BlogSelf-Care

It Will Be Okay

I’ve talked a bit in other posts about the need for self-compassion.  That’s really striking home this week. I had high expectations for this week.  I was going to get back to real life post-vacation.  The garden needed organization. I was signed up for a two-week fitness challenge.  I had lots of good post ideas.  And then I got rear-ended.  Happily, I was alone in my car, the car is drivable, the other driver wasn’t injured.  Unhappily, I am dealing with my first whiplash experience.

So what has actually happened this week and what I planned and hoped for this week are two very different things.  I’m glad I did an extra Mid-Week Balance post last week, because there wasn’t one this week.  Sitting in front of the computer hurt too much.  Instead of an organized house and garden, I have a house where we’re doing survival laundry.  I’ve done a lot of resting, which would be great if I had a house-elf to pick up my share of the work.

And I’m frustrated by this. But I’m also looking for the lesson this week has for me.  And the lesson is this: it will be okay.  I may have to do physical therapy for a while, but I am seeing clear improvements in my pain levels.  I may have some housework that is piling up, but that means that I have a house to work in.  I may be frustrated by my limitations, but I have been reminded that I have a great support system.  Right now, this is hard, and it doesn’t feel okay, but it will be okay later.  I don’t always believe it, particularly not when the pain is spiking, but eventually, it will be okay.

It will be okay.  The things I can’t do right now will wait for me.  The important tasks, like reading bedtime stories and giving snuggles, are still doable.  Nothing irreparable was harmed–even if the repair takes longer than I want it to.

It will be okay.  Life throws us challenges and we’re measured by how we respond to them.  This challenge is tiny when weighed against the challenges that others faced this week.  That perspective helps me regain focus.

It will be okay.  I may hurt right now, but there is a path through the pain.  I just have to keep moving (or, sometimes, stop moving) and let the healing take place.

It will be okay.  This week’s challenges weren’t the kind that reshape the face of my “normal.”  They are frustrations that I will move past.

It will be okay.  When I say that, I’m not denying the pain.  I’m not pretending that nothing happened.  I’m not being blindly optimistic.  I am recognizing that this will pass.  That today’s pain and frustration is transitory and that I have made it through pain before.

So, this post is dedicated to each of you who had a hard week. Whether your “hard stuff” was life-changing, or merely frustrating, know that there is a way through it.  There is support out there.  It is okay to name your pain and to let someone reach out a hand to help you through it.

What helps you remember that you can survive the challenges in your path?  Please feel free to share in the comments.

 

Image Credit: Photo by gillicious via Flickr

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22 comments

  1. So sorry Ann. Sounds like a rough week–glad there were no serious injuries.

    We are have rough weeks from time to time, and that’s why it pays to be organized and flexible. Having a change of plans is a reminder that life is full of curve balls. We all have choices. Are you going to let the pain, the inconvenience and the uncertainty be an excuse to have that pity party? Or will you look at the bright side and make adjustments?

    It will be okay. It always is.

    Thanks for the simple, profound messages of gratitude and perspective. Rest up and I hope you feel better soon.

    1. Linda,

      Thanks for your warm words. I firmly believe that learning to go with the curve balls is an essential life skill. Plans are an outline, not a hard and fast rule. And even the catastrophic curve balls that change our reality have opportunities to pick ourselves up and make choices.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  2. Your post models your healthy adaptive response to adversity: we make plans, but unless we can adapt appropriately to adversity, plans fall prey to circumstances. By adapting and persevering, we change the meaning of adverse events: instead of obstacles they become lessons. Congratulations!

    P.S. : I’ve been trough the whiplash thing – hang in there! It gets better, in time.

    1. Greg,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment! It’s always wonderful to have new voices here. In my life, and in my writing, I try to keep myself accountable to “walk the talk”–to use those tools that I recommend to my clients. I believe this makes me a better therapist and a healthier person.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  3. Ann, as I was driving home today, I was thinking of my blog, and how it was related to your “creating space” entry last week. because I created “space” again for me today. When I thought of this, I realized, that I had not seen your mid week balance. I came home and actually looked for it, not seeing it, I as worried and wondered!

    I am glad YOU are OK! And… It WILL BE OK.

    In the meantime, rest, rehab, and focus on the blessings of the present… Mindfulness… To quote, John Kabat-Zinn, “as long as we are breathing there is more right with us then wrong.”

    Hang in there Ann, and may I link back to your creating space blog!? (:

    Kim

    1. Kim,

      Jon Kabat-Zinn is a huge favorite of mine. I have several of his books and recommend them often to my clients. That particular quote is lovely. Thanks for sharing it. And you are welcome to link to the creating space post!

      Warmly,
      Ann

      1. Shortly after writing that… I had an adverse reaction to orencia that was pretty serious, and I am still trying to recover…and then my husband came down with pneumonia….so no blog update.. But it will come. In the meantime… We are both still breathing… (; and it will be ok.

        Hope you are feeling better Ann.

        Kim

        1. Hope you’re both feeling better!!

  4. Thanks for this one. : ) Called the insurance company as soon as I got home from my own little accident. We’ll see how this plays out as the owner and the driver of the truck are not the same on the report… though the driver says he bought the truck… but he had not transferred tag/title etc. Frustrating but not catastrophic – you are right.

    1. So sorry to have missed this response. I’ve been through some similar frustrations, and I hope that now things are going smoother.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  5. Hi Ann,

    So sorry to hear that you were in a car accident and are now suffering from whiplash… Aside from wishing you a quick recovery, I’d like to say that I love how you took this opportunity to model self-compassion in your retelling of the event and how you are coping with the aftermath.

    It is one thing to be told to be self-compassionate but to see it demonstrated really illustrates a kinder and gentler way to be with ourselves.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Dorlee,

      I know that my journey toward self-compassion is always a work in progress. It’s easy to slip into old habits of self-criticism and frustration when I’m faced with challenges. This post was a bit of a reminder to myself that I can choose my attitude, even if I can’t control other drivers. 😉

      Warmly,
      Ann

  6. Hi Ann –
    Take care of yourself..I mentioned before I had a small accident last February and it blossomed into a long term thing….Get thee to the physical therapist asap! Get some rest…I ended up staying off the computer for a few weeks, after initially fighting the pain & dizziness as I worked…take care! Kathy

    1. Kathy,

      I’ll get my physical therapy referral today–and in the meantime, I’ve been trying very hard to take it easy. I even stayed off the computer all weekend, which was harder than I expected. 🙂 I realized that I’m pretty attached to all the tasks I fill my days with. This has been a challenge in letting go.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  7. Hi Ann, I hope that you are on the mend very quickly and have all the support you need. It is so lovely that despite your difficult week you have written a post that is essentially about seeing the blessings in your life when things go wrong. It is interesting that a crisis can reconnect us to what is most important. It is such a good reminder that for the most part we will all be ok in the biggest, best sense of that word.
    Thank you, Allison

    1. Allison,

      Thank you–trying to find those things that ground and center me is one of my most important coping tools, and this felt like a good week to share that on the blog.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  8. Ann,
    Thanks for sharing how you’re getting through your tough week. It’s very helpful indeed. So hard to let go of the things we always do, even if we really can’t. I like the point that saying, “It will be okay” is not denial. It’s recognizing that this pain and inconvenience is temporary and that the really important things are still in place. Thanks.
    Regards,
    Carolyn

    1. Carolyn,

      I appreciate your thoughts on this. I wasn’t sure whether or not to write about the car accident–in the grand scheme of things it was a pretty small setback. But that week, I needed to remind myself about perspective. I’m glad that’s what came through.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  9. Oh, geez, Ann, good luck and take care of yourself! I feel for you – I got sick with strep over our vacation and still haven’t fully recovered, which is why you haven’t seen anything from me this month. It just shows how important flexibility, resilience and faith are – not necessarily the religious type, but the “it will be OK” kind that you talk about.

    1. Colleen,

      I hope that your recovery gathers some speed. Strep is nasty stuff. I am on the road to recovery. I’ve had a great physical therapist, and I’m working on building strength in the muscles that were affected. I’m gaining a whole new appreciation for having an uninjured body!

      Warmly,
      Ann

  10. […] of my posts earlier this year talked about struggling with setbacks.  Life keeps giving me good post material.  Not all that long ago, I tripped over my own feet and […]

  11. […] as I have written before, I can handle this. So can you. We are all stronger than we thought. So, if you are feeling off balance, as though […]

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