I admit I cringe whenever someone counsels me to “make sure to do things for you” and other pat things people say when you are a mom and that get magnified when you are parenting a child with complex needs. I hate being told what to do and I used to think “yah right, I’ll find time for me when I am dead”
Truth is – even before kids I wasn’t good at doing things for myself. I have a long track record of giving insatiably to other people. Always trying to make the world a better place, doing things for others, saving the world – you know.
The past year has shown me the deepest and darkest of how bad things can get if I allow myself to get burnt out. If I don’t find ways to replenish and relax I won’t survive and then who is going to take care of my family??? So I have been taking baby steps to reducing my stress and making time for myself. Today I went for a massage. Those that know me will be shocked. I shudder at the idea of people touching me, co-workers knew I wasn’t the “hugging type”. I carry all the tension in my shoulders and neck – that I knew. I am driving long distances several times a week, I worry about my son and I spend hours on the phone trying to work out details of his return and I feel the knots in my neck and shoulders growing by the minute. My migraines are hitting almost daily. It is all taking its toll.
So I took the plunge and with my best friend at my side (and giving me as much detail before hand as to what to expect) I went for a massage today.
It was glorious, it was absolutely wonderful. I think there was tension released today that I might have been holding on to since childhood. It didn’t bother me at all to be touched and I loved every minute of it – even those painful moments where a knot was working out – the euphoria that was released after made it so worth it.
I smell like lemons and my arms feel 10 feet long. I could go for a nap but I must go pick up my youngest from camp. I’ve been thinking that an integral piece of my coping tool kit when C is home will have to be massages. And they are half the price of my therapy!