Self-Care is a form of Self Preservation!

handstand

Ever since I can remember, I pretended for the world that I had it all together, I smiled my way through a dysfunctional childhood, and as an adult I pretty much mastered that craft. Once I had my three children, I played the role of a super-mom and I also acquired the “fabulous” role of people pleaser.

As my depression spiraled out of control, I was given another difficult pill to swallow – my 37 year old husband now had Cancer. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, I was already in an awful state of depression. I was afraid of our children losing both parents if I did not begin to take care of myself immediately. I had lost my will to live and I needed to regain composure fast. I reluctantly began to work out and change my nutrition habits and almost immediately saw a shift in my life. Within 5 months I lost fifty pounds and for the first time I was no longer being held captive by my emotions. I was finally in control! I was still dealing with the devastating decline of my husband’s health but my self-care was non-negotiable. As I grew stronger, the doctor’s broke the devastating news that there were no further treatments that could be explored for my husbands cancer. When he knew this disease was inevitably going to take his life, he too began to take charge of his own self-care. He started yoga, meditating, eating clean and began to embrace his new found faith. This self-care ‘thing’ became contagious! When he was given just two weeks to live by his doctor’s, we were able to enjoy each other’s company for another 5 months by doing simple things like sleeping more, eating healthier, surrendering to God that which we could not control, loving one another and having an attitude of tremendous gratitude through it all.

Sometimes in life we end up in a place that is so painful, that we actually find a greater will to live. As sad as that may sound, it’s a second chance to live the life that was once taken for granted. Where my husband lost his life, I ultimately found mine. There is not one day that goes by that my heart is not sad; but I use that pain as a reminder that I am still here, that I am still living, and that taking care of myself is a very powerful way to honor that most precious gift.

I am on a mission to spread awareness that self-care is not a luxury but a form of self preservation. We don’t have to wait for tragedy strikes to actually honor our self care and our self worth. Now is as good as ever.

(Photo: yep – that’s me at a young 40 years of age still doing walk-overs)

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