Taking care of yourself is something that never gets old. Your body thanks you for it, your mind appreciates it, and your emotions even out and enjoy a rather relaxed, contented existence for it. You are the only you there is and giving of yourself to yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give and get.
Part of that care regimen is knowing when things aren’t quite right, ya know? An odd lump during your daily breast check, a cough that just won’t go away, fatigue that never leaves, a feeling of malaise that comes upon you out of nowhere and lingers, that foggy brain where things that were always easy to access suddenly just aren’t, and on and on. Anything can happen, shifts in our being are commonplace. More often than not, it’s nothing, but sometimes… well… it ISN’T nothing.
Sometimes it’s something.
That’s that other part of caring for yourself, the investigation into what may be wrong, the discovery. Many times, we forget that aspect of wellness and because we do all the right things — eat healthy, exercise, meditate, communicate well with others, are in touch with our feelings, show empathy and give back to the world in some way — when such curveballs are thrown our way, we choose to ignore them, not go have them checked, deny they can even be happening. We think we can just push it aside and rest easy, but it’s not true. It digs at you, keeps you up at night, festers in your dreams, and takes hold of your waking life with “what if” ponderings. And that’s when the “online” browsing begins.
We check any website that pops up when we type in things like “dark spot on my temple” or “rattling cough lasting more than 10 days.” There is no worse amateur sleuth than someone replacing professional medical advice with late-night Internet searches, and the panic sets in on things we choose not to find real answers to because of those “what ifs.”
Being good to yourself includes looking at the unpleasant truth. That lump MAY BE cancerous, but you’ll never know until the doctor checks and you get the results. The cough that just won’t go away MAY BE pneumonia, but you’ll never know until you get that chest x-ray and oxygen test. And the list goes on, but if you want to rest easy, if you really are taking care of yourself, that includes getting in front of the bad before it gets worse. Being realistic with yourself without being paranoid, just responsible.
A few weeks ago, our resident Sleeping Tapes Guru, Jeff Bridges, engaged in an act of self-care that resulted in a diagnosis that still takes our breath away. Our nearest and dearest Jeff is dealing with lymphoma and we’ve been figuring out how to address it with everyone, how to talk about it without taking away from his private journey and personal focus on his own health and welfare. It will come as no surprise to any of you that The Dude is going into this next phase of his self-care with the optimism and clarity sprung from his inherent knowledge that he is committed to taking care of himself.
Fear of the unpleasant
We know it’s no one’s favorite thing to hear bad news about themselves or a loved one. Hearing the words “you have x, y, or z” and it’s something that requires you to go into a treatment that is life-changing — and quite possibly life-saving — is unimaginable. So it’s no small wonder that many of us don’t want to look at it, don’t want to hear it, go on in hopes it will “just go away.” And when we ignore it, what could have been handled becomes a beast we can’t outrun anymore when all we had to do to truly rest easy was face it, and take care of ourselves.
Jeff is undergoing his own wellness path right now. We are all rallying behind him and incredibly grateful for the self-care that led him to be in front of this. He is his own best advocate and that makes all the difference in the world. It’s why we wanted to take a moment to encourage your own journey of self-care, to be aware and say, “I need help” when something doesn’t jive in your body, your mind, your heart.
Thus it is with the deepest, most heartfelt care and concern that we say: Please take true care of yourself and if something doesn’t feel right, raise your hand and call, “Yo!” You will feel better for it, rest easier for it, and truly come to understand what “take care of yourself” really means.
Take care and rest easy, everyone.
And Jeff, we love you, man.