This weekend, I learned a valuable lesson about myself. Or rather, I officially recognized what I’d known about myself for a while yet hadn’t necessarily taken seriously.
If I get overheated, I do not function.
It’s not so much that if it’s warm out, I get a little cranky or if I get warm, I get cranky. If I’m overheated (which is exacerbated by the pregnancy, no doubt), my ability to engage with the world in a respectful way decreases until I’m a raging, frustrated puddle of sweat. I am unable to parent in a way that my child deserves. I am unable to interact with others in a way that they deserve. I am unable to care for myself in a way that I deserve (and even writing that sentence is somewhat difficult in that merely acknowledging that I deserve to be taken care of properly brings up feelings of guilt that I’d be taking time or attention away from caring for my family, but that’s a tangent for another post).
It doesn’t matter what the thermostat says. It doesn’t matter what other people are feeling. If I feel as if I’m overheating, I have to take steps to prevent it from getting out of hand. I have to make myself drink ice water. I have to get myself in front of a fan or in a room with air conditioning. I have to be ok with the possibility that our electricity bill will be higher from running our A/C more frequently, especially if that means that I’m able to treat my family the way they deserve and the way I prefer.
Maybe this kind of thing is obvious. Maybe this kind of self-care/self-awareness is normal for most people. Up until the past few days, though, I’ve been thinking of temperature control in terms of others being comfortable, and if I got too warm, well, I just had to suck it up and deal with it (so said my internal monologue, not anyone else). Sucking it up isn’t working anymore. I’m learning to trust myself, learning to recognize my limitations before I reach them (at least for the most part), and learning to speak up or make changes to prevent myself from turning into the Incredible Sweat Puddle Hulk. Because really, no one wants to see that.