I'm Not Tired: International CFS/SEID/ME Awareness Day
May 12, 2015
Tomorrow, my sister Michelle and I will embark on a ten-week health overhaul, a candida/digestive health program from www.thewholejourney.com. It add...
April 25, 2015
From this point, I am adding more structure to this blog. On Saturdays, I'll give a general update on Michelle's and my progress with our illnesses a...
Creative Time Management Series
June 7, 2015
February 1, 2017
For two weeks now, I've experienced a severe flare. By the end of November, I had legitimately started to think I'd never feel this bad from SEID again. Yet here I am. But I'm trying not to dwell on that, though I haven't been entirely succeeding. I keep reminding myself that it's AMAZING that I haven't felt this sick since mid-summer; I'd never avoided a bad flare for that long before! Plus, I'm lucky: a particular set of unusual circumstances triggered my flare. Since I know what caused it (it's usually not so easy to tell), I can put safeguards in place to prevent similar flares from developing in the future. So in the long run, I'm confident that everything will work out. But when I'm in the middle of a flare, it feels like I'll be stuck like this forever. And as a naturally pessimistic person, it's really hard to look at the bright side when I'm in pain from head toe, or I've collapsed on the floor and don't have the energy to get up, or I feel like a five-year-old on the verge of a meltdown because she didn't get her nap (even though I slept for an hour this afternoon, to no avail).
I forgot how much a bad flare affects my emotional health. Depression is part of the territory for me. Last week I played the fun game of trying to recover both my mental and physical health at the same time. That's usually a lose-lose situation. CFS triggers depression in me, but activities that combat my depression include playing piano, going shopping, cooking, reading, exploring new places, working on a project, etc. If I actually try any of those during a flare, it will worsen my physical symptoms because all those activities use physical and/or mental energy. Then, the worsened physical symptoms mess with my brain so I feel worse depression symptoms. On and on the cycle goes until I resign myself to feeling bored and blue. Then I prioritize physical rest above all else (as long as I'm not desperately depressed, that is). Eventually, this will help me heal enough that my mental symptoms will clear up on their own.
So this week, my goals are to-
1. Coast, clear to-do lists as much as possible
2. Prioritize physical rest above all else.
3. Face denial head-on and acknowledge the struggle; allow myself to feel the fatigue and pain; allow myself to feel sad....even though I have recovered significantly, I'm allowed to experience a flare. It doesn't make me a failure.
I used to set goals and deadlines for when I wanted to be out of my flare. Those don't work; if healing were simply a matter of goal-setting or willpower, I'd never experience a long flare. Rather, I tell myself, the most productive and loving thing I can do for myself AND for everyone around me today, is to rest.