I was having a knock down fight with myself yesterday. It started with me on the phone with Medco Health, arguing about my prescription, when I suddenly burst into tears. I felt sore and exhausted, and it had been difficult to walk, move and even breathe. And this woman was telling me that my arthritic medicine would be delayed once again, due to red tape and bureaucracy. And the accumulated weight of all the pain and frustration finally overloaded my defenses and my boundaries crumbled under the burden of yet another unyielding administrator.
The woman at one point said something akin to “I’m sorry but I cannot hear what you are saying.” And I responded by saying, “That is because I am crying.” She offered to connect me with a pharmacist so I could discuss the repercussions of being off medication when I responded a little louder than I intended, “I know exactly what the repercussions are, pain and stiffness.” At which point, it became almost impossible for me to continue talking at all. I thanked her for her assistance very formally and hung up the phone. I lowered my head into my hands began loudly sobbing.
And that is when the fight began.
As I wept, my inner critic began assailing me.
“It is your own fault, you should have paid better attention to this. You are in pain because you failed to take care of everything promptly!”
The cruelty of that voice tore at my heart, but it also awakened my warrior.
“You will not place the blame on me”, I yelled back. “I mailed in the prescription, and the doctor’s office dropped the ball on responding to Medco promptly. You will not blame me for this.”
Another voice began, “Well, you should have taken the sample tablets when the doctor offered them.”
“Maybe you are right”, I offered, ” but at the time, I had over a sixty day supply of the tablets at home. So I thought I had enough, maybe I will remember this next time. It would be helpful if you remind me to take sample tablets when offered.”
I could feel the voices backing down; I had surprised them with the strength of my comeback. I could feel something else stirring within. I listened intently.
A small voice, almost hesitant, began softly, “It has been a long time since you cried like that in response to an unyielding institution?”
I began dabbing at my eyes gently, as I sat back trying to remember. I faintly remembered episodes like this when I was suffering from CFIDS. Suddenly the symptoms came into sharp relief, I was sore, stiff and moved to tears.
And the voice, a little louder now, began, “Yes, you do not normally cry in situations like this unless you are ill. Maybe it is not just that your prescription has been delayed.”
I checked in with my body, yes I have all the signs. I am sore, stiff and tired – I am coming down with the flu! The flu, only a simple case of the flu, thank the gods.
I prepared my special immune fortifying tincture and drank it down. An hour later I felt better. I thanked the voice for helping me. I asked her to continue to speak up and guide me. All day I drank fluids, rested and used the tincture.
Today, I am still a little sore. But today, I feel so much better and I am back to a level of health and well being where I can handle disappointments without falling completely apart.
I peek in the mirror every chance I get, so I can smile at the face smiling back at me. And today, I thank the gods that I finally learned which of the voices to listen to. I raise a toast in her honor. Ah, yes. All hail the voices in my head!