Monday, August 19, 2019

Inspiration Monday: Allergies

Yeah. You read that right. Allergies.

What on earth is inspirational about allergies?

Hear me out here. I promise this makes sense. At least it does to me, and I'm not sure that means much, but here we go.

Today I went to the chiropractor who keeps me surviving my hateful skeleton. I asked her straight out why my entire body hurts to the touch and why it hurt so much more than usual when she jammed her pointy little elbow into my enraged muscles. I mean, it always hurts enough to make me rethink all my life's decisions, but today was extra.

Satan's Flowers

"Allergies," she said.

"Allergies?" I asked. "In my back?"

"Yup," she said as if she had just told me that sandwiches are usually made with bread. Usually.

"How's that work?" I asked.

"Allergies are inflammation. They can make inflammation elsewhere worse." Duh.


"Ah. Choooooo! Ack! Ack! Ackkkk!"
She had me there. My allergies are OFF. THE. CHAIN. I sneeze and cough so much my eighteen-month-old has started mocking me. I never once considered that one irritant might be causing another, one that affected me in a much more significant way.

That got me thinking. (And taking my anti-histamine, but that's beside the point). I started wondering what I am allergic to in my everyday life that is aggravating the other issues I'm already struggling with.

It's no secret if you were to paw through this blog, I went through a MAJOR period of writer's block--more like all-around creative block--that was years long. I went through a lot of life changes and probably a pretty sloppy scoop of depression, and now I'm fighting my way back out of the weeds to reclaim a healthy creative life and take some steps, tentative or not, toward my goals.

It’s going to take some hefty scratching to be able to determine exactly what’s causing all my creative itches, but there’s one thing I know for sure. Like every other human on earth, I’m allergic to shame.

It’s hard looking back at my old writing. I don’t just mean pulling out my old projects and cringing at the things I’ve grown past (though there is a LOT of that), but just recognizing how much time has passed since I made any real progress. Even this blog—it’s pretty easy to look at the dates and see the gaping hole where I thought a million times how I’d like to put up a post, but couldn’t bring myself to do it for one reason or another. It isn’t that I haven’t written in all that time. I have—a lot—but it was more like I was trying to write my way through the door of my projects and I never even scratched the lock. It has been frustrating. Painful. Irritating.

Allergenic.

The thing is, I don’t think it just affected my writing. I think it bled into other areas of my life. So many time I've caught myself thinking, “How can I do that? I can’t even write a simple blog post. There’s no way I can do that.” (In this example, “that” means “anything at all.”)

You see how easily this can grow. Before you know it, it’s a tower of doubt blocking out the sky. No sunsets. No brand-new-day idea. No seeing possibilities for tomorrow because of the looming, shameful remembrance of what didn’t happen yesterday. If you’re not careful, that little bit of inflammation in one area of your life will burn you up somewhere else, somewhere important.

What are you allergic to in your life? What are the irritants, the sneaky little invaders into your life that leave you itchy and inflamed? You might find that they are affecting you in ways you never considered.

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