Taking on new projects or responsibilities can be exciting. But if you suffer with M.E and/or POTS, then be prepared for a little Mind vs Body backlash.
Recently I embarked on a pretty big project: decorating O’s bedroom.
O deserves to have his room decorated the way he wants. I don’t want to look back in 10 years’ time in case he becomes a moody teenager with black walls and curtains, and regret not making the effort when he was my happy bouncy little ray of four-year-old sunshine.
I therefore want to give my baby a ‘proper’ bedroom while he’s still into rainbows, superheroes and bright colours. His beaming smile when I told him this, makes me want to get the job done FAST. But that simply isn’t happening.
The problem with me (and a large majority of people with M.E and/or POTS) is we’re fucking relentless in our pursuits. We are highly motivated people, trapped in highly under-functioning bodies. Before getting sick, most of us led crazy energetic lives, and thrived on being busy and over-achieving in whatever we set our minds to. This shit is hardwired in us.
I hate leaving a task unfinished. It eats away at me, making me want to get back to it until it’s done. And this new project simply can’t be done overnight. Not with my health.
My mind wakes up every morning wanting to hop back to it. But the M.E and POTS keeps slowing my body down and making me feel weary.
I am forever reminded of the years I lost to Severe M.E. Every time my body feels more fatigued, increasingly weary – like it’s moving slower, making me struggle more … I worry, ‘is it happening again?’ ‘It’ being, the steady descent towards being housebound, bedridden, and unable to care for myself. The rapid tumble towards losing everything.
I want to finish O’s room so badly. I could work on it more often, but at what cost? Sometimes, I MUST choose to rest instead – even when I really don’t want to. It’s hard. But I will get there. I’ve done two walls in six months. It might take me til Christmas to do the remaining 2 walls. And I am constantly having to remind myself, ‘that is okay.’
Self-kindness – and rest. It takes practise.
Image: O, my happy little helper 😊