Fully Sick

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Oh HEY beloveds. Some reflection in the journal just to keep it real and transparent that life isn’t all Instagram filters and namaste, and the gifts that can be found in every situation. I’ve been feeling shiz for weeks. Bone tired, cold, dizzy, splitting head aches, brain dead, lethargic, miserable and negative. I’m completely unmotivated and having this coincide with some of the busiest work weeks of the year hasn’t been a bonus.

So what did I do to fix this malaise? Nothing. I kept working, and told myself that I was lazy and a procrastinator, and I would never achieve all I was trying to do if I kept on behaving like this. Hilarious right? It was only when I went away last week to visit friends in their coastal retreat, I realised exactly how bad I felt – especially as it didn’t get better with a little downtime. My buddy diagnosed me straight up with raging anaemia, and when I looked at the symptoms I pretty much have every one.

 I’ve been reflecting on how we so quickly can acclimate to how we feel, and choose to push on rather than taking time to stop and heal. Even my mother had remarked that she had never seen me looking so tired the last few times she’d seen me, but instead of stopping to look at perhaps I needed to address this deep state of fatigue, I blamed myself for being lazy. WTF? My inner dialogue was so nasty, something I’ve noticed these last couple of weeks, but again, I didn’t link it to my health, I just told myself I wasn’t being a good enough yogi, and I needed to up my mindfulness and kindness.

Being unwell doesn’t promote mental states of grace and equanimity, it promotes fight or flight and all of the classic fear based emotions. Even though my rational brain was clocking that I was having thoughts and emotions that were really unusual for me, I went straight to blame and shame for being weak and clearly unable to hack the pace, imagining every other entrepreneur was eating VC for breakfast and creating amazing businesses while I was schlepping behind. Even though it makes you feel like lukewarm death custard, being low in iron and B12 is fixable. My heart has totally gone out to all the people with chronic fatigue and other immune diseases who have to live with this dreadful feeling every day of their lives.

 The gifts of this experience have been many. Certainly a lot of self-awareness, in relation to how much more vulnerable I could be, how many layers of armour are still on, stopping me reaching out, stopping me speaking up about how I feel to friends and loved ones who would be more than happy to support me, and possibly would have pointed out I might have anaemia and should seek medical advice.

Downtime has been a boon for meditating and surrender, and in a world where timing is everything, I trust in the need to hold off on some of my initiatives, knowing that when they happen, the right people will be in the right place at the right time with the right resources and I don’t need to be doing the doing, I need to be simply being with faith and conviction in my gut.

 The other gift has been the realisation that I need to be much more proactive and responsible with what I eat. I think I know about food, but the reality is becoming vegetarian and then vegan has been done in an uninformed way, chasing flavour rather than nutrition. 3 years later, that has taken its toll. I’ll always love veganising comfort food, but at least now I actually know where to find iron and B12, and hopefully how to get enough of it that I’m rocking the lifestyle healthily, rather than rocking in a corner craving a steak.

Off to eat some spinach and drink orange juice. I love you.

Polly McGee