I have been under a wicked spell of utter exhaustion that refuses to let go. I have had to push myself very hard to do anything at all. I managed to pull a muscle in my right shoulder while changing position in bed, I’d already pulled a muscle in my side a few days earlier doing the same thing! Why is my body protesting so much now? Could this be kick back from the hydrotherapy? Surely not from such gentle exercise?
I have been feeling melancholy this week. Even my dreams have been maudlin, placing me back in situations I would rather not be in again and again, which makes all this sleeping even more unwanted. Then there’s the scary heart palpitations I get when I’m over tired!
I did have some kitchen time, cooking soup with hubby. Together we got the dogs bathed, groomed and clipped their coats a bit to tidy them up, which didn’t help my shoulder and side very much but it needed done! We started the forms, I managed to read some more of my advance copy of “The Mirror” by Michael M. McConaughey in-between bouts of incessant napping! Not that his novel is sleep inducing! To the contrary.. it is gripping stuff but my hazy mind will let go of anything in favour of sleep it seems! I only managed one blog post, the recipe for the soup we made and I’ve been slowly answering comments a few at a time but have had little chance to check out what’s new on my reader.
It is such a damn depressing state to be in. I am not one for self pity, usually I can see the silver lining easily and cling to that but it’s been difficult to find. I used to sail through all this on an opiate sea, not caring about the time I was losing but now back in the world I feel so terribly trapped when these episodes show up. Still I am happier most of the time without such limiting levels of medication and I would never willingly go back onto that regimen again. I prefer a little more pain and a bit more annoyance than have years pass by without even realising!
During those years I could spend days on end in bed, I could do the same now when fatigue really hits hard but it makes no difference to your energy levels if you sleep two or twenty hours. You have to make yourself get up each day, wash if you can, dress if you can but at the least get out of bed. Sure you may have no choice but to take naps but you are still making yourself part of the world, part of the lives of those around you. Do whatever you can while the energy is there because you can’t save it, you can’t store it so find something to use it on. You probably won’t finish what you start but that’s okay, you can come back to it or allow someone else to take over. The longer we stay in bed the weaker our bodies become, you may not feel like you have done much but the more little things we push ourselves to do the more strength we regain., though it will be a long time before we feel any physical difference, stick at it! Small steps still move us along our journey. For all chronic illness sufferers it’s the little things that can matter most, small things have big effects. We have to shift our expectations once we get relegated to the slow lane, our life is different but if we hold to our old expectations it will only bring us disappointment and sorrow. Life can still be marvellous, in fact living at a slower pace can bring us great mindfulness, we have an opportunity to find clarity, to live in the moment and find tremendous happiness from those little things.
What I find most comforting is that I know I’m not “done” yet, in that I am not finished on my path and I am not complete in my being and every fall down is a chance to get back up again. When my energy is non-existent and all I can do is lie down if nothing else it affords me the time to look inward, think about certain aspects of who I am, who I am not and how I can try to improve life for myself and those around me. Always search for the positives, it’s an achievement just to have taken that step out of bed! Anything on top of that is brilliant! Please, don’t think little of any accomplishment, compared to nothing it’s a fantastic win. Don’t beat yourself up over “failings”, you have not failed. We can be our harshest critics! It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to cry and it’s okay if you didn’t get out of bed today! It’s okay if, like me, you lose your way once in a while, I always find the path again. It is no easy thing to come to terms with the loss of good health. I used to look at my life and see a demolition site and feel devastated but a demolition site is a great place to build! It just needs to be cleared of the debris left over and then it becomes a construction site! Every day you are “in” the world and not isolated in bed is a brick you place down in your new life build.
I really should listen to my own advice more often!
I believe I’m on my way out of this rough patch. The fact that I’m writing is a big clue, my mind feels brighter, lighter and I’ve been awake for over three hours now! I’m somewhere in the middle between stone cold and on the boil, just heating up nicely, by tomorrow I could be simmering along! I do hope so! On Wednesday I’m attending the first meeting of a twelve week pain management group which I am so excited about! More about that later, for now “yes” to the sofa! I must take a nap before I fall asleep here!