In the last few weeks, this pain has been back with a vengeance. My joints hurt, my muscles hurt, even my skin hurts.
Yesterday I went to the gym even though I was in pain and when I got there I found that I also had no energy. I couldn’t run on the treadmill – in fact, I could only walk for 20 minutes and I forced myself to do 20 minutes of strength training when I usually do double that without even noticing.
I had done several hours of work before I went. After I was done, I went grocery shopping, then drove home and did more work before making dinner and drawing my self portrait for the evening. When I finally fell into bed, aching and exhausted, I started berating myself for not making more of my gym time.
*Little voice in my head* What a waste of time! That took 2 hours out of your day and I bet you didn’t even burn 150 calories. What is the point if you’re not going to work at it? You’re going to be fat for the rest of your life and it’s only going to get worse when menopause kicks in. You saw the size of your ass when you were buying jeans the other day. Is that what you want? … And by the way, the house is a mess…did you see how dirty the hall floor is? You really need to get that cleaned and you could have been doing that if you weren’t wasting time at the gym …. and when are you going to get some artwork done? It’s months since you completed anything.”
And then suddenly, as this was playing on a loop in my head I thought: “Jeez! Give yourself a break for once! You went to the gym even though you were in pain and you worked out even though it was hard. Your house isn’t as clean as it was because you’re giving a loving home to a dog and they make mess. You might not have completed a big new landscape painting but you have done a drawing/painting ever day for over 9 months without ever missing a beat and built an amazing body of work. And you have been kind and loving to people you care about. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!”
I’m going to try. I think this selfie is kinder.