flowers and then garden.
Often my days start off well but then I notice different symptoms creeping in. I am given a few things to consider - am I in too much pain and need to rest, or is this pain soft enough to continue moving forward? - those sorts of things.
Aside from physical symptoms, many people know that I also deal with some mental issues, too. CFS has this tendency to bring depression with it, and then occasionally anxiety is the not-so-lovable sidekick. I don't suffer with these quite as much as I used to, but I still have my days. Tuesday was one of them.
The main issue I find I have to confront when this happens is that, while the physical symptoms are generally still hanging around on these days, it is the mental symptoms that are the main ringleaders. I suddenly find that my zest for whatever I was working on has disappeared. I don't want to do anything, but the idea of doing nothing fills me with dread, too. I often find myself wandering around the house aimlessly (sometimes with Bronte on my heels, confused) and trying to coax myself into doing something.
In the interests of being open about my experiences - yes, my instinct is to curl up in a ball and cry and then maybe sleep. You know, sometimes this helps. It gets rid of all those stagnant emotions and I can move on with my day. The logical side of my brain says that this is a TERRIBLE idea, and so I don't know what to do with myself and end up wandering around again.
I tend to stay quite silent during these times - against my better judgement. This is simply because the people I love are never quite sure what to do with me when I feel this way (and you can't blame them - I don't know what to do with me, either) and they end up feeling more anxious and upset about the whole thing. Having said that, if I recognise that I am having a really bad episode, I WILL contact someone and ask for help.
I actually paused just then in writing this because I had to remember what I was trying to say here. So, on with the show!
Basically, I think it's important to allow these things to happen. I find that fighting them tooth and nail just makes them grip even tighter. Relaxing into it helps, but so does having a list of gentle things to try. Here's some of mine:
- watching something funny (I'm fond of Bill Bailey, Dylan Moran and Adam Hills stand-ups)
- watching a kid's movie (watching Tangled, Up, or Monsters Inc. really gets me out of the dark moods)
- reading a good book (whether re-reading or something new you just can't put down)
- talking to a close friend or relative who understands what you're going through, or at least tries (you don't even have to talk about what you're feeling - just talking generally can really help)
- get outside and breathe some fresh air (yeh, I know, sounds too simple. Honestly though, just remembering that there's a big beautiful world out there really helps)
What would you add to the list?