I have been holding resentment around rest, and that makes it ineffective as well as unenjoyable.
Rest is not something which is spoken about much in our societies. Maybe resting isn’t as glamourous as planning out your dream life, striving towards it, overcoming odds or fighting for your goals.
Attitudes to In-Action
Sometimes it can feel like the whole world is flowing on with their lives while we are stuck in sick-land. And how many people post on Facebook about their afternoon naps, after all? If we rest, if the biggest thing we can do today is change out of our pyjamas then how does our society, our friends or family see us?
How can we be wonderful empowered wellness warriors, living and thriving, when we are in bed all day?
People can understand why you are so sick and tired when you are going through chemo, for example, but what about after that?
I admit, when we took photographs of me, I used to edit out all the ones in which I looked sick. This is silly in many ways, although through vanity I would not want to post unattractive pictures of myself, was I denying the illnesses I live with?
What am I doing? Am I accepting society’s negative image of illness? Am I agreeing that to be sick means to be invalid (in -valid and in- capable?)
Breaking Their Boxes
Surely it would be more truthful to acknowledge that right now, I am sick. It may continue, it may not, but today I hurt, I am tired and yet with all that, I still do not allow it to define me.
I am still so much more than all of my challenges.
In trying to minimise the perceptions of my illness, to maximise my living, am I denying the strength and courage I use everyday to live my life?
Resting is actively improving my health and healing my body, so why is it so hard? All you have to do is lie there.
Perhaps it is because we associate it with bad behaviour, with laziness, with uselessness.
We link doing to being needed, important and meaningful.
Let’s recognise that being validated by society, being seen doing what others consider to be valid and fun, is not necessarily our reality or something that matters to us. I know that my job is healing and what’s more important than that?
Originally Published on Bah to Cancer.