Rest & Recover from the pain

NEWSFLASH – It is ok to rest and recover from the pain of loss.

I remember sitting in my therapist’s office years ago talking about all of my losses. I talked about not wanting to avoid my pain. I knew from others around me and the science behind ignoring difficulties in life that it can, sometimes, manifest itself both in the physical body and the mental wellbeing. I read, “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel Van Der Kolk. I was struggling with my trauma. My thoughts, my panic, my anxiety, my anger, my deep deep sadness, and so much more. It was there. Sitting there.

Knowing this and being very adamant that no matter what pain or trauma I had endured, I was going to work through it, not around it. I was going to be real, authentic, transparent and hold my pain. I was going to sit in my pain and let it wash over me so I could work through it.

I was going head first with determination to ensure I did not keep it all in and then be diagnosed with some auto-immune disease. That was my thinking. That was my goal. My goal was to come out alive, not completely screwed up both physically and mentally.

I was exhausted! I was working hard. I was quite successful to be fair. I rid myself of toxic relationships or those who were not supporting me or witnessing my grief in the way I needed. Do not get me wrong, sometimes people say the ‘wrong’ things or do the ‘wrong’ things, like I have done so many times. I give a lot of grace to those individuals because it is hard to navigate pain and loss for all parties involved.

Back to sitting in my therapist office and explaining I do not want to ‘go crazy.’ She asked me what that looked like in my head. I explained what that meant for me.

She said something that, in hindsight, should have been obvious and probably is to many. However, to me it was revolutionary.

“You know Lisa, it is ok to rest and recover. It is ok to put your hoodie over your head, watch Netflix and eat popcorn. It is ok when the overwhelming feelings of loss, pain, and grief hit you, to say NOT TODAY, NOT RIGHT NOW.” Then do something that gives you joy, happiness, peace, rest.”

What the hell! Mind blown! Once I started to embrace this rest and recovery thing and not just pretend, freedom followed. I gave myself permission to rest and recover. I gave myself permission to sit in my pyjama’s, eat crap, watch crap on TV and not worry about being lazy or getting fat. I was still healing.

I knew I would not stay there for days, months, years. That I would get up, work hard, cry hard, sleep hard, and then rest and recover.

It is ok and necessary to rest and recover from your pain, whatever that is. I know this is not new information but it may be a new practice for you like it was for me. I still battle with this idea and battle not feeling guilty for “wasting time.” I soon get out of that thought pattern and listen to my body, my mind, my intuition.

It is ok to rest and recover.