When My Partner Reminded Me It's OK to Rest After Getting Fatigued


Today when running errands, my body told me “enough.” I’m learning to listen to my body so I don’t end up in bed for an entire day from “overdoing it,” which for me is sometimes as little as folding a couple loads of laundry or washing a drainer full of dishes.

This is hard for me because I want to be that go-getter and never-stop person I used to be – the person my mind still thinks it should be.

I struggle because I want to be more than I am. I want to be what I used to be physically. Mentally, I wouldn’t want to go back to those days because age has given me new perspectives on life and I have grown to appreciate the people in my life more. But physically, I get frustrated with the things I can’t do.

 

Today, however, I was told something that was just what I needed to hear.

It started with me apologizing for “being such a ‘wimp.'”

The response went something like this: “You aren’t a wimp.  You push through your pain, your depression and all the other crap that has been thrown your way all week long so you can work and help support all of us.  The fact that your body is telling you to rest on weekends is because you give everything you have getting through the week. It’s OK to need to rest when you push so hard the rest of the time.”

Now for many it might be obvious to know to rest when you are tired and work when you are not. But there are so many of us out there that think we have to be doing something or taking care of some task any time we aren’t asleep. We forget that recovery time is doing something…it is helping us heal and prepare for the next push of the week ahead.

Now, I still struggle with feeling guilty when I’m in recovery mode…but I’m learning it is something I have to do to make it through each week.  Having someone tell me “you are not a wimp” and going on to tell me it was OK to rest was one of the most beautiful and loving things I could have heard in that moment.

My partner may never fully understand what I go through, but he understands me enough to know what I needed in that moment…and for that I am so very grateful.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Illness

doctor holding medical files

When Doctors Brush You Off Because They Don't Know How to Treat You

  The clip above is from the well-known TV show “Golden Girls,” taken from a two-part episode titled “Sick and Tired” which aired in 1989. It depicts the character of Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur, approaching a doctor while out at a restaurant. This doctor had earlier dismissed her symptoms as being all in her [...]
Female patient in hospital gown sitting in doctor's exam room, with hand over forehead, looking down

3 Things I Want Medical Professionals to Consider When Patients Have Unexplained Symptoms

Health providers are the ones we go to when we feel something is wrong physically. So why, in my experience, are there so many medical professionals who give up on finding an answer and attribute it to mental illness? I know that for me, I have had depression and anxiety for a long time, and the [...]
26 things you do as an adult when you grew up with an invisible illness

26 Things You Do as an Adult When You Grew Up With an Invisible Illness

When you grow up with a chronic illness, you learn early on how to cope with and manage your condition. You might develop certain habits, like always carrying around medication in case of a sudden flare, or planning time to rest between daily activities. Other qualities are learned over time. You might find yourself growing more understanding [...]

Learning to Be Vulnerable and Include My Partner in My Illness

Chronic illness is not only something that affects our lives, but it affects the lives of those around us. I often faced my chronic pain alone, considering it a burden to those around me. Yet, considering it a burden also burdens those around us. I was not receiving the support I needed, because I never [...]