When it comes down to it – you have to take care of yourself

Meet Zoe. The potentially newest member of our tribe here. We have two indoor “elderly ladies”, one of whom just woke me at 5:30 this morning. And we have this young kitty who, by a few handouts and her own wits, has survived the winter here in our neighborhood. Not only is she beautiful. She’s smart.

I want Zoe to stay and be our outdoor kitty. She seems to have moved under our house and asks politely for breakfast by risking visibility on our front porch in the mornings. Her eyes are the bluest I’ve seen. Her spirit looks right through me with thanks for what is becoming a routine meal. The jury is still out, but I have a feeling she’s going to join our family.

But I want to talk about someone else today. Me. I couldn’t sleep last night and when that happens it is usually an endless night of up and down, looking for the right medication I’ve been given to help with this issue. I exercise , for the most part. After all, living at the beach and having the best dog on the planet to accompany me is too hard to pass up. We’re heading out shortly. I swim. But I’ve become inconsistent. And there is no better cure for back pain.

My back has been in constant pain for almost 10 years. It’s not something surgery will cure. I’ve been to every known specialist and alternative healer I can find. Only for the most part, I’m stuck. I don’t listen. I plan to be on board with the new program, but usually I fall back into old ways. I don’t eat as I should, I don’t rest when I know I should, andI’m kinda cranky to friends and family – because I’m in pain all of the time. And, up until last night I spent a great deal of time feeling sorry for myself because NO ONE has had the answer.

But I realized last night as I tried to knock myself out, that the answer lies within me. I am the one who is going to find a way to live with this and find  healthy way to live day to day. I have to almost develop my own 12 step program.

And why would I do that? Because I am surrounded by souls that love me. My now, three felines depend on me for attention, support, and love. They certainly return the love. And there is a human in the picture too. He has tried, been supportive and returned the love I send him as well.

No one is going to do this for me. I have to take charge of me. I have to put more work and more effort into my health or I’m going to stay this way for the rest of my life. Man that is a heavy sentence. And to think of that almost bowls me over. Almost everything has to be tweaked. Not changed, but tweaked.

I know now why Zoe is in my life. She is showing me that if you take it one day at a time, show appreciation for those who surround you and eat the healthy food that you need – that you can make life without pain a reality.Or in Zoe’s case, finally have a place to relax. We can both get out of anxiety mode.

I want more than anything to help humans to understand their animals. I want to do it day in and out and I want to feel at the end of the day I’ve accomplished something that few can do. But I also need to get myself healthy. How can I help someone else if I’m not living a truth?

The light was shown very brightly to me last night and I know what I have to do. And I’m going to, for this day, do it. I’m doing it for the other human in my life, the animals that love and cherish, but mostly I’m going to try and be authentic and healthy every day: for me.

Because at the end of the day as I lie in bed,there’s really only one person I have to be with and answer to. And it’s about time I started living and smiling instead of wincing in pain as I drift off to sleep.

Thank you Zoe.

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