I have problems with giving myself some slack when I’m not feeling well. I have Fibromyalgia and it sometimes gets the better of me.
Today (April 1, 2021) was a particularly damp and chilly day, which is almost always a recipe for trouble. My aches and pains get exacerbated by the temperature, usually leaving me in bed or curled up on the couch.
Now that it’s just me and my kitten, things are much easier to manage than the days of chasing my four munchkins and various dogs around!
But even today, as I got up to refill my drink I found myself hearing the negative self-talk in my head. “You haven’t done anything today. You have been totally unproductive.”
And surprisingly I stopped myself dead in my tracks. A very odd feeling.
And I told myself that I rested today. I made a nest in my bed and the kitten followed. I read. I watched some YouTube videos. I surfed. And I rested. I stopped trying to attack my to-do list. I let myself be gentle. I let myself recover.
And though it sounds simple, it has taken me a long time to be able to get into the right headspace that allows me to give myself grace. It has not come easily and has taken more than twenty years.
I was first diagnosed in the late 90’s, a time when people weren’t sure Fibromyalgia was real. I was told it was all in my head. I was told flat out it didn’t exist. I was told it was because I was inactive.
But my primary care physician made the diagnosis and it was confirmed by many doctors over the years, including specialists. I learned all I could about it and my husband was super supportive. As my kids grew, they were a great help to keep the younger kids and pets fed and watered.
And now that I’m separated, I rely on me. One of my biggest fears was always about who would take care of me when I got sick. And it was only November 2020 that I could answer that. Me. I’ll take care of me.
And the game changed.
So I can rest. I have a kitten who stays indoor and it quite happy to follow me around and be (mostly) quiet. I have grown children and my grandchildren are very well taken care of so I don’t worry. I get things done when I can and I’m learning to not push myself. I’m learning to take it easy.
I’m learning rest is not “unproductive”. I am learning grace.