Over the past few months I’d had many people, including healthcare professionals, telling me that I was doing too much and my body couldn’t cope. Never one to be told what I can’t do, I kept fighting. But as I’ve come to realise that the fighting is futile if it won’t help you to win the war.
This isn’t something new, this is something I’ve battled with for five years now. Ever since the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome / M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). Since then I’ve been on opposite sides of the battle field between what I can want to do and what my body will let me do.
All my fellow spoonies, anyone who suffers with a chronic illness, will understand this situation. But for those who’ve never experienced chronic pain or a long term disability, it can be difficult to imagine.
I’ve always been an overachiever. I’m a yes person, saying yes to every opportunity. I want to be active and involved and push myself further. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. I’m meant to be busy and always have projects on the go.
But M.E. doesn’t let you do that. It eats away at your energy, your brain power, and can knock you down at any moment. It’s a constant burden just lurking on your shoulder waiting to strike at the most inopportune moment.
To me, that’s not fair. It’s not fair that some people sit around doing nothing all day, that some people have no drive to succeed, but have the physical capabilities to do so. It’s not fair that with all the will in the world I’m constantly hitting roadblocks and can’t push myself any further.
I know what you’re thinking, life isn’t fair. True. But that doesn’t make it any easier.
What I keep trying to tell myself is that I won’t be able to succeed in the long term, win the war so to speak, if my health wins every battle. Sometimes you have to stop fighting and take a step back. Sometimes that can be the most difficult thing to do, but deep down you know it’s the right decision.
So in a message to anyone out there in a similar situation. If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed and overloaded, if you know you’re pushing yourself to the limit – Stop. Take control before your illness takes control over you.
No matter how much you want to, you can’t do everything. Everyone has limitations, and everyone has a limit. Don’t go over yours. Make the decision now to make your life easier for yourself, even if that means letting go.