Focus vs. forgiveness, progress vs. permission, action vs. acceptance. These are virtues I struggle to balance daily. As a Fibromyalgia patient I must make certain concessions and accept limits I did not have before I became ill. Juggling all the components of my life is both necessary and critical to remain "managed," meaning I have more control over my life than Fibromyalgia does. I must get my sleep, daily exercise, eat a healthy diet and manage my stress. I have to listen to my body and take it easy when something feels out of sorts, knowing it's either those wacky hormonal fluctuations or a flare sneaking up on me. Paying attention to my mood and pain levels usually tells me the aforementioned set backs are on their way. If I cocoon myself and catch it early I can usually save myself days of misery. But then 28 habitual years of that overachieving type-A OCD perfectionist kick in and demand some darn progress out of life! She wants to move forward to bigger and better things, actualize the greatness life is waiting to manifest, lead the charge and make it happen. Hence the struggle to meld the dichotomy of routine vs. the rebel. I need routine. Have even convinced myself I enjoy the turtle paced progress of life when I know what to expect and what I need to do to make it happen. But I am so easily distracted, thrown off course after a couple of days of boring and predictable routine. I am also incredibly gifted at coming up with excuses, reasons to indulge my whims and not stay on track. I can negotiate myself out of anything! I suppose this all goes back to a discipline issue.
Now that high-dose Prednisone has been thrown into the mix life is all the more intense. This must be the yang to my many years of CFS and Fibromyalgia yin, where I sat around the house too sick to actually do anything. An attempt for my life to balance itself out, perhaps? All I know is life these days is urgent. The second I get up in the morning it's as if someone takes a clock and chucks it far out in front of me. I spend the rest of the day racing to catch up with it, tripping and stumbling into pot-holes and snarled brush along the way. If I see something that needs to be picked up and put away it becomes the most important thing in the world to do it immediately. No, faster than immediately. When did I become this ubber uptight ninny who flips out at the slightest lack of control? I am incredibly bitchy and have forgotten how to laugh, let things roll off my back, see the poetic humor in things both good and bad. I am taking myself way too seriously! But I can't stop!
By the time my husband comes home from work I am a wreck. Dinner not made, the house an explosion, puppies ignored. You all get it better than anyone, I needn't go on and on. But when I fall apart, he falls apart and then our life falls apart, making it that much harder to get back on track. This is a particularity formidable time in my life. I am attempting to not balloon up on steroids (and doing a horrible job I might add), manage a chronic illness that requires a significant amount of effort to keep in its proper place all the while not taking for granted I just survived two strokes at age 33. I am attempting to stay calm and focused on my greater purpose and glean my strength and peace through God, not wig out on a Prednisone tail spin. So I have made a few key commitments to myself, and I am going to let the rest flow from there. Mainly sleep early, get my chores done earlier, stretch everyday and fix myself up, take some pride in my appearance. I must stop living as a sick disheveled mess and putting on jeans reminds me to eat far less than when I am wearing sweats. And I am going to slow down, too. I may not be stronger than Prednisone, but God is. So I am taking the burden of manic off myself and turning it over. I have a calling on my life, one I never expected, to lead The Fibromyalgia Crusade and change the quality of living with this disease for all of us that suffer from it. Yet I am but one tiny little woman with one small voice. If I want to lead this charge I must humble myself and recognize where my true strength and focus lies. With God, in the divine, from the almighty. Amazingly enough, I feel better already!
Thanks for joining,
This blog was originally published on 9/21/10. I have to laugh as I read this one, for I am still working on those key commitments! Prednisone was a terrible high that crashed into a horrible low once I got off it. Any halt of Fibromyalgia symptoms came flooding back ten times over. Oh what a journey we are on friends, battered and bruised by illness as we strive so hard to live this thing called life.