Chronic Disease Emotional Work

Day 201 and Take It Slowly

I woke up today feeling normal. I wasn’t in any pain. I felt rested. The excruciating exhaustion that has gripped me had lifted.

I was a little bit surprised as I’ve been fighting off a setback that has diminished my physical and emotional state. An infection required an anti-viral that just destroyed me for the last week and a half.

The relief I felt at having the energy and desire to do normal tasks was palpable. I started making “to do” lists and plans for how I was going to use the energy during the day. I bounded out the door at 8am to my favorite trail to get in a walk before the summer heat hit. I came back energized and immediately went to workout. And then I realized I was doing it again.

In my relief to have back a functional body I was setting myself up to be exhausted by immediately over doing things. . My enthusiasm to get back to doing “all the things” would again be my undoing. Some residual guilt over needing to get back to people was on my mind and I used this projected shame right back into myself. What a disappointment I was to people and clearly I must set it right immediately that I’d been late by a week. I needed to respond to startups, catch up on my diligence pile, and email back all the folks in my inbox plus I was behind on any number of fund tasks for Chaotic. I justified these obligations as a reason to beat myself.

I have often struggled with the feeling that I need to work as hard and fast as I can when I am physically well. Part of it is my general tendency towards workaholism. But part of it is fear that feeling well is transient and I need to make hay while the sun shines.

I talked myself down from it and kept a steady pace through the day. I didn’t rush. I took breaks. And I didn’t feel guilty or beat myself. Which was quite a relief. It seems I can learn to take things slowly after all.