Woke up feeling not so great this morning.
Since the symptoms are fairly general – ugh-ish-ness, achiness and general lethargy – I’m guessing it’s probably not a bug, more likely just the CFS/ME flaring up. When I wake feeling like that, I have to do battle with waves of non-specific anxiety – I feel ill-equipped to face the day owing to the fatigue, so the result is a kind of dread. Which sounds melodramatic, but when I open my eyes and feel the fatigue heavy on me, it’s how it feels in that moment. Something shrivels inside me.
I have to soothe myself into the day, almost detach myself from the worry and talk it out. Have a slow bath instead of a quick shower. Sit on the bed for a while after getting dressed until I feel a bit less wobbly. Move down to the lounge. Fire up my laptop; while it’s waking up try and think about what I will do today. I feel a bit like my laptop – it’s a small netbook; if I ask it to do too much before it’s finished loading all the startup stuff, it gets into a tizzy.
Pray as I feel able – usually not very coherently. Often the tiredness steals all motivation to do so and that’s hard. I grieve for the lack of longing. I want to want to meet with God, but it’s a struggle. I can only cling to grace.
I then have to put aside what I had planned and hoped to do. What I had assumed I would be doing at this point. This is the hardest part; harder even than the expectations of the world are the assumptions I have in myself – assumptions that I will wake up, get up and get going like any ‘normal’ person would.
I quickly have to put a stop to any ‘comparing’ with other peoples’ lives, or the life I would have without the CFS/ME rumbling in the background, sometimes – like that moment when I woke – roaring at me. I have to accept it and allow for it but not submit to the roaring, not cower before it. There’s a delicate balance.
I do get depressed. I’m unwilling to say so, usually, because one invisible illness is enough for me to deal with and to admit to – but it’s true. Most of the time I get depressed because I feel too tired to deal with things. I don’t know if I would still struggle with depression if I didn’t have CFS/ME. It’s a hypothetical, and I don’t know the answer. The depression piggy-backs the fatigue, when it comes.
That’s my confession, at the beginning of this year. I may as well get it out and stop sitting on it all the time. It emerges first thing in the morning when I open my eyes, depending on how loudly the tiredness is roaring. If I wake feeling energised, it doesn’t get much of a look in. Then sometimes, at odd moments, especially when my energy drops suddenly, like a death slide, it gapes open inside me. I think I shall write about it one day. But not yet – not ready yet.
I pondered, as I sat this morning, slowly coaxing myself into the day – there are those who are really struggling at this moment because it is New Year. The line drawn for them is not a helpful one (as I talked about in yesterday’s post). For them the year looms before them as sometimes the day does for me, when I’m feeling extra tired. So I think of those for whom a New Year is a frightening time, when they have to keep on coping with whatever it is that causes their struggle – and I pray for grace for them too.
Grace. Always grace.