“You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.”
“… But, what if I’m not? What then?”
Those are the thoughts racing through my head in this picture, as I fight back the tears and terror of never knowing if today will be the day that I relapse.
I went to the gym when I probably shouldn’t have done this morning. And now I can’t get up. My health hasn’t fully recovered from my ME crash 2 weeks ago. I’ve been doing much better – but I’m not back to my version of ‘normal’ yet. So, what was I thinking?! Why did I do it?
Because, when my ME is genuinely flaring up – I sometimes doubt my reality and the severity of my symptoms, and consequently – I make unwise choices. As such, I decided this morning that maybe it’s just regular tiredness and that I should ‘push through.’
If I’m being honest, I made that judgment because I wanted to hop on a treadmill and see if my knees and ankles have settled down after all their recent swellings. That, and because I’ve had 2 weeks of resting since my crash and I’m bored of waiting to feel ‘myself’ again.
I know; I should be grateful I can even get out of bed, let alone walk. And it takes a special kind of fool to try and run. But the thing is, I AM grateful. Grateful for the improvements in my health, obviously … but also grateful that I don’t let fear dictate my life.
Living with ME/POTS is a constant ‘risk assessment’. Having improved dramatically since my Severe ME days, I try to live and appreciate life as fully as possible – within my many limitations. However, every single thing I do involves careful consideration and judgment calls; ie., deciding if it’s wise to do a ‘thing’ or if I should rest. The constant uncertainty over what my health can and cannot handle on any given day is annoying as fuck – and sometimes, I make the wrong decision. However, if I let the fear of getting things wrong stop me from ever trying, then I wouldn’t have discovered all the things I AM finally able to do again, and am eternally grateful for.
It’s a constant balancing act.
I’m not going to berate myself over getting it wrong today, because the last thing my body needs is negative self-talk. To be honest, this body did a great job on the treadmill this morning, and I’m proud. But what it needs now is rest, self-kindness … and an apology. I should have listened when my body asked for more rest. I am listening now.
Thankfully I HAVE been able to get up again – and I will show my gratitude by lying back down.