Help Not Hinder

I’m tired. No not tired, knackered. I slept well for me but I woke up knackered and I feel sad. I want to be in the moment and take baby step and learn on this journey but days like this I just think ‘what’s the point?’. I’m likely to spend the day just watching telly (not even the energy for knitting) and reading. I ride out the day hoping that when night comes I’ll sleep and wake up feeling a bit better tomorrow. Reasonable, yes? Everyone needs a day off now and then and I am blessed that I have nothing that I technically need to do, nothing urgent, I don’t have the pressure of work or study (at least not until September). The thing is though, hopefully it is just one day but from experience it could be two or three. When you have fibro this is a common occurrence, that as I have done this last two years you look back and realise life is moving along without you, you’re not experiencing it, you’re not doing anything you’re just being dragged along, just biding your time, for what?

So this is where it gets complicated. It’s simple but complicated. It’s ok to be tired. If we understood the full extent of what my body is going through everyday it’s understandable that I am knackered. I had a busy couple of days and although I rested yesterday it will take a while. The thing I’m trying to learn is it IS ok to be tired, I don’t need to be doing things, I can wait they day out with telly and books but the fundamental thought patterns need to change. Not to ride the wave of exhaustion and depression close to tears because here we go again and I can’t do this forever. It needs to be more compassionate, if I am present, taking in everything that I’m reading or watching, enjoying it, truly experiencing it not just trudging on to pass the time then I’ve got something from it. I need to learn to relish the quiet and the rest not fear it. Because I have, feared it, for so long. If you stop and are quiet everything will catch up with you, you’ll realise how alone and unloved you feel and this will overwhelm. Therefore it is better to just keep going just managing to stay ahead of the tsunami of issues that’s following.

I need to learn to be ok with who I am and where I am. To learn what it feels like to have inherent worth and to be unconditionally loved just because God made me not because of anything I’ve done. I want to be well! There are no definitive answers and no quick fixes. Slowing up, releasing tension, being present takes time. This seems like a mountain to climb that will require energy I don’t have which means I can’t do it. No. God can give me the strength to persist. I know it sounds ridiculous that slowing up and truly resting could take that much energy but it does. Who of you can say you truly rest? Do you watch tv whilst doing something else, do you talk to your family whilst ironing or tidying the house do you pay attention when playing with your kids or talking to them. Yes it’s good to multitask but when you are constantly far away in your thoughts of what needs to be done or what went wrong yesterday, are you truly present? I’m not often present as when I am the water of the tide of issues laps at my feet. Maybe I need to feel the fear and do it anyway and learn to stop, embrace the oncoming rush of water as it overwhelms me and truly deal with my issues of fear, anxiety, loneliness and learn to be comfortable in my own skin and in my own company.

Doctor’s don’t know how to help me they basically say you obviously got yourself into this mess now you need to get yourself out. As is my nature I started striving to be well, you know what it’s like ‘if you don’t help yourself!’. But I’m not, I’m hindering myself. I have to plan what I have to do so I include enough rest time, pace myself and don’t overdo it but my health often throws me a curve ball and those plans need to be flexible. The plans are supposed to help me, not hinder me as I strive to meet them when I can’t, not provide a platform so I have to feel ashamed and berate myself when I struggle to fulfil them or can’t.

I spent 4 hours at the vets last week and I loved it! It may have been a tad too long as my feet were protesting after two and my legs and back stared to join in by the third hour. Since then I have driven the car more than normal for church, appointments and sorting out my nan which is fine but it means I need time to recover. I had planned or hoped that I would be back at the vets today but I think once a week may be too much. Every 10 days to two weeks is more doable. They aren’t relying on me at all, it’s actually probably less hassle when I’m not there but I struggled with the fact that I should go, but I’m not up to it, they’ll think I’m a slacker. But then I realised this is supposed to help me, I’m supposed to enjoy it, it’s not an obligation that I have to fulfil, I approached them, I can’t make this something else that I feel shame that I’m failing at. A small amount of exercise is good for me but I need to enjoy it and not let it cause anxiety because I’ve either done too much or too little. I need to think ‘hey maybe I can do a bit more’ or ‘whoops I overdid it I need to learn form this but it’s ok I enjoyed myself’.

Making myself try and jump through these hoops to try and prove to the world and myself that I am desperately TRYING to get better is pointless. I want to be well, I know that and God knows that but striving and beating myself is part of the reason we are here and although it may seem simple that’s what I need to change. It may be something where you won’t actually see the results, it may take years but it will come.

So you that are chronically ill and those that aren’t. Take time to truly rest. Stop trying to keep moving to stay ahead of whatever it is that you’re scared will catch up with you. Rest and know that you are loved you don’t need to perform for that love and tying yourself in knots and jumping through hoops is more likely to hinder your process than help. Learn to say no rather than try and balance doing five things at once, know your limits, know yourself and take time for you.

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