Painting stories is a series where I share my current works. Sometimes it is how they came about. Sometimes it’s more of a story I associate with them.
A clip on Instagram made me think about it.
How there is always pressure on you to perform, even when you are not feeling 100%. How thin the line is between “pushing through laziness” and “working until you hurt yourself”. I know. I’ve crossed this line one too many times myself.
This weekend we had a sports event. On the morning of it, I woke up with a headache and a runny nose. The day before I’d gone on a run in the cold, convinced that I had to burn off all the carbs I’d eaten the night before. (Despite all my talk about saying goodbye to bad eating habits, shaking the negative mental self-talk is brutal.)
I wanted to go. But I also felt like I had to.
I was driving.
When is it good to push and when is it better to wait it out? I have no idea. I’m still trying to figure out for myself. It’s hard to be forgiving of oneself. Harder still to trust your own judgement if you’ve spent the majority of your life doubting yourself.
Doubting, doubting, doubting.
I doubt whenever I so much as get cold. I wonder if this pain is menstrual cramps or the start of a fever. I feel panic whenever I get a muscle ache in my leg. It’s terrible and it’s scary, because every once in a while, it isn’t false alarm. Being able to tell the real from the anxiety is when my head truly turns into a mess.
I cannot pretend that all of my fears are psychosomatic. But those rule my life – not the moments of true, terrible illness, the moments that occur for every living being, but rather, the watching, and waiting, and anticipation.
Recently I’ve began to let go. I don’t know what started it – perhaps it was a much dreaded trip out of town, where I was convinced I would be rendered incoherent with pain, either because I hurt myself or because I ran a high fever (it happens, about twice a year). None of it happened. Despite my discomfort, I was able to persevere.
It could have been last weekend, when things went better than I expected.
It could have been this morning, when I awoke expecting agony and more sickness and actually found myself feeling… okay. Not perfect, but okay.
It could be all of it. It could be something else entirely.
But it feels like the clouds are opening up. And my wings, they feel like they are starting to grow back.