Yesterday was not the best of days. It wasn't the worst by any means but I'm glad I don't have to do that one again.
First, I have had some neck/shoulder/back pain. The muscle at the base of my neck is hard as a rock and painful. The pain radiates and refer down my back and arm. It shows up when I reach for something with my left hand. It wakes me up at night. So on Monday evening, I asked my husband to massage it for me. He did so while I cried from the pain of trying to release that knot. Afterwards, I took an anti-inflammatory, drank lots of water and went to bed early. The next day (yesterday) the pain was still there but it referred less to my back and arm. I knew it was on the way to healing but it still hurt.
Later in the day, I was given some information. The information was given as it was "not personal" to me but it felt incredibly personal and fed into my insecurities. It hurt more than the physical pain I had been experiencing. As the inimitable Brene Brown says, I was experiencing shame, what she calls "the warm wash of inadequacy". Maybe I'll post more about her later but her work and speaking has resonated with me in ways that I can't describe. Anyway, I was hurting emotionally on top of the physical pain.
When I got home, there was a small package for me from a beloved cousin. It contained pictures of me and my family that had been in my grandmother's personal effects. While I would love to tell you about my Grammie, I do actually have to go to work today. After opening the package, the floodgate of tears opened up as well.
In the past I would have lashed out and spread my anger (shame-based) all over the place. I feel fortunate that I have not always been on Facebook because the ugliness of my anger shows up in spite and sarcasm. Apparently, I am not alone in this behavior. Instead, I sat with my pain and cried. I cried until I was done. Then I went to bed. While I know that is not the best thing to do for some people, it was the best thing for me. I don't say and do things that I will have to apologize for later. I don't stew on the information and deepen my shame spiral. I rest and let my mind and body heal.
When my husband came home from work, I was able to talk to him about it. He made sure I had something to eat. Then I went back to sleep.
This morning I look back and see the pain. I can decide today whether I want to stew in it or not. I can decide to take action to make some things happen. I can decide to do nothing. I have choices. Yesterday I chose to not make more of a mess. I have the same choices today.