Saturday, July 3, 2010

Morale Imperative

I'm home with my parents for the 3-day weekend. Quite lovely to be pampered and taken care of at home :) It's been a while since I've been at my baseline and boy does it feel good! Food is prepared for me, I lay outside in the sunshine and fresh air and just rest. I used to feel guilty for being so useless when at home, but I try to squash those feelings now and just revel in being "spoiled". It's such a physical relief to not be doing more than I should be.

When I'm on my own, I feel some sort of urgent need to keep testing my limits. At home, I relax and give into the downward pull of the tiredness. I've gotten much better about it in the last year, but there's still that sort of "morale imperative"  I feel to keep tricking myself into feeling "normal". There are two battling feelings: the desire to be "normal" (and push push push) and the desire to rest. I really stopped giving so much weight to the "desire to be normal" about 8 months ago.  It still sometimes wins out over the desire to rest, but for the most part I've gotten pretty good at dousing that flame. Sometimes I get too cocky about my progress (like this last week) and the morale imperative is too strong to fight, and then I crash at work (woops!).  But otherwise, as I accept the length and progress of this condition the morale imperative dies down in force and strength and I can focus on the important things. I was just thinking about this because when I reach baseline, I'm usually so quick to test my limits. Like today, I was considering going to the pool and going for the shortest of swims (which a few months ago, I'd have jumped at the "opportunity"), even though it would have been a terrible idea. But now, I feel like I have less to prove to myself and just need to keep trudging forward. So no swimming. It's just not worth it as much, a bit less imperative for the morale. :)

Anyway, on an unrelated note, I can't imagine where I'd be without the help of my parents. They just about do everything for me now. They live about 70 miles from me and come visit me every weekend. They bring me food for the week (meals already cooked!), help me with laundry, and light cleaning of the apartment. I feel so awful that they have to do this for me, but I doubt I'd be making any progress without their help. I'd most definitely be spiraling downward back to my previous scraping-the-bottom-of-the-energy-barrel state. So I have to swallow my pride and guilt and accept their help. They are just absolutely amazing <3.


Lee Lee said...

haha I know, who would have ever thought parents would be useful!!

My Mum and Dad along with my friend Michael have been truely amazing. They do everything for me too, cook dinners, do laundry, cleaning, take me to Dr appointments .... I cannot imagine how I'd survive without them!!! How do you re-pay that or even say thank you in a way that really conveys just how grateful you are??

Jo said...

I think throwing ourselves at our limits is par for the course with this illness. Anyone who thinks we are shirking or lazy hasn't seen inside the CFSer's mind. We are chronic overworkers.

You HAVE to rest and pace to see any recovery. I try and stick to the 80% rule so I have 20% in reserve, but so often I do 110% so only have 50% to work with the next day.

Accepting help is tricky too. I always feel mortified. I'm sure you give back in other ways. Keep going :-)

Dominique said...

Your parents sounds absolutely wonderful!

DolceVita said...

Lee Lee - I know, right? I just have to content myself with thinking of all the nice things I'll do for them when I'll finally be able to.

Jo - I totally agree, I always feel just awful (mortified is such a great word for it!) accepting help as well. But I guess I've learned how to a little more from all this.

Dominique - They very much are!! I'm so lucky!