February was a turbulent month and I struggled to write a post. In short, a few years ago February was the month that my body collapsed. And each year my body seems to recall this terrible time.
Years prior to having a breakdown I had conditioned my body to a high level of stress. My mind and body acted as two separate entities. I was the master of ‘mind over matter’ and my body simply needed to submit to the physical and psychological demands. My body did as I requested, and if she voiced her concerns I was quick to talk her out of them. I was too proud, determined and afraid that if I listened to her she would have embarrassed me, and I wasn’t going to let that happen. When I felt her speak I ramped up my mental script: “Quitters never win! Fight through the exhaustion! Just one more year!” There was no way her warning signs were going to obstruct my plan to prove my endurance. I was quite successful at taming her wild nature…at least for a few years.
At a certain point, I no longer had to convince her that we must push onward no matter what the conditions. She took over as commander, watching for potential danger and taking intel from every source. Every gesture, tone, glance, subtle movement and conversation was analyzed. She didn’t rest – keeping me up at night, heightening my senses and putting me on high alert. “Work as if your life depends on it!” she demanded. I tried to persuade her to take a break by calming her with scented oils, sitting in a dimly lit room taking deep breaths and speaking affirmations to her. She could not be swayed, and the adrenaline persisted with increased intensity.
As time went on, every effort used to survive dried up. We were days away from overheating and becoming a fixture on the side of the road for others to turn their heads as they drove by. When the energy within emptied, she trembled, gasped for air and cried “Enough!” She spoke and it was loud. She needed me to step aside, and so I did. I listened. I let her purge and repair, for she had kept me safe for so long.
Since that time, we’ve built a better relationship. The mental script scribbled from birth, ‘mind over matter’ does not surmount the beating pulses of my body. She is not my fleshy home that needs to be tamed into submission. My body is intelligent and is my companion. When she speaks I listen. I am as much body as I am mind. We are me.