I’m currently more ill than I’ve been in over a year. Both with pain relating to many a condition and fatigue. I’m feeling weak, my legs just don’t feel right on the ground and all of my will is going into stopping them from giving away.
I’m too dizzy to sit up and use my brain. Asleep more than I’m awake. My eyes stinging and burning. Either feeling really dry or constantly watering. I’m getting daily migraines and the pressure in my head is oftentimes unbearable. Easily out of breath, from just going to the kitchen and getting some cereal. My extremities going numb as well as my legs.
My body alternates between high pain days and high fatigue days.
I know I need to take it easy to get out of it. But I can’t seem to get out of it. It’s been over three weeks since I started getting symptoms of COVID-19. The virus has pretty much gone but it was the final trigger for the flare that had been going on since the end of January. The flare that despite many a sick day I was only just coming out of.
Although I could rarely walk around my flat unaided when I had the virus. Whatever virus it was, and now I can which is a definite improvement, I’m still sicker than I have been in over a year.
I’m used to pushing myself as a way of denying it to myself. Of climbing hard to ignore the illness, of showing up at work despite collapsing upon getting out of bed.
And I’ve now been blessed with a time where it’s easy to not. To try and listen to my body and rest. And that can take a lot! Emotionally and physically. It involves feeling all the fear, and sitting with it. Feeling that ounce of health returning and sitting with it. Not suddenly going for a run because you can sit up okay.
The ability to do little enough to get better from an ME flare requires strength. More strength than just pushing through the illness does. It involves coming to terms with the fact doing your best doesn’t mean running yourself to the ground. To the point that you have severe ME for life.
It involves dealing with whatever emotions come up with all the free time you have in which you can’t really do much. Even watch TV or read. I struggle to watch new TV shows and not easy to watch movies due to difficulty following them and can’t follow a book for much more than 10 minutes at a time. It can be quite scary.
Hence why I’ve traditionally boomed and busted unless I’ve had something more important like my degree to prioritise. (Which I did mostly from bed anyway…)
It takes a lot of strength to commit, to go all in. And you really need to find peace with the current you, regardless of your productivity or aesthetics. Or your ability to stay in touch with people.
As the years with this illness go on I’m getting better at that. And this pandemic and this flare has shown me how much better at it I am. At least whilst the world is at a standstill and people aren’t rushing as far ahead of me…
It’s not easy and it involves putting yourself first. Not just yourself now. But yourself in the future.