It’s cold in my bedroom, and I reach down for the cover, balled up somewhere at the end of the bed. I pull it over me and feel the scratchy threads of the decorative side of the blanket against my skin. It is upside down again. This happens on a regular basis, and even though it is uncomfortable, I don’t fix it. That’s right, I don’t take the two seconds necessary to turn the blanket over so that the soft side would be against my skin. I deny myself this one little act of self-care, but why? Am I too lazy to simply turn it over? Am I too tired? Too whatever?
I have come to realize that this blanket situation mirrors the rest of my life and the way in which I neglect to care for myself in small ways each and every single day. Alone these acts of self-neglect do not seem like much, but a week’s worth small slights sends a strong message to me from me: “You are not worth it.”
When I do not exercise because I am working on “one last project,” I am telling myself I am not worth it.
When I leave for work with my hair half-combed and my make up undone because I care more about getting my son ready than preparing myself, I am telling myself I am not worth it.
When I zap a microwave dinner that lacks nutrition and might compromise my recovery because I won’t take the time to make myself a healthy me, I am telling myself I am not worth it.
When I toss laundry all over the bathroom floor because I am racing to finish grading papers, I am telling myself I am not worth it.
When I let a sink full of dishes sit overnight because I am trying to fill a customer’s order, I am telling myself I am not worth it.
It is my vow, then, to reclaim these everyday acts of neglect. I am not talking about taking time out for a new haircut or a mani-pedi. I am not making plans to go shopping for shoes or spending a night out with the girls. I am simply trying to truly and honestly take care of my basic needs. By doing so, I will send a message to myself that I am worth the effort. Not only will my everyday life improve, but my recovery will be even stronger. I am going to start by turning my comforter over and making my bed because I deserve it. And so do you.