Last night I was exhausted. Like, couldn’t keep my eyes open exhausted. So I went to bed. The second I hit the start button on my sleep timer, a switch flipped on inside of me. The Ocean Waves track I listen to for sixty minutes every night to fall asleep, which usually does the trick in about four, was agitating and grating to my ears. So at around 3 AM I got out of bed, took an extra sliver of clonazepam, reset my sleep timer, and was out within a half-hour.
This morning I woke up at 10:45. Stepping on the scale, I’d gained a pound since my weigh-in from the day before. Sigh. If only I hadn’t drunk pizza and eaten wine the night before, maybe I wouldn’t have gained that pound back. Now I could launch into a whole diatribe about the normalcy of weight fluctuations and how a pound up or down isn’t something to take to heart. But that’s not the point of this particular blog post. And quite frankly I’m glad I ate wine and drank pizza last night. I mean if I can’t make intermittent fasting fit into my life, I haven’t a chance of staying on it long term. And I’m the kind of gal who drinks wine and eats pizza sometimes. Okay, maybe the pizza is sometimes.
Nevertheless, I’ve been on a productivity tear these last few weeks. The more I’m able to accomplish, the more I demand of myself. It’s a stupid cycle I repeat like a hamster running on a wheel every time my physical health gets strong enough to allow it. It’s like I don’t care if I relapse again, the need to catch up on fourteen years of lost living becomes this driving, super-important force that consumes me.
Plus I gained that pound back that I’d lost the day before. So despite it being 81 degrees outside, I decided to put my 14-year-old Yorkie in his stroller and turn half of our dog walk into a jog. When I came home I had tons of energy (because that’s what intermittent fasting is doing for me), and I still had to kill like an hour and a half before I could break my sixteen-hour fast, so I did yoga.
It really was one of those mornings where I should have shuffled around the block with the pups, planted myself on the sofa, and worked on the computer all day doing things that are creative or move my life forward, like my book, this blog, or my gentle toe-dip back into social media. But I’m so freakin’ burned out on how much work it took to get the first episode posted on our YouTube channel, the thought of getting on the computer was incomprehensible. And I really had made my flare worse with all that exercise. So I decided to juice and do a bunch of food prep for the week.
Chronic fatigue syndrome was my first diagnosis. When I have referred to relapsing in the past, it is because CFS has taken me down. The last time my relapse was triggered by the flu and lasted for like three years. I have said it a million times and I will say it again, give me fibromyalgia any day over the life-stopper that is CFS. So today after I spent three hours cooking and doing dishes, I felt the tip of that deep, pervasive, enveloping fatigue start spreading from the inside of my bones and keep going until it had taken over my eyelids.
Hello, perspective my old friend. What a reminder of what my life could easily become again. I have got to stop running around like a psycho when I feel better. My life is improving. It is taking forever, but ultimately I am moving forward. I am not “behind” in life because I’m a loser or stupid or didn’t care enough to try. I’m behind because I’m sick. Luckily my particular sickness isn’t terminal and goes through periods where it abates enough for me to trick myself into thinking I’m normal. But that doesn’t mean it impacts my life, and what my life should have been, isn’t a son of a bitch.
Getting sick again, to the point where I can’t do anything but veg out on General Hospital and Jane the Virgin all day is the most important thing for me to avoid. It’s not being a loser. It’s not accomplishing my dreams. It’s never getting my book published. And it’s certainly not failing to get in shape again. No, the most important change I have, the only one that matters, is doing everything within my power to not relapse. It may happen by circumstance, I have an illness. But I have an obligation to myself, a personal responsibility to put my health first, and I have not been doing that. Tomorrow I will.
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