I got an email today from a fellow food blogger who also deals with a chronic illness and she mentioned something that I haven't heard of before--the "spoon theory"--as a way to explain how it feels to people in your life. I googled it and ran across this video which brought me to tears.
Watch it first, then we'll talk about it ;)
Okay--I'm not looking for sympathy here. I don't have Lupus or cancer or anything life-threatening and I've adapted to having CFS & Fibro over the past 3 years so I function pretty well. I can get ready in the morning easily at this point, (though I won't lie, when I first got sick I had to rest after taking a shower...) My problems won't kill me. I can keep going, just at a slower pace.
But I have to think about my "spoons" regularly. Even mental focus while I'm sitting takes something out of me and after a meeting I'm tired with a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. For the past two weekends I have done too much around the house so that by Sunday I am too sore & exhausted to do anything. I have to plan my days carefully and take time to rest between things--or know that if I don't I will need a day of doing nothing to deal with the repercussions. I feel guilty that I sleep in till 9 now that I quit my job and am doing part time work with CRU, but if I don't get that sleep the day starts off with pain. And regularly sleeping a few hours later and being balanced is a lot better than before when I was getting up early and overdoing it through the week and then hibernating all weekend! Things are SO much better now that I have more time to rest and am doing what I am passionate about, but I still have bad days and even weeks. On good days I question myself--"Is this all in my head?" "Am I just not pushing myself enough?" "Am I just lazy?" On bad days I thank God for a tangible sign that I'm not just crazy--swollen lymph nodes & a fever. This is just life now. It is still a good life and I've learned a lot--specifically about resting in the Lord and trusting Him to provide--but its a different life than I had imagined for myself.
Thanks for caring enough to read this!