I Needed A Win

It's been a while since I've posted something personal, and it's about time. There are some things that have been eating away at me lately, and I feel like I've gotten a little too introverted for my own good.

We're going to get real here for a sec.

You may have seen in my Instagram story or Facebook post that last week I won Nevada Business's Family Owned Business Award in the "Whippersnapper" category. It was such an amazing experience being recognized as a top local business out of a room full of esteemed Northern Nevada businesses. A delicious lunch with my best friend at my side, a quick impromptu speech, a super heavy trophy and signed certificates of recognition from all of our Congress members and Nest regular customer the governor himself, Brian Sandoval, rounded out a whirlwind couple of hours at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Now an accolade like this is always a great thing, but this one I really needed. Just at that moment. The truth is, I've been in a pretty low place lately. My health (or lack thereof) has been stagnant no matter what I do: IV treatments, supplements that overflow out of those old person weekly pill boxes, alternative treatments, diets that won't let you eat anything that tastes good, meditation and more. I haven't seen a significant change from doing these things since figuring out that all of my health problems were probably triggered by our mold debacle last fall.

On top of that, the past few weeks have been really shitty (no, literally...) in the shop due to a broken sewer pipe at the store that resulted in my storage rooms at the shop being torn apart with all of my stuff strewn everywhere and all the work I've done with Jasmine at Upside Tidying feeling like it was wasted. (It wasn't really, but that's how I felt.)

IMG_8558.JPG

My health has taken a toll on my self-esteem, my relationships, my family and friends, and I find myself slipping in so many areas of my life. I've been practically nonexistent on social media, events aren't getting promoted until the last minute, and I find myself overwhelmed All. The. Time. Constantly spinning my wheels but not getting anywhere. Feeling like I'm working so hard with nothing to show for it.

So being recognized for my efforts with The Nest was a much needed pick-me-up. It reminded me that even though things aren't perfect at the shop right now, I'm still doing a good job. I get so caught up in my Virgo perfectionism that sometimes I forget that I'm not failing if everything isn't perfect.

Although it can be great to have high standards, it frequently backfires on me when I get so caught up in the imperfections that I can't appreciate all that I have accomplished. 

So, my health isn't perfect, and my hair continues to fall out, which is so disappointing because it had come so far after shaving my head. It feels silly to say because I want to be the type of person who doesn't care, but having huge spots with no hair makes me feel ugly. I don't feel like myself. I have no energy. I don't want to do photo shoots. I don't want to post on Instagram. I want to hole up inside my house until I look and feel how I used to. I'm having a hard time making the transition of focusing on the things that I have learned and the ways that I have grown instead of getting caught up in counting how many hairs are on my pillow each morning.

 Photo by Ali Denney

Photo by Ali Denney

I have dealt with an array of unforeseen circumstances all while juggling a two year old and a successful business. I've made some big leaps in doing more regular meditation and self-care. I have learned a lot about myself, even if some of it isn't pretty. I've gone to some deep, dark places, and while I haven't emerged victoriously into the sunlight, I didn't stay at the bottom long, and from where I am now there is a pin prick of light that gives me hope.

The other day, a beautiful glowing woman with a gorgeous face highlighted by her super short hair walked up to me and said, "You may not remember me, but I just wanted to let you know that your blog post inspired me to shave my head and put myself out there when it came to my eating disorder." I think I was in such a state of disbelief that I could've inspired someone to that extent, that I'm not even sure I reacted in a way that did her words justice.

But I've been thinking about it a lot.

No, I may not be posting on social media and I may not be able to grow hair, but I did help someone in a profound way. That is a win--perhaps the greatest of all wins.

So in our world dominated by expertly cropped and filtered photographs of our "perfect" days in our "perfect" lives, I'm going to go ahead and say that no filter is going to fix my health. This is where I am right now: perfectly imperfect and learning how to tap on honoring my feelings and not trying to substitute what I'm actually feeling for what I should be feeling. Example: I am feeling crappy because my hair is still falling out and I'm tired all the time vs. I shouldn't feel bad about my hair falling out because things could be so much worse, and it's just hair. Yes, ideally I should be feeling the latter, but if I'm being honest with myself I'm resonating more with the former. And that's ok!

In order to move out these feelings, they need to be accepted at face value.

Not that we need to stay there in that place, but we need to express these feelings instead of suppressing them. Only then can we move them out and move on. We live in a society where we're shoulding all over ourselves, and if we don't honor and accept how we're feeling, the energy doesn't get moved out. What we resist persists. If we're keeping with this rhyming thing, we need to feel it to heal it.

Not everything is supposed to be good all the time.

We can't continue to hold ourselves to these impossible standards because we will never feel good about not measuring up. I think a lot of our illness these days stems from a suppression of our emotions. The suppression causes stress, and stress in turn causes illness. What if we could just say how we're actually feeling? What if when someone asks how we're doing, we answered truthfully? Would that really be so bad?

I'll go first.

I'm exhausted. I'm frustrated that my health isn't where I want it to be. I'm ecstatic that I won that award. I'm so grateful that wonderful woman decided to come up to me and tell me that I inspired her. I'm scared that I'll never figure out what's wrong with me and will have to live the rest of my life with no hair and only 50% energy levels. I'm worried no one will sign up for my upcoming classes. I'm dreading having to search for yet another doctor. I'm bubbling over with love watching my barefoot, long-haired baby boy using his imagination in ways that only make sense in his wonderful two-year old world.

I feel all of these things at once, and it is all ok. 

So how are you?