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How I Choose to Use My Limited Energy That Comes With Chronic Illness

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How would you chose to live if you woke up almost every day with a body that has charged to 20 percent instead of 100 percent?

How would you spend your time knowing that every action – physical, mental, emotional, conscious and unconscious – takes energy and can result in a worsening of your already depleted body’s resources?

How would you plan your day, when you know that overdoing it (overdoing it could be as simple as walking to the bathroom and back, having a conversation, taking a shower or cleaning) could set your body into a complete shutdown mode where you could be confined to bed for hours, days, weeks or months?

How would you handle having to do every activity in short burst so that your body essentially doesn’t over stimulate itself and result in one of those crashes?

How do you think you would handle the grief that comes with once being able to do anything and now being confined to half a life, hopeful that you will get better, but then completely devastated every time that hope is destroyed with each crash?

I never had to ask myself those questions until chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia took over my life. Now they are the sort of questions I have to ask to better my situation. I have to think, plan and revise daily, according to what my body requires.

It’s taken me years to accept this as my reality. I have only just come out of the denial period where I thought I would wake up better one day. If I did more, maybe was more aligned with my life purpose, or if I was more positive I would get better.

Unfortunately, CFS doesn’t work like that. It continuously surprises me and simultaneously breaks my ego and strengthens my soul.

I’ve realized that there are no quick fixes to anything, it’s going to take time to heal and to re-establish a sustainable energy baseline where I’m not constantly being triggered into brutal flares. The last flare lasted two months. It was hell, and I honestly did not know how I was going to get through it. But I did and here I am ready to start again. Ready to rebuild my strength, my body and my will again.

This time I’m choosing to spend my time focusing on me. What makes my soul sing, my mind clear and happy and distracted from my past life and the isolation that this illness brings.

With what little energy I have to spare, I’m choosing to be creative. To write and paint and to nurture my spirit with being out in nature and consciously healing my body through meditation and reiki.

I’m choosing to focus each day and in each moment on what I can do and what I already have.

I’m choosing to be grateful that I can create, even when creating causes payback.

I’m choosing to live my life as gracefully as possible and to really honour and nurture my mind, body and soul.

I’m choosing to heal, and to respect the process.

I’m choosing to be well and to love myself even when I’m not.

Getty Image by nadia_bormotova

Originally published: April 26, 2018
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