‘Tis but a scratch.

It’s funny to me how skilled people can be at ignoring the obvious. Their lives can be in ruins all around them, their marriage functional only in name, career no longer anything but an exercise in futility and repeated self-abuse, personal life long ago sacrificed to perceived needs and defunct goals and yet they turn a bright smile on and say that they try to be grateful every day for what they have.  What’s wrong is nothing that can’t be dealt with and they’ve been successfully dealing with it for years. Sometimes the obvious is so obvious that I have a hard time not quoting from Monty Python.

Part of this fun house way of living in the world is the use of self-care or the lack there of. Self-care is a necessary thing in the same way that a healthy diet should consist of a range of foods, mostly plants, with a minimum of unnecessary additives like corn, synthetic…anything, and allows for pleasure in the eating, not just the meeting of nutritional needs. It presumes that we are getting enough calories per day and have options of how we intake them. Self-care isn’t that we get enough food per day. That’s essential to life. If you don’t get enough food, you starve. Self-care is irrelevant if there is no self to care for.

I sometimes have to point out to clients that self-care is effective only to a certain point. Talking to someone about how to exfoliate with oatmeal is wonderful if they need to do something during the week which is soothing and healing, but horrendous when the person is suffering from abscesses brought on by diabetes.  Taking care of ourselves is really not optional, it’s essential. Self-care should not be used as a means to stigmatize and minimize essential needs in life.  We may not need to be married or have a partner to have a happy life, but if we have committed to partnership then they should be a partner carrying 50% of the responsibility and load for making the relationship healthy and happy. (Can’t happen every day in every situation, but the averages should show that it does the majority of the time.) If our career is harming us rather than hurting us, we need to acknowledge that and move on. Part of the essentials of life is not to constantly be harmed by our environment. If we don’t have a personal life, then it’s as if we’re trying to exist in the vacuüm of space without a space suit, then wondering why we feel worse and worse every day.  Just because we’ve become used to holding our breath doesn’t mean we should.

It can seem revolutionary, but allowing the obvious to be obvious, allowing the truth to become reality, is the first step towards a healthy life. Or at least stopping the damage…or the bleeding…because it’s not just a scratch, now is it?