Day 20: Turtle Power

Being kind to myself by retreating into my shell:

Today I am grateful that I gave myself permission to have a few days off from writing this blog.

As much as I love writing about my ‘100 days of happy’ project, I realised I was putting too much pressure on myself to write the “perfect” posts (whatever the “perfect” post may look like!).

I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed.

And having chronic fatigue does not bode well with overwhelm.

I’m also a perfectionist.

And perfectionism is not a friend of chronic fatigue either.

So feeling overwhelmed with writing the perfect blog = crash, bang, wallop!

It was only a few weeks ago that I started easing myself back into writing, just for 20 minutes each day. But then decided to set myself this 100 day project, and write about it every day, and then turn it into a blog, and then tell all my friends what I was doing.

Yeah, I know.

I don’t do things by halves me! And it’s probably not the best idea when you need to be taking things slow and gentle.

While I really enjoyed writing it ‘off-line’, as soon as I set up the blog and put it out there, I fell to pieces. Knowing a handful of lovely people have kindly subscribed and are now getting my posts directly into their in-boxes, completely freaked me out.

Now my posts HAD to be good, I warned myself. I couldn’t post just any old crap.

I’d started writing it for me, but now I felt a responsibility to write something really fantastic and interesting every single day. Something others would enjoy reading. And keep reading.

It absolutely terrified me and I felt myself shut down.

I crumbled under the pressure.

And I know that I’m the one putting pressure on myself. No one else is doing that. I can do a perfectly good job of that all by very myself thank you very much.

When the fact is, I’ve been absolutely bowled over by all the kind lovely comments and support I’ve received so far. I really couldn’t have asked for a nicer bunch of readers.

I knew I needed to take a break from writing. I needed to gift myself with complete rest. The sky wasn’t going to fall in if I didn’t write for a few days.

I retreated back into my turtle shell, put my laptop away, and delved into my recovery tool kit. I did what I had to do to help myself recover.

I’m proud that every day, I continued to find my happy. But instead of writing about it in the blog, I wrote a short couple of lines in my gratitude journal.

As I tentatively started to emerge from my turtle shell, my thoughts slowly turned back towards my blog. I reminded myself of why I started it.

Thankfully I’ve put it all back into perspective and am feeling much better for it. For now. I realise this may crop up again, and if it does I’ll know what to do.

It’s ok that my writing isn’t perfect. It’s ok that it’s not for everyone. And it’s ok to not write for a day or so if I’m not feeling well enough.

I’m giving myself permission to be ok as I am: to be the best that I can be in this moment.

So with this in mind, my happy for today is being kind to myself by retreating into my shell.

8 thoughts on “Day 20: Turtle Power”

  1. Oh, you know I’m all over “Turtle Power”… I LOVE it!!!

    I’ve been doing a lot of listening to the work of Brene Brown (Shame and Vulnerability researcher) & Kristin Neff (Self-Compassion researcher) and find myself often with wet cheeks from tears of acknowledgment listening to the human stories of their work. It is so true that we connect deeply as humans from our unguarded and vulnerable selves, not the air brushed, edited versions of ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing your true self Helen, the struggle as well as the bliss. With this honesty we each show each other the way with kindness and love.



    1. Thank you dear one for your kindness, I appreciate you so much . LOVE Brene and Kristin too – such strong, inspiring women. Being true to myself was my intention for this year and it’s been a scary journey but ultimately so rewarding. LOVE TURTLE POWER 🙂

  2. Dear Helen,
    Personally, I did not seek perfection when I signed up to receive your blog posts–I just wanted to get to know the “youness of you”. So, take all the time you want. I’m appreciating your posts so much, dear Helen.
    S.F. Sunshine

    1. Thank you lovely SF Sunshine, I really appreciate you saying that . Letting go of perfectionism and the pressure I’m putting on myself is certainly a work-in-progress. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the posts. Love to you too dear one Xxx 🙂

  3. Hello lovely Helen 🙂
    Well done for resting and the knowledge than arose. I’m the same in that I’m a perfectionist and put demands and pressure on myself. I think with CFS/ME we learn to let go of the achiever mindset and take life moment by moment and go with the flow. Nice and easy. If something I do isn’t perfect it really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things! That I enjoyed the process of making something is far more important to me now 🙂 So enjoy your writing and do it when you feel like it. I’m trying to stop forcing myself to do things because I think I ‘should’.
    Much love
    Julia xxx

    1. Thank you lovely Julia. I completely agree with you, especially letting go of the word ‘should’. Much love to you Xxx 🙂

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