Under Pressure

Right now there’s someone playing their music too loudly somewhere in our complex, it just began, it’s thrumming in my fluid-filled ears, lol. Must be having a pandemic party, that’s right, it’s Saturday, paarrtay. I’m losing track of the days just like everyone else, it’s just called day now.

So, I’ve been resisting being sick and getting frustrated with my body and fighting it. I’d told myself that I would try resting, but honestly, I haven’t been totally resting, so today I really did. I marathoned America in Color Season 1, narrated by Liev Schreiber (ooh la la, a fan of him). It was from the ’20s through the ’60s. I couldn’t stop watching, I wanted to get the full impact of watching all that history in one sitting. It was solid.

I’ve been trying to figure out what else I can do besides go to a doctor and they’d just give me cortisone, bleh. So I’ve been thinking, be patient, I always get better eventually, it may just take a little longer, that my body can heal itself, it knows what to do. And I googled stuff to see if there was anything I could try to speed this along and it kept saying to rest and I thought…hmmm. Yeah rest, not good at that, lol. I’m always reaching for my goals, wanting to be productive, and feel remiss if I haven’t at least accomplished something in a day.

I’m still driven by the need to be doing something worthwhile and feel like I’m not living up to my potential if I slack off. I want to at least learn something new or tick something off the list daily. I’ve had it drilled in me to keep improving myself, there’s always been that pressure and the perspective that I’m not doing enough to achieve, that there’s always something else that I need to perfect. When I was growing up, I could never do enough to meet the approval of the people who had control over my life.

So it’s hard for me to truly rest. I always keep trying to push through it, thinking that if I give in that the sickness will win.

I feel like my body is betraying me when I get sick, but actually, it’s fighting for me, fending the cooties off, so I should really cooperate with it and just rest, accept it, make friends with it. Thank it. Revere it. Appreciate it. Listen to it. Work with it, not against it.

Last night as I was falling asleep I asked to have a dream that would help me figure out how to heal faster. To tell me what I may be missing or blind to. Lots of times when I’m frustrated over a situation that I can’t solve even though I’ve tried a variety of approaches and perspectives, I’ll ask my subconscious or superconsciousness to answer me in a dream. I have vivid dreams almost every night and typically remember portions of them upon awakening.

In my dream, I was cooking at an amusement park. I was on vacation with the kids and I stopped cooking and went to find them to see how they were doing. There were tubular slides in a tangle and I was trying to figure out how to go down them when I looked to my right and across the large swathe of concrete I saw stepping through an entryway to the park an abusive person from my past who was smiling sneeringly at me with contempt.

I was not expecting them to be there and was alarmed and afraid, panicking. I ran back into the building where I’d been cooking and kept looking back to see if they were following.

I made it to a small office room and looked before I closed the door behind me, the person was coming towards me doggedly, menacingly, reminiscent of the Terminator robot, lol. I slammed the door and held it, trying to lock it, but it wouldn’t lock, so I turned my back to press my weight against it.

Over at the desk in the room was Jack Black, lmao, he abruptly stood up looked concerned and questioning with his eyes intensely like wtf was going on? Then the door began shaking, the person was trying to get in, I was desperately pushing against the door to prevent them from bursting in. They were shaking it mightily. Then I woke up.

After Drue went to work today in my aloneness I took the time to dissect the meaning of the dream. I realized I’m still living like I have something hanging over me, menacing me, dogging me, haunting me, unreleased, unhealed trauma and grief which I’ve been resisting. That maybe if I let myself feel my way through that, then it may help me heal physically too.

I allowed myself to relive that fear, to cry a bit, and then to feel the relief. All of that is over now. There’s nothing out there coming to get me anymore. There’s no one left in my life that will betray me like that anymore. So I can rest easy and I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder or push myself to keep going when I can relax and rest now. There is nothing I have to defend myself against. I am safe. It’s harming me to keep feeling like I have to fight and build up defenses and fortify myself to be able to battle, lol. I can afford to recuperate.

I felt better afterward.

Then it dawned on me that this is one of those times when it all catches up with you. You’ve been pushing forward, feeling constrained by time by making ends meet, then suddenly you have all the time in the world, your ends met and your body’s like oh good, I can be sick now, omg.

You don’t know that you’re under pressure when that’s what you’ve become accustomed to. It’s only in hindsight that you look back and see the truth of it. Kind of like the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water analogy. You get used to stuff being uncomfortable until that becomes your new comfort zone, your norm, even though it’s boiling you alive.

I’m out of the effing pot now! What a relief!

So all of us may be feeling a bit of betrayal due to the pandemic. And we resist it. I’m trying to make friends with it, to cooperate with whatever safeguards seem prudent, and to keep telling myself that it won’t be this way forever, that there will be changes, but eventually, we’ll be out of the pot, lol.

Change is a constant and isn’t that good because that means there’s always a way out. There’s always a way to relief and peace.

Life can be so twisty. Why do all the dramatic, captivating stories have the struggle between light and dark? Entertaining on the screen or in a book, but in real life, I’m shooting for more light these days.

Michelle Miyagi
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