So I know I said previously that I refused to give up, but truth is, the time has come.
I’m so exhausted of trying to fight for my health. I’m so tired of having to think about every little bit of energy expenditure. I’m fed up with having to strategise my whole life. I am just done with trying to keep up with others or the life I once had. I am done with trying to be so positive and optimistic all the time. I’m just done. I can’t be at war with myself anymore.
My adrenal glands, that I thought were well healed are now back to burnout stage. I’ve been trying everything to heal them and restore my energy but perhaps in my efforts to do so, I have just worsened the situation. I feel like I just don’t know how to help myself anymore.
The past five days all I have done is cry. I cry as I mourn the person I was four years ago before my world came crashing down. I cry for the life I want but can’t have. I cry because I feel lonely and helpless. I cry because I fear for my future. I try not to because I know there are people suffering worse than I am. But in these moments my tears feel justified.
Being 29, having a debilitating illness, no secure job and still living with my mum was not exactly the picturesque plan I had for my life. I had hoped to be living in my own place, perhaps with a partner and running my own business in between travelling the world. But I guess life doesn’t always go according to plan.
My Doctor told me yesterday I have to start accepting what is. Just when I thought I was on the road to recovery, it seems CFS has come back or just worsened. I told her I was frustrated, fed up, tired of fighting. Her response- stop fighting. Stop trying to be so ambitious in your recovery. Your mind and body is at it’s limits and it needs you to love and nourish it. You need to accept that this is your normal for now.
My heart broke in that moment. I’d been denying for so long that things had worsened, just thinking that it was perhaps just the effects post anti-depressants. On the bad days, which seemed to be happening more regularly I would tell myself to stop being so lazy thinking I was just in fact unmotivated. To a degree, I think the chemical changes in my brain have impacted the status quo but they are not entirely responsible. My body needs more TLC.
I know that this starts with me learning to be less critical of myself and lowering my expectations. I have always been someone to set the bar high and if I wasn’t achieving at that level, well than it just wasn’t good enough. But it is this mentality that got me sick in the first place. My expectations need to change although it is challenging when such high expectations are ingrained in your personality.
Well I guess with acceptance, these changes will come. So here it is- I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it has worsened. It seems I have more lessons to learn. This is not forever. Just for now until I make some changes and love myself more and my mind and body follow. Things are going to have to slow down for a little bit while I go back to the beginning of everything. Back to the basics and simplicity.
I accept that some days will be horrible and symptoms will be in the full form- debilitating fatigue keeping me housebound, severe brain fog preventing socialising and depression. On these days, having a shower and eating breakfast is a huge achievement. I accept that some days will be mediocre and I’ll be able to go for my walk, socialise with ease and do normal daily tasks with ease. I accept that some days will be great and I will feel ‘normal’ again but I cannot be fooled by these days. If I do too much on these days I know that I end up back on the horrible day again.
I know that I need to just take one day at a time and stop worrying about things or criticising myself for not being there. My life is different to others so I cannot compare to what they have. I need to reverse the picture- how would these people that have so much feel if everything was taken away from them. Their health, their job, their finances, some of their relationships. I’m sure things would be different then. I guess we cannot compare ourselves to others when we are all experiencing different things in life.
This whole experience has made me realise the insignificance of material things. To have your body turn on you makes you realise that in the grand scheme of things, stuff just doesn’t matter. It is the simple things that hold meaning- the flowers and trees, sunshine, the ocean, love from family and friends and most importantly, love and kindness for yourself. In addition to health, these are the most valuable assets in life.
I used to want the top job, the wealth, the superficial relationships, the latest fashions. These are the things I strived for. Then when Chronic Fatigue came along all of that faded. These days, I strive for inner peace and a deeper level of happiness. I stop to smell the flowers. I sit by the ocean for hours just listening to the waves and feeling the sand beneath my feet. I transcend to somewhere deep in the Universe when I meditate. I aspire for a life far from the mayhem of the city where I can live in the quiet of nature and the peace of the ocean.
So yes, my life has changed far beyond what I ever thought possible. While I am entirely grateful for the lessons and experiences CFS has brought me, I did think that my active fight for recovery would bring it closer. However the recent backward leap has proved this untrue. So I have made a vow to myself- I will stop fighting so hard and just take it day by day. Acceptance, as it seems, is the answer.
I have to let this illness take it’s full course as clearly it is here to make some changes to my life and has some unfinished business. I have realised that no amount of treatment will speed up or intervention by me will change this. My body needs to heal in its own time. The least I can do is accept what is happening so that I can take action to support it to the best of my ability. How do I do this? The answer is simple- rest, relax and restore. Rest my body when it needs it, relax my mind and nourish it with positive thoughts, use restorative exercise. These things plus self love will be crucial in progressing forward.
Thank you Universe for blessing me with this gift and the lessons. I will stop fighting it now and accept what is. From this point forth, I will accept who I am now. And with that weight lifted, finally I will be free.
Sending love to all my fellow invisible illness warriors ❤
– the Soulful Wanderer.