You know that moment when the lightbulb goes on ? I know, too often it feels like it’s getting darker, not lighter (LOL).
In my zeal to encourage people to keep working while living with chronic illness, I forget to talk about how hard it is. And that working takes a toll on the rest of your life – there’s only so much to go around. Don’t you think so?
Like Laurie, I’ve recently gone through a period where CI has been worse than “normal”. Since early fall, I’ve had severe sinus headaches which also bring fatigue. Like so many chronic illnesses, it’s periodic and unpredictable and there’s range between “I can keep going even though it’s there” to ” This is intolerable!”
When it’s bad, I can’t think clearly, my production decreases and I’m running on empty – nothing left in my system to spare. And these disabling symptoms cause the ongoing disabilities I live with to get worse, e.g., poor balance, incontinence, numbness (need I go on?) .
Over the past few months, my life became that balancing act again. Energy for work = energy for family, friends, myself. I’d wonder: How risky is it to accept the invitation to speak to a group? Am I crazy to start that new marketing project, install a new online system? Should I plan a trip to see our daughters in NYC – or get tickets to a show?
Don’t you hate that? It’s like you’re always second guessing yourself, looking over your shoulder instead of ahead.
When I noticed the spinning wheels, I got back to basics and strategic thinking. Top priority? Keep my body as healthy as possible, my business going and the rest of my life in balance.
On bad pain days, I hit a wall after 6 hours when I stop being productive (or coherent). I didn’t like it but it was the reality. I put it in my appointment calendar so I’d stick to it.
I exercised less but still daily because I need it both to wake up my body and for the routine.
Being there for my family is crucial to me. But I have had to let others cook and clean up — neither easy for me! I’ve minimized contact with friends and that’s big loss but I just don’t have the juice! Especially when talking hurts!
If I wasn’t spending 6-8 hours /day working , I’d probably have “enough” energy to keep up with the rest of my life. But I would have been much consumed with how badly I felt and I would have felt much more sorry for myself. And, undoubtedly, I;d be in worse financial shape. And when these headaches improve, as they finally are, I have work to return to.
What is it like for you when it’s bad? Go ahead – “complain” . If you don’t do it here or somewhere, it just simmers — and the wheels spin.
Rosalind aka cicoach.com