A couple of weeks ago I was doing really well. I’d settled into a great routine in my new home including walking the dogs daily, which seemed to be doing me the world of good. Then I had a really busy week which threw my routines out. At first, I seemed to be coping so well without them that I slipped in to believing that with just a little extra attention to rest, I could be ‘normal’.
I had some training for some remote work that could take the stress away from me trying to support myself with my business. It’s something I can easily do from home in my own time, so it’s absolutely ideal and I saw it as a way to free myself up to enjoy my mission without the pressure of having to make it cover all the bills. But first I needed to get through 2 short days of training (9.30am – 2pm). I was able to get lifts to the venue and there were only 12 of us so it wasn’t too noisy or overwhelming, so all good. But then I had to fit the minimum possible of my business work into my day too. I’d also not quite managed to get all the vegetable seedlings that I’d brought, planted and I felt a pressure to get them in before they died. I paced well, having lots of rests and doing things in small chunks, but I completely overestimated the total amount I could do in a day. The two days after the training I kept my business work to a minimum and had lots of extra rests, but I was still getting the veg plot set up. It seemed to be working though, I seemed to be keeping just on top of my energy management.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came from a desire for normalcy. I was still in a handover period with my friends who own the cottage I’ll be looking after for the next few months while they’re traveling. It was Friday night and they were going to the local bar, a perfectly normal thing to do on a Friday night. Although I knew I couldn’t keep up with them, I couldn’t resist the temptation to go for just one. If they hadn’t been going, it wouldn’t have even crossed my mind to add something like that to a busy week, but I’d been coping, I’d been getting by, my life had felt pretty normal! I went, I had one drink and I enjoyed a peaceful and quiet walk back with the dogs.
Saturday morning, I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a bus! Yup I crashed! Really not surprising, but so disappointing after having experienced that enticing sense of normalcy. To be honest, along with the usual low mood that accompanies a crash came a fresh wave of grief for the fact that actually I’m still not really well. My high functioning well-being is dependent on a strict routine of healthy living practices and careful pacing. I haven’t reached a stage of being relatively normal and just needing a little extra rest. I’m an expert at outsmarting this illness, at having a great life despite it, but the illness is still there and if I take my eye off the ball it lets me know!
I’ve acknowledged and accepted that grief, offering myself compassion to allow it to flow and I’ve moved swiftly back to that place of acceptance for what my life is. I went into recuperation mode on Saturday and after 3 days of doing very little, apart from making myself as comfortable as possible while I wait for the worst to pass, I started coming out of my crash (fortunately my friend was able to walk the dogs while I rested).
This temptation to be normal, and to believe you don’t have to be so careful, can be a very regular visitor when you’re doing well. Mostly I recognise it and manage not to give in to it. This time I didn’t, but at least I now have fresh evidence for how much my routines support me and I’m freshly motivated to get back to my highly structured life. OK, so it’s not a normal life, but I know how to make it a life that I love!
A small favour: I’d be very grateful if you could rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Thank you
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com