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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

** illuminations: permission to chill **

I'm flared. Like. Badly. I've been flared since I wrote my seeds of May post. It happens. But, well, I'm not finding myself able to follow my normal routines, my normal "functions".  Usually this results in a serious panic attack, multiple tearful rants about not being able to be useful, but this month...well. I dunno. I sort of accidentally forgot to get upset about it. 

My body feels like an etching by Goya. Not good.

And you know what happened? I didn't end up having much to be upset about (okay. that's a lie. one has every reason to be upset about sciatica/it band/digestive system/musculature/nerve failures but, still. that's plenty to be upset about, why add more?) 

Theoretically speaking, I don't think that the purpose of life (especially a chronically ill one) is to do, do, produce, and then do again. But it is helpful to do things like "get dressed" and "sit up" and even go so far as to "brush teeth" and even "clean kitchen".  And when we flare up, we find ourselves worried that we'll have forgotten how to do these things when we return (if we ever return, it always feels matter how many times we've been through the cycle, it always feels like this time is the time that it simply won't end) to a better state of being, we will have to start all over again, learning how to cook, clean, go for walks, open our eyes, etc...

And generally, I feel that routines have an excellent basis in our chronically ill lives. We have to know what we're doing, even a little, in our lives to feel know...we ought to keep on living 'em. But when I flare up -boom- routines totally explode. And normally I get really upset about that. 

Usually, I try to do anything active in the mornings and save my afternoons for couch time - that's usually in keeping with my general energy patterns. But in flares, everything goes nuts, and I get stubborn and try to make myself do things in the morning when I'm totally worn out, and then keep myself on the couch all afternoon when I'm actually feeling kinda restless. It's really kinda silly. This time around, I've been trying to keep a mental list of things I'd normally do, and try to check them off at random points of the day. I've realized slowly that the world does not, in fact, end, I clean the sink at 4pm instead of 9am. 

It is hard to continually give myself the permission to things at different times than I normally would, just like it's hard to continually promise myself that I'll un-flare at some point. But in the end, staying as stress-free as possible is what is going to get me out of this flare, so if it means I'm not accomplishing much of my goals, that's okay. My goals have gone from "walking 12 minutes a day" to "not ending up in an exhausted tearful heap by noon". And I'm actually doing kinda okay at that. 

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