Let’s get the initial freak-out out of the way, shall we?
How the F*CK is it mid-FEBRUARY!?!?!? (Or whatever date it may be when you’re reading this in the future.)
Wasn’t it just New Years Day last week?! Oy! Resolutions have been made, a lovely list created, plans made.
There may have been a few good days of preparation and action taken – starting strong and all that. Then it quickly set aside due to reality and “Hell Week”* setting in. Then it turns into Hell Month. And here we are mid way through February and I’ve way exceeded my budgets and feel like I can’t even.
Oh, not the actual checking account type budget; I mean my spoon** budget. As one with a few chronic illnesses, it’s so easy to over do it. I know how to ‘budget’ my energy to get through the work day/week, and planning does help with making sure I can do the occasional extra. It does kinda suck because even if the extras are beneficial, I can quickly deplete my reserves if it happens too often. For example, I’ve been getting acupuncture treatments and it’s best to do several close together to get the most benefit from it. I did try it at first – 2 sessions a week for a couple of weeks, but it got to the point of stressing me out so I cut back to one a week, then I had to just stop all together to recover from the time it took from my ‘regular’ life.
There’s a price to be paid for anything I do. If I do an extra thing outside of my routine, it means I have to either set aside something from the routine, or do more another day to catch up.
It’s exhausting… and that’s just day to day.
Then extra, extra things happen. That’s what happened from the last half of January till now. We aren’t talking, “oh, my resolutions went by the wayside,” or, “I got derailed.” This was a major case of life happening all at the same time and I was left drained and pretty much useless:
- One of our pups had a seizure (she’s doing fine) and we weren’t sure if it was time to put her on medication (it’s not…yet). That’s led us to making changes to the critters diet which is expensive and stressful because OMG so much info out there to sift through.
- The hubby then had another surgical procedure after his appendectomy from last summer (yes, still dealing with that!) and that has meant I got to learn even more about wound care than I ever wanted to know. We’ve been super blessed that the VA has approved visits from the Home Care Nurse.
- A couple of weeks after the procedure, he was put on a wound vac which has greatly increased the healing, but also has over stressed his body, resulting in pretty much a constant flare since getting it ‘installed’ for lack of a better term.
- At the time of his procedure, my mom was acting a little weird, then it turns out she got sick. Really sick. The really crappy thing is that she’s in Michigan, and I’m in Arizona. She was to the point where she could barely talk to me she was so weak and that lead to multiple calls a day to make sure she was still with us, or maybe if I’d have to arrange an ambulance and family intervention. And I was also checking flight prices daily and trying to figure out how to cover all the bases. She is doing better now, but for 2+ weeks it was dodgy.
I thought I was holding it together fine. But I wasn’t. And things were falling by the wayside. Lots of things. When I get overloaded, or unexpectedly get pushed beyond my limits, I shut down. Household tasks weren’t getting done, or were taking days to happen. I felt like I was sleepwalking through each day and wondering why it was still only Monday or how did Saturday get here? Worse, I was wondering how I even got to work or home because I didn’t really pay attention. Or did the bill get paid? Or did the critters get fed? And forget about doing anything I enjoy because I couldn’t focus on a movie, let alone try to read or knit or whatever. I didn’t journal for days at a time And I slept. A lot. This was depression and crash induced sleep. It was me going into survival hibernation mode. It wasn’t really restful, it was just necessary.
I can always tell when I’m starting to feel better: I start to realize just how far down in the hole I am.
I found myself suddenly looking at knitting patterns and pulling out my planner to schedule things, and make lists of what needs to get done.
Essentially, I started looking forward to life, and realizing how much had been neglected.
I also realized I’d basically written off the month of February and was focusing on building up March. I was kind of upset with myself because, come on, there’s still a lot of month left. I then realized that my subconscious was telling me that I still had rest and recovery to do for the next couple of weeks so take my time getting back up to speed and evaluate what really is working, and what isn’t.
I think I’m ok with that.
How do you deal with the times that you exceed your spoon budget?
*Hell Week is that first full week that comes after all the days off and too much holiday spiriting, and now we have to force ourselves through to get back on our regularly scheduled life that generally includes no more cookies or parties or extra days to sleep in and recover. It pretty much sucks.
**For those new here, I’m referring to the Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino
Image retrieved from Pinterest