Oh, to be “Normal”

“I overdid it. Again. And now I’m paying the price. Not that I regret it. No. It was 100% worth it and I would do it again in a heart beat, but it still hurts.”

I overdid it. Again. And now I’m paying the price. Not that I regret it. No. It was 100% worth it and I would do it again in a heart beat, but it still hurts.

It hurts in my head, the throbbing hasn’t stopped all day; it hurts in my lungs, my breathing is laboured and my chest tight; it hurts in my legs, well maybe not “hurts” but they sure feel a lot heavier than usual; and it hurts in my mind and my heart, not physically… well maybe sometimes… but the emotional pain is much more unbearable.

I often wonder what I did to deserve this. I often wish I could just be a normal 23 year old girl. Whatever normal is.

I went camping, and I don’t just mean lying in the sun camping. The whole weekend consisted of physical labour and crap sleep, both things that are great for worsening a chronic condition.

Sure, I brought this on myself… I could have prevented it… if I were responsible I would have stayed home…

It was the long weekend, there was a forecast for sun and I had an invite from my Dad who I haven’t seen in months. I really couldn’t refuse. Like I said, I wanted to be a normal 23 year old.

Pushing the limit with M.E/CFS
A foggy morning at one of my favourite campsites

I should be happy I suppose, the same trip two years ago rendered me useless for at least a week. And I am happy, well… pleased. I’m pleased because I know I’m recovering and despite the world of pain, I actually made it through a full day of work today. I’m pleased because for perhaps the first time in five years, a full weekend of physical activity didn’t leave me bed bound and non-functional. I’m pleased because I had a kick-ass weekend doing what I love. But I’m also angry, I’m angry because no one deserves this. Not the physical pain and not the emotional pain either.

The guilt is the worst. I’ve sent my progress spiralling backwards just for one little grasp at freedom. I’ll probably spend the next three days justifying my weekend to myself. And by doing so I’ll make the whole situation worse by letting it stress me. I know this and yet, I’ll still do it. I’ll tell myself things like, “Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to take one forward.” but it won’t make me feel any better because even I don’t believe myself.

Mental wellbeing is a massive part of recovery, I believe that with all of my heart. Some of my darkest times have been when I felt I had nothing exciting to look forward to. Doing something you love can lift your spirits in a way that nothing else can, so maybe, just maybe, that makes it worth taking a few steps backwards for.

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