Sponge baths and the art of doing nothing

I am a busy person. My fiancé will be the first to tell you that I take on too many things, have too many responsibilities and over commit myself on too many occasions.  As much as I hate to admit it (and please, no one tell her I said this), she’s right. I happily over extend myself out of love – I am a doer and a fixer. I love my career, I love playing ball, I love (sometimes) school, I love working out and I love helping friends and family but more often than not, loving all those things leaves little time for anything else.

I am 5 days into recovery and it’s still 6 days until we find out what the next steps of treatment are going to look like so I am very aware that I am only touching the tip of this ice burg. But these 5 short days have been the beginning of an important lesson. I can’t push, pull or lift more than 5lbs for the next however many weeks which makes my arms about as useful as tits on a bull (too soon?). This requires me asking for help A LOT. This is not something that I am good at. I am actually terrible at it. But with these tubes sticking out of my sides and feeling like someone hit a line drive into my sternum, I am forced to get better at it. Here is a detailed list of some things I have discovered that I can’t do on my own right now:

  • Anything.

I know it’s a pretty short list and although it might not be entirely true, it certainly feels that way at times – mostly when I need help pulling up my pants. I have had to resign myself to the fact that I need help to do simple things right now. It is hard in the moment but I also know that if I don’t allow others to help me I will end up setting my recovery back because I’ll have pushed too hard and the fear of that consequence is worth the vulnerability and swallowing of pride.

I think that if I can ask for someone to help me wash my hairy armpits (I can’t even wait to be allowed to shower and shave!), down the road when life returns to our regularly scheduled programming it will be easier for me to ask and accept help for the big things.

 

First roadtrip – to Starbucks

 

 

9 thoughts on “Sponge baths and the art of doing nothing

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  1. You always make me laugh lol! Not easy to slow down but remember you deserve it. If you are looking for something to do say the word and I’ll hand over my stats homework 😜 Hang in there 😊

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  2. You are awesome, Rochelle sent me this link and I’m glad she did. Thinking of you and wishing you well. There are no words to make this situation seem better. Best wishes AP.

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  3. Oh Arielle, I too am a doer and fixer so I am the last one who deserves to dispense advice but perhaps one of the more qualified to do so. It’s REALLY hard to modify when you are wired this way. I don’t think I have changed my readiness to step in and help at all but I have at least learned to speak up when I am not happy doing for others. No more quiet conversations in my head. I find the words and speak them. I also have learned to segment my obligations into categories that define how important and immediate they are to me so when feeling over-whelmed you can determine what can wait, or maybe even get scrapped. I know from my own experience that my physical wellness is very much tied to my emotional wellbeing. You must make some time for Arielle. When you don’t life smacks you and gives you no choice but to rest and maybe reflect. I have a book that will make you think if you wish to read it. When The Body Says No, by Gabor Maté. Even just the title gives you pause to think. There must be a bigger picture reason that your have been forced to not be able to do anything. Not suggesting one is saddled with illness because they’ve done it to themselves at all. Just that you have this opportunity to think about looking after yourself, so find that silver lining and put you first! Much ❤

    PS – Thanks for sharing so much. I once spent a week at the Cancer Clinic in Kelowna with my sister and her mother-in-law, I absolutely did not want to go but it felt like the right thing to do for others, so the doer went. Turned out to be a wonderful week. What I anticipated would be sad and depressing was the most life affirming, positive warm embrace. I went away feeling that if I were ever facing this, I would not be as afraid as I would have been before that week. I feel like your blog does the same. ❤

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  4. Arielle, just know that people love to help…especially people they love…it doesn’t matter what that looks like…poop…drains…etc. Know that you are loved when people offer to help or are helping…and that it is so worth it for everyone involved! We all have shit…go through shit…take shit…give shit…all with incredible humour on your part apparently! Xoxo

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  5. Ha ha this doer, fixer, trying to do too much thing – you inherited from your father. And it has always been with you. Remember trying to schedule a friends birthday party, swimming, going to the PNE all in one day????? 🏃🏃🏃 The name of the events may be incorrect but the comment is 100% correct. 😉

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