|The Spoon Theory|
I have found with this illness that in the beginning I fought so fiercely I unwillingly gave it more power than it deserved. And this is my point, sometimes you need to make a mole hill out of a mountain or you will never make it to the top. It is so easy to have this illness take over everything about me, but my life must be more than this illness. Sure, would I do anything to go back to the old way, but that is not an option. Much like the stages of grief you begin accepting and that does not mean losing hope, it just means not constantly mourning what use to be. The person who helps me here in Wisconsin, the same person who brought me all the boxes of brownies so I wouldn't run out, asked me if I ever get bored?
And I thought about it, because on one hand I realized what an obvious question it was, and on the other hand how absurd. I answered the best I could, "that is a healthy person question." Yes, I use to not really get bored, I use to get frustrated or lust after all the things I could be doing rather than sitting here in my house like some sort of criminal on house arrest. I use to think I was bored, but really I was just day dreaming and I found that took me to a very dark and lonely bitter place.
It is how I realized that yes this illness is overwhelming and exhausting and mentally challenging, but if it becomes everything, if I choose to make it bigger than it already is then I will stay in that dark and lonely bitter place. I told a friend about an example. My mom and I go to the same nail salon to get our toes done, we only go on the day when both Tina and Rebekah work. I go to Tina, my mom Rebekah it happened by chance the first time and three years later it's the way it has stayed. I don't get my toes done unless it's Tina, and this is why...The last time we went was about a month ago right after I returned from Phoenix. I didn't feel well but I thought I could push it and seriously, it's just sitting there letting someone paint your toes. But when we walked inside it was a slight bit warm, enough that I asked if they could turn the air down. Then we sat in our booth and I could really tell I was beginning to feel light headed and uncomfortable. A few years ago I would have fought with myself, the dialogue in my head would have gone something like this..."Don't be ridiculous, it's 50 minutes of someone massaging and painting your toe nails, get a grip. Who cares that you are light headed and feel weak, how many people would be happy getting there toes done on a Wednesday afternoon instead of at work...honestly Heather toughen the F up, drink some Coke and smile and make small talk..." What I did four weeks ago was say, "Tina I really don't feel well..." and you know what she did..."Okay let's wrap this up and get you out of here..." no fuss no muss no sirens went off or bells pointing my direction. No frenzy no rushing around like a code Blue just happened. This is why I go to Tina, she gets it - it's toes, I didn't feel well, I leave and sit in the car and close my eyes. Period.
Even a year ago had I done exactly the same thing a different dialogue would have taken place in the car as I sat there waiting for my mom to finish. That dialogue would have gone like this.."you knew you didn't feel up to it, why did you even try, I can't even go get my toes done without a major incident.." It would be easy to continue down that path of self and illness frustration, and I still do it often, but then I catch myself and remind myself that the other way is so much easier - it is the simple truth. It is the reality, I don't feel well I need to stop. There are plenty of days and things I miss out on when it's fine by me to get in a good cry or see this illness as the Everest it can be, but there is equal if not more opportunities to turn this mountain into a mole hill...and maybe that's what the hell that phrase means in the first place...