Thursday, September 27, 2018

Motivation Lost and Found

I live in a reclusive little bubble. I have very few friends, don't leave the house very often, and am not all together happy with my quality of life. Frequently my husband is the only person I see or talk to on any given day. Plenty of my seclusion is the result of my health struggles, but I would be remiss to blame it all on sickness. At this point in the game, a fair amount of it is good ol' fashioned habit. Laziness. Lack of motivation. For years I was too sick to get up of the sofa. But my health is stabilizing and my fatigue abating. This puts me in a precarious position. I have to gently dip my toes back in the waters of activity in order to not induce a relapse. But I also have to return to living life. One would think I'd be jumping up and running out the door any chance I get, but I'm not.

Nope. I'm kinda sitting here waiting for some magical spark of motivation to float in through an open window and breathe life into me. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the previous two times I managed to reclaim my life. The first time my motivation came in a pill. I was on high-dose prednisone following my strokes and couldn't sit still. Free of pain and fatigue for the first time in years, and high on having just cheated death, I started promoting my blog on facebook and getting to know a bunch of other fibro patients. People started reading it, formed a community, and I had a purpose. I sprung up out of bed every morning and crusaded all over the internet about how, together, we patients were going to change the stigma of fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, thankfully, being high doesn't last forever. Once I tapered off that drug I was in hell. My pain and fatigue were worse than ever. I'd gained like 100 pounds. I could hardly walk up the stairs. And psychologically, well, let's just say I was so distraught the whole crusade thing fell apart. It took a few years until I found my second burst of motivation, and that one was induced with fear. Something happened in my personal life that required me to buck the hell up and take charge of my family. I was forced to get it together because my life was on the brink of falling apart. It's amazing how motivating securing your own survival can be.

The result was 2015 me. Working out at the gym, working part-time at a job, believing I owned my health and could have it all. Two measly little flus, back to back, was all it took to wipe out all my progress. Now I sit here three years later halfway between fresh-off-prednisone me and capable-of-engaging-with-the-world me. I desperately want--screw that, I need my motivation to be pure and positive this time. It has to stick. It also needs to happen like yesterday. And it kinda did happen yesterday.

I left my house again. This time it wasn't a lunch date, it was to attend my first writer's group. I've been working on a novel for the last 100 years and finally finished it. The time has come to put myself out there and launch my new career. It's scary. It's intimidating. It's also pointless to have written the darn book if I'm not going to put everything I have into making it a success. So once again I set my alarm and was up and out of the house by 11:30 a.m. This time I even drove forty-five minutes in LA traffic by myself. May not sound like a big deal, but for me it is. While I didn't present my own work this time, simply being around other people who are trying to do what I'm trying to do was exhilarating. I left the meeting feeling like a real, live girl. Today I'm back to being a heap on the sofa, but something inside me has shifted. Perhaps that spark I was looking for floated in through my car door.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Hell Week

Sometimes this illness presents itself in the absolute strangest ways. Take last week for example. I woke up during the wee hours of Monday morning to pee and caught a violent cold shiver on my way back to bed. So I bundled up under my blankets like a mummy and shivered myself back to sleep. Well when I woke up a few hours later, I was drenched in sweat. Like hair plastered to my forehead, sheets soaked, drenched in sweat. I felt sick, but that's kinda my normal state these days so it didn't cause much concern. I dragged my way through the day getting non-physical activities done and somehow, despite feeling pretty awful, kept my mental state steady. 

On Tuesday I woke up still feeling sick: alternating between really hot and freezing cold, achy, lethargic, stomach a mess, bla bla bla... But in addition to feeling sick, there was an extreme pain on the right side of my mid-back, kinda near my ribs. It flared and spasmed at times with such severity not only could I not breathe, but I was forced to cry. I tried massaging it and icing it. I took ibuprofen. I sat in strange and contorted positions trying to relieve the pressure, but for the life of me I couldn't get out of pain. I hurt too bad everywhere else to do yoga; a medieval torture rack sounded more appealing. So I sat there patiently waiting for the flare to subside, knowing once it did I could attack my back with some good ol' fashioned stretching.

On Wednesday I woke up so sick and in so much pain that I lost my shit. I'd tried to keep it together, I really did, but my PTSD started to kick in and I couldn't. If I thought I was crying on Tuesday, Wednesday took it to a whole new level. I spent the majority of the day ranting and raving about the unfairness of life. What had I ever done to deserve unending misery? How was I supposed to survive it? Horrible people have wonderful lives, why can't mine just be normal? And it was while crying this out to dear old mom that a lightbulb went off in my head.

This particular back pain is easily sixteen years old. I had it long before I started feeling the symptoms of CFS and fibro. I remember going to the doctor and being told it was because I was a makeup artist and worked with my right arm extended out in front of me for like forty hours a week. He told me to file a workman's comp claim. I thought he was ridiculous. I was twenty-six years old and had worked in the industry for a year-and-a-half. I hadn't exactly been performing hard physical labor for twenty years under adverse conditions. Clearly my doctor just didn't want to deal with me. So I sucked it up and ignored the pain until a few years later when I started feeling the symptoms of what turned out to be CFS and fibro. I found out that whatever's wrong with my shoulder is connected to whatever's wrong with my neck. Combine that with these chronic pain conditions, and the result was damn near right-arm paralysis.

It took years to get that spot, along with all the other areas on my body where I have a slight inequity fibro lives to exploit, out of pain. Acupuncture and yoga helped, but it wasn't until I started weight lifting that I forgot it even existed. But I'm not exercising regularly right now and am actually in pretty pathetic shape. I've been really down on myself for gaining weight and not looking as good as I did a few years ago. Last Tuesday I was reminded in a brutal and punishing way that exercise, for me, has nothing to do with looking good. It is, quite simply, the only way to feel like my body isn't falling apart.

Wednesday's realization did nothing to improve my Thursday. I believe at one point my husband actually told me I wasn't allowed to cry anymore. And I didn't blame him a bit. How he hadn't walked out the door yet was beyond comprehension. If I'd had any way to get away from me, I woulda flown the coop in a heartbeat. Nevertheless, we somehow made it through my flare. He found the trigger spot under my shoulder blade and pushed on it until I thought my eyes were gonna pop out of my head. I spent hours stretching while we watched TV. Sure, it hurt like hell, but sitting still wasn't any better. Clearly the only way to improve my future is to torture myself now. 

On Sunday I woke up and the first thing I felt wasn't my back. Hallelujah! Yes, it still hurts, but the stretching and massaging and ibuprofen and ice, and in all honesty my flare ending, shifted the pain from agonizing to uncomfortable. So that's that. Another week gone. Another week I won't get back. Another week of my life absorbed by this sickness that doesn't make a damn bit of sense and no one can seem to fix.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Just Feed the Dog

Last year, or maybe it was this one, who knows they all kinda blend into the same, my dog got sick. Something was wrong with him. Either his intestines were developing a serious disease, his food was poisoning him, he'd contracted a parasite or infection... We gave him every possible medicine. I changed his food. We even treated our other dog in an attempt to eliminate her carrying something she was transferring back to him, despite her not displaying symptoms herself. Nothing worked. He had me running him out to the bathroom at all hours of the night. He gave me dirty looks every time I put his food down and half the time refused to eat it. Yet he was still my baby dog. Twelve years old, maybe, but he still wanted to play and love and live his life to the fullest.

I had to figure out how to make him better before his intestinal inflammation turned into that aforementioned serious disease. Following my vet's advice, I took both dogs off their commercial diet and started to cook for them. Also, since they were eating chicken and turkey, I switched to beef. Twice a day I warmed up organic ground beef, apple, and spiralized white and sweet potatoes and fed it to my canines. I no longer got dirty looks when I put down that bowl o' food, let me tell you. Mealtime resumed its rightful place as my dogs' favorite time. And low and behold, he got better. My vet diagnosed him with a poultry intolerance and commended my dedication to figuring it out, not just throwing him on a lifetime of medications that don't work all that well to treat his nightmarish symptoms (sound familiar).

Perhaps I mentioned in a previous post that I'd totally burned out on this housewife crap and was no longer cooking for my husband? Needless to say, cooking for the dogs had to go. So I started researching dog food. Good God, ignorance is bliss! Let's just say that the high-priced kibble I'd been investing in, believing I was supporting their long-term health, was full of crap. In fact, all kibble is. Fillers and byproducts and meals that provide very little in the way of actual nutrition. So I kept searching. Sadly, it was nearly impossible to find dog food in any form that wasn't junk. I wound up settling on an extremely expensive New Zealand beef jerky that I mixed with a dehydrated beef and vegetable "powder," that I had to rehydrate with hot water. It was less work than sauteing ground beef and boiling spiralized potatoes every few days, but still too fussy for me. At this point I was so burnt out, I wasn't even cooking for myself anymore. Plus my dogs' enthusiasm was gone. Rehydrated gruel just wasn't as appealing as fresh ground beef. No duh.

After he got inured in July and totally stopped eating his food, I went back to cooking for the dogs. Meanwhile, my poor mother was forced to listen to forty-five-minute daily rants about the utter lack of quality dog food available at an affordable price. Then the whole "legumes can cause canine heart disease" scare broke out. Man, did I get desperate--to stop cooking, researching, and otherwise being a complete freak about what to feed my dogs. Yet I also refused to watch him get sick again. So finally I settled on a frozen raw recipe with beef and vegetables mixed with that New Zealand jerky.

Now this is where my ridiculously long story comes full circle. Because when I found out raw wasn't good for senior dogs, given that they are more susceptible to pathogens, I started lightly steaming the frozen raw food. Now I can't find a cooked food with an adequate amount of quality ingredients to replace it with. So here I sit, taking a break from researching dog food, again, to throw a frustrated fit. I'm right back where I started. Cooking, researching, and otherwise at a total loss about what food to feed my dogs.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Accepting Sick

Last spring I got sick with a cold that acted more like the flu. While certainly not the sickest I've ever been, I was already struggling to come out of a fibro relapse and it hit me pretty hard. Additionally, it lingered and lingered and lingered until it was nearly summertime. At one point I remember walking around my kitchen forcing myself to do the dishes with every muscle aching, nose running, head throbbing, and lungs hacking. I'd been like this for weeks and was miserable. I wondered if it was ever going to end. I couldn't remember what it was like to feel good and didn't know if I ever would again.

Somewhere between unloading the dishwasher and loading it back up again, an epiphany hit me. I stopped working and just stood there. Stunned. Suddenly my life made all the sense in the world. Of course I wasn't going to feel good again. And for the life of me I couldn't figure out why I expected to? It became clear as day that even after this cold-flu abated, which it undoubtedly would at some point before Labor Day, I was still sick. I was still miserable and in pain and hardly able to function. I was still struggling to come out of a three-year relapse. I was isolated and alone, with no help on the horizon and no end in sight.

Acceptance washed over me in a way it hadn't before. I admitted how sick of feeling awful I was, and how it wasn't fair that everyone else's colds and flus went away and allowed them to return to real life when my chronic illness had been keeping me prisoner for thirteen years. I got mad that I was expected to live in pain and self-subjugation because medicine doesn't truly know what's wrong with me. I became furious over the fact that because medicine doesn't know what's wrong with me, I'm treated like a nut job who just can't figure out how to make life work.

It seemed like an absurd circus I was willfully participating in. So I decided, then and there, standing in front of my dishwasher with a tissue in one hand and the other covering my hacking mouth, that I was done. I refused to participate in the madness any longer. Everyone who didn't feel like I did every damn day could piss off, I was done caring about them more than me. I was done feeling awful and hiding it. I was done putting productivity in front of my ability to reduce my pain and sickness. Yup, in that moment I decided feeling good was my number one priority and everything else could happen second.

My flares changed after that. Instead of lying on the sofa all day feeling awful and getting nothing done, then feeling okay a few days later and racing around to get caught up, only to push myself right back onto that sofa, I stopped the cycle. Slowly I started to feel better from my cold-flu. Man was I behind on life's to-do list! But my refusal to keep myself imprisoned in misery was fresh and strong. So I did a little and rested a lot. Each day I kept at that pace. When I felt bad, I rested. When I felt good I did a little, then rested preemptively. I figured if everyone else gets to not feel horrible every day, the least I deserved was to not make things worse for myself.

Yes I've pushed myself into a few flares since then. Obviously. Whatever I had to do was too important. Until I was there. Then I remembered why I committed to my quality of life first and productivity second. This epiphany has revolutionized my life. Over the last few months my core health has started to stabilize. I'm coming back to life again and slowly getting a handle on my circumstances. And each time I make a decision to put my health first, it becomes easier to do. Although I'm still climbing out of the deep hole of relapse, I'm now able see the tiniest glimmer of light at the very end of the tunnel.

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Saturday, September 15, 2018

My Lunch Date

On Thursday an old friend took me out to lunch for my birthday. Now she's a regular person with a regular job so lunch for her is at like noon. This meant I had to be up, showered, dogs walked, makeup on, and generally trying to present myself as a functioning member of society by the time I called Lyft at 11:45 a.m. I'm usually walking my dogs around the block in my sweats at eleven, and that's on a good day when both my insomnia is in check and flare registers on the below-average scale. Otherwise I find myself motivationless and begrudging the monotonous list of duties and chores that lie ahead of me. Yeah, I've been known to drag starting my walk out until well past noon. It makes me wonder how on Earth I used to have a job. It's also one of my greatest hurdles I'm actively working to overcome.

I got to the restaurant nine minutes early. And I can't blame it entirely on my Lyft driver literally being on my street the moment I made my request. I was so paranoid I was going to be late, because I'm so far from functional right now, that I went into hyperdrive the moment my alarm went off. I spent the morning racing around in a shaking rush doing everything in my power to arrive on time. 

Obviously that's not a realistic way to live. But considering this was the third time we rescheduled because I kept cancelling on her, I was hell bent and determined to follow through on my commitment. And I did. Although the methods I employed were hardly a kind way to treat myself, it felt good knowing if push came to shove, I could get myself out of the house before noon. I even did such a good job of appearing somewhat normal, when I got in the car my Lyft driver asked me if I was headed to work.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bitch Needs Bourbon

That was the text I sent to my husband at 7:28 p.m. last night. Because at that point in time, I really needed a drink. In fact, I knew it was the only way we were going to make it through the evening together. My day had gone from bad to worse and my mental state right along with it. It's awfully strange to know intellectually that everything in the world isn't negative and terrible, yet only be able to experience it that way. Every word out of my mouth was critical and naggy. I was in too much pain to sit. My patience was nonexistent. The need for solitude and distraction was paramount, yet my life isn't built that way. For years I took narcotics but don't anymore. So in order to become somewhat tolerable, I drink.

Thank God for the one-day flare. I'm not saying I'm ready to conquer the world today. But considering I lived in the aforementioned flare-state for about eight months straight, a day of extreme misery isn't all that derailing anymore. Strangely, I'm realizing I can almost consider it a good thing. Yesterday reminded me how far I have come, and how hard I worked to get here. I may spend most of my time bitching about my inadequacies, but if I honestly assess where I was in 2016 and where I am today, well, it's as far apart as night and day. 

Not that I wouldn't have slapped myself silly for having such a positive thought yesterday.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

To Do or Not To Do

I didn't realize I woke up in a flare until I tried to pour my coffee from my regular mug into my travel mug and spilled half. It pissed me off so bad, I hurled all the silverware sitting on the counter that the coffee spilled on into the sink. Then I stood there annoyed that something as non-emotional as the success or failure of transferring liquid from one vessel to another elicited so much passion in me. Furthermore, having to grab the sponge from the dishwasher to clean it up, when it would have been so much more convenient if the sponge was already sitting near the sink, seemed like an extra assault on my already taxed capabilities. Groaning, I realized the extreme fatigue I experienced last night, coupled with the boil on my face I woke up with this morning, combined with the screaming hips I tossed and turned to all night, added to my irrational expectation that every effort I put forth flow smoothly or else... Yup, I was in a flare.

Maybe it will only last a day. Perhaps if I take really gentle care of myself today, tomorrow will be filled with sunshine and rainbows. But I have stuff to do today. If I don't, life gets backed up. Then I have to do like 50 things in one day to catch up, which isn't possible for me right now. So the anxiety monster takes over. I'm overcome with how little control I have over myself. The justifications start to form, excuses as to why things are the way they are. But none of it lets me off the hook. 

I get frustrated that I can't keep my commitment to myself to dye my roots and do yoga, let alone give the dog a haircut and juice my veggies. Because if I just did those four simple things, it would be okay. I wouldn't be behind the eight-ball of life. I'd be capable of crossing a few more things off the To Do list that's required to keep me moving forward. Yet quite frankly it's one of those days where taking a shower and emptying the dishwasher, that's pretty much all I got in me.

Once the sum of my energy diminished, I found myself deposited in this weird no-man's land of unthrilling monotony and boring repetition. It feels like domestic servitude. It's hard to find motivation to get up and kick ass every day when I can barely keep up with everyday necessities. Where's the fun? Where's the variety? Where's the endorphins and pheromones and excitement? So today I sit here lamenting how far apart the life I live and life I want to live truly sit. I wonder how many more years of trying to stabilize my health it's going to take until I can start to bridge that divide. Because it's about so much more than a daily To Do list. It's about crossing off accomplishments on the goal list of life.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Tryin' to Yogacise

My motivation to start exercising again is sorely lacking. I mean I want to be the person who springs out of bed in the morning and hits the gym like it's second nature. I want my pain gone because there simply isn't enough room in my muscles for both fibro and strength. I want those firm arms and flat abs back. I want to do yoga three days a week and workout twice, like I used to when everything was going so good. I desperately want to wave a magic wand and be back to how I was before I fell apart.

But apparently I don't want it all that bad. Because I'm doing very little to make it happen. Maybe six months or so ago I decided gabapentin was the culprit that was stealing my motivation. I'd been on the drug for years, and while my dose was relatively low considering where it'd been in the past, I was still on a fair amount. It was something I had convinced myself I needed to sleep and hadn't stopped to reconsider if it was still necessary. So I weaned myself down, slowly, a step at a time, until I was on one quarter of my previous dose--barely anything at all.

Well if I thought I was taking the drug to sleep I was sorely mistaken. My sleep ease or quality didn't change a bit, but the pain in my hips and low back morphed into a monster I'd forgotten lived inside my body. Suddenly sitting was unbearable, and standing up from the sofa made me scream out in agony. Ice picks stabbed up and down my hamstrings from my booty to my calves. I felt 85. I was stiff and couldn't move. It sucked. And I was no more motivated to start exercising than I was before I reduced the dose. Maybe less so, because I hurt so bad...

So being true in my commitment to torture myself, I decided I needed seven straight days of yoga to fix this disability. Loosen up those tight muscles. Snap me back into the habit. Rediscover those neuropathways that like the agony of exercise. Because on the other side of all that pain sat the absence thereof, if memory served correct. Now I knew full well doing yoga seven times in seven days was going to push me into a flare. But I didn't care. I just wanted to be able to sit, stand, or walk without feeling like my nerves were shooting electrical currents down my legs and out my ten little toes.

Six times in seven days. I was amazed I accomplished that. Unfortunately, however, it was one of those angry flares. The kind that makes me wonder what I'm doing on the planet, taking up so much space and contributing nothing. Makes me question why on earth anyone still loves me, and how I can still love them. Makes me go nuts on Instagram when I start to read the comments section, on any page any topic, wondering why on earth everyone's so awful and stupid and mean. I started retreating down the rabbit hole again... And then it passed.

I'm still averaging yoga about once a week, as I was before my 6-times-in-7-days offensive. The pain in my hips is less, I think because my brain's pain impulses have adjusted to not having medication artificially soothe them. But not much else is different. Meaning I didn't find the key to my missing motivation. This rebuild forms the same basic structure as every other time I've come back from this mysterious ailment they call fibromyalgia: Trial and error. One step forward two steps back. And a whole hell of a lot of torture every inch of the way.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

The Missing Ingredients

Ability isn't my biggest hurdle right now. My health is actually holding kind of steady. I'm functioning at about 50% of the capacity of a healthy person. Considering that during the worst of my relapse I was around 20%, things are looking up in that department. My biggest issue isn't my mental state, either. Undoubtedly I suffered from a severe depressive relapse in 2016. While the experience of being haunted by the most damaged parts of my psyche has left me forever altered, as it has every time prior, the acute pain of the condition has vacated my present state. So basically I don't spend every day sobbing for hours on end wishing I wasn't alive. It's a relief I forget to adulate as often as I should.

I don't spend six hours in the kitchen every day any more, either, using my precious energy to facilitate the necessities of life. And while I still do more care-taking than I'd envisioned for my future, my days aren't bogged down with the non-stop frenzy of barely getting everyone else's needs met. Please don't misconstrue, I'm well aware of how fortunate this makes me.

So it would only make sense that I'm taking full advantage of my abatement in suffering. Moving on my life goals like a bitch. Regaining everything I've lost like a conqueror settling a known land. But no. My life is not that linear. Instead I'm floating around in the strangest psychological abyss I can remember. My productivity is shit, and desire to improve it even worse. I could be getting so much more done than I am. But I only got a handle on my flares when I decided to put my health before my output and started listening to my body when it told me to slow down. Which means I sit around a lot investing in the notion that if I do, I can avoid not being able to get out of bed for days. It also means not much gets done because I basically justify everything as not worth relapsing for.

This whole thing is screwing me up royally. My mind NEEDS to do. My body NEEDS to chill. Like every other time I've started to get a handle on this illness, the two parts of me are not lined up. There's no tandem. No coalescence. And it's driving me insane! I should be getting so much more done than I am. I should be respecting my limitations way more than I am. But I don't know when to push and when to pull. So I sit here waiting for that magic day when I'm flooded with my missing ingredients: equal parts motivation and discipline. Sitting. Waiting. And wondering if that day will ever come.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I'm My Last Priority

Admitting how deficient I've become in my blog post yesterday proved amazingly cathartic. It's like putting my business out in the street made me responsible for cleaning it up. I spent the remainder of my day yesterday pondering, without judgment, how I got here: When I quit my job in 2015 I had no clue my chronic fatigue syndrome had been reignited. Assuming I needed a couple months of rest and a hell of a lot of sleep, I set out to make up for my loss in income by becoming a proficient housewife--something I'd never excelled at in my life.

I did it. For a couple years my husband didn't wash a dish or cook a meal. I packed his lunch every night before bed so he could grab-and-go to work in the morning. Everything we ate was clean and made from scratch. I even went so far as to deep clean every inch of my apartment and reorganize every cupboard, closet, and cubbyhole. Like I said, I didn't realize my CFS had been reignited. Until the crippling fatigue kicked me in the ass. Suddenly I was back to making a shower my daily activity. Some nights I was so dizzy and weak I couldn't muster the strength to empty the dishwasher. Still, however, I refused to let him lift a finger. He was working more than double time to cover my lost wages and I figured it was the least I owed him. So I'd sit on the sofa zoning out on TV or cell-phone solitaire until I had just enough energy to get up and get the job done. Sometimes that didn't happen until my insomnia kicked in at one o'clock in the morning.

In a moment of extreme desperation I decided to commit to a nutritional plan that promised to rid me of the viruses that were making me sick. Nothing else was working and I couldn't get the fatigue under wraps. This program was a tricky and complicated protocol I committed to about 60% of the way. But that 60% consumed my life. There were so many requirements! First came the quart of lemon water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to detox my liver. After about an hour I drank 16 ounces of fresh celery juice to restore the hydrochloric acid in my gut. An hour after that came the all-fruit smoothie full of supplements. Then there was the coffee I was supposed to give up but didn't...

Given my extreme insomnia had me waking up late and all these liquids had to be consumed far enough apart so my body could absorb them individually, I wasn't actually eating anything until like 4 or 5 p.m. Which left me shaky and weak for the majority of my day. I got used to feeling too fatigued to leave the house, even after the CFS started to abate. I could actually get through a yoga session without having to rest halfway through, but mentally didn't recognize the improvement. 

About a year into this program I totally burnt out. I'd become ridiculously obsessed with food and what I could consume when. Like it was pretty much all I though about. I'd also gained a ton of weight. Yet the one thing that made the biggest difference for me, has always made the biggest difference for me, was something not on the aforementioned protocol: fresh veggie juice. It's simple; when I drink juice every day I don't have horrible flares. When I don't, I do. No matter what else I'm consuming, it's the one consistency in my life.

So I declared myself a part-time housewife, stopped cooking, stopped packing my husband's lunch every day, and started focusing on myself as an individual. I managed to eek out some incremental progress until my dog was seriously injured in July, forcing me into full-time caretaker status once again. And that's when my bitter resentment took over. For too long I've felt like I was my last priority. Everything required to take care of everyone else is urgent, while I sit here withering away, desperate to regain a sense of myself, and terrified I never will.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Forward, Not Back

I'm sitting here trying to write a blog about how miserable I am, because right now I'm really flippin' miserable, but can't put the words together. Each time I try and pull up how I feel from deep inside, so I can ponder what to say to give my desolation body and life, I hurt. So I stop pulling. Because once I start to feel that hurt everything seems pointless. Writing anything. Doing anything. Being anything. But by denying myself the pain of feeling, I'm blocking any access to the joy of living. It's now at the point where I'm so alienated and estranged and isolated from everything and everyone I can't even access my words.

I've been here before and can't believe I am again. I do this to myself. My anger over my relapse becomes bigger than anything else and I allow it to overtake me. Eventually it paralyzes me. I guess ultimately I will become so miserable that I'll be forced to do something about it, but in the meantime years are passing me by. Which makes me oh so angry...

It's silly, me sitting over here trying to figure out how to become who I used to be again. The last three years have changed me, eternally, just as the three before that and the three before that and the three before that. Why am I just now realizing that what I've been doing is basically trying to become who I was in elementary school, after I graduated from high school? It's asinine. Who would want to do that?

There is one direction in life, I know this. I also know I can't navigate the road ahead if my eyes are stuck on the rear-view. I cannot feel joy until I process through the pain. I won't find my direction again until I can easily access my words. And without a doubt I will never find the freedom to move forward until I release my hold on the past.

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