These days it’s pretty typical for me to constantly evaluate my needs. Sounds selfish, doesn’t it? I too thought this was a selfish way to live. For as long as I can recall I’ve spent my life detached from my body and its needs and allowed rhetoric to guide my choices. I suppose it is natural to understand social conformity and how to behave in society, but it is also vital to know yourself and act accordingly.Read more: Knowing Your Needs
Despite evaluating my needs and doing my best to advocate for them, I have recently experienced exhaustion (an all too familiar feeling). I can best describe it as emotional and physical burnout – you have given the best of yourself without adequate refuel. The words of past blogs came to memory: “When I put myself last I suffered a great loss.” When I wrote those words I was entirely detached from knowing my needs and how to take care of them. In those days my mind was set to survival mode, and when you’re in a state of survival you ignore your baseline needs. That is until your body demands they be met. At that point, “I was forced out of the race and sidelined.” This was when I finally realized that I desperately required repair.
Reading posts I wrote during this difficult time in my life was cathartic. I read them because they captured my current experience of exhaustion. I read them because “I now understand that my well-being is costly to replace…” I read them to reassure myself that it is “okay to pay attention to my own needs.” I read them as if I were the physician prescribing care for myself.
As I assessed my needs I found that my tank was empty. I knew it wasn’t going to be a quick trip to the gas station (though I wish it was). I understood it was more of a repair job that required more time. I recognized that I needed rest. So I cancelled my plans and went to bed early. I awoke and then fell back asleep. I lamented the times I put myself last and vowed never to do it again. I let the silence grow until the voice within could be heard. I focused on what I needed to do, hoping to gain more strength. And within time and conscious effort, I regained my health.