When you have had an active younger life with all the bumps and bruises therein, you get used to going through your day with pain. I have had back and knee pain for more than an decade now. Some of it due to injury, some of it due to my weight, and some of it due to getting older.
About a month ago, all that changed. My back pain flared up. Instead of being just part of life—background noise, if you would—it came front and center to the point of distraction. Also, I started having shooting pains down my legs in certain situations or my coccyx going numb after sitting for a while. This meant a doctor’s visit ASAP. Which turned into an MRI visit and painkillers/muscle relaxers.
Through it all, I had to keep working. I’m a fulltime freelancer. I don’t get sick days. Well, I do. It just means I don’t make money or advance my projects when I’m sick. September was scheduled to be stupidly busy and I knew it. This whole back pain thing was inconvenient at best. Fortunately, one of the best painkillers I know is writing. At least, until you stop writing and then everything is worse.
However, now that most of what I need to get done this month is done, I realize what kind of toll working through the pain has taken on me. I’m burned out and cranky because of it. I’m glad I’m recognizing it and have the opportunity to do something about it. I’m going to take the rest of the month off. I’m going to nap, read, watch movies, and only do what I want to do when I want to do it. That should help.
Just knowing that I’m giving myself permission not to work makes me feel better. I’ll still do email and phone calls and all that, but the rest of the time is mine to do with as I please.