I had an odd experience the other night. It was the first night that our baby girl was home from hospital. The wisdom of the medical profession in sending her home on that day was, let’s say, questionable. My wife was struggling because of being messed around by those who should have been providing care. And my brain hadn’t adjusted to the sudden return of my family home, at least a day early. The stage was set. I wanted to, and felt like I should, do things to help. Within a couple of hours, my pain skyrocketed and I crumpled on the floor and cried. My wife, in her (real) wisdom, had to remind me that my ability to father was not based on what I could do, but on who I am. I was finally faced with the reality that I needed to start accepting my limitations while fighting a chronic illness.
A History of Pushing Myself
As many of you may be aware, I am still working with Fibromyalgia. On top of that, historically, I did about half of the household chore – hoovering, dusting and cleaning the kitchen sides for example. While my wife was pregnant with our first child, I also had to do everything to care for our cat. Pregnant ladies shouldn’t handle cat waste (or be near it) and shouldn’t touch steroids. Yes my cat’s on steroids – not for some feline body-building competition, but for a skin condition! So I was carrying a lot of ‘weight’.
I ignored my physical limitations because of stuff that had to be done. That led to higher pain, worse sleep and made my chronic fatigue even worse. Feeling under pressure to do so many things also adds stress, which adds pain.
Accepting My Limitations: What this Actually Means
Realising I have less and less capacity to do stuff means I have to be happy doing less in life than I would otherwise choose to do. “Happy” is probably a superlative, I have to accept it, whether I like it or not. As life is…complicated for me, this has multiple knock-on effects:
- Home Life: my priority needs to be demonstrating a father’s love to my wee daughter, and being an emotional support to my wife. This may or may not be doing something. It may just be holding her for a while. And that’s fine. I can also only clean one room in any 2 day interval. Much more and I become unable to do anything.
- Maintaining this Blog: While I want to be on-the-button with developments for my SWTOR Blog Posts, the reality is that I should only write when I feel up to it. I started this blog as a fun diversion. I have been humbled by the hundreds of visits each day, but I need to not feel an obligation to write. This may mean my website traffic drops. As I don’t profit from it, any contribution I make the community is something I want to do, but I can’t continuously add to it. For one, my Fibromyalgia Hand Pain, won’t let me. I will do what I can, when I can. If that’s weeks after a newsworthy event, then so be it.
- Work Life: we are having to ask serious questions about my work life. For now I will be working from home and just in the afternoon. If I can’t cope with that, then we may have to change our working arrangements entirely whereby I stay at home to look after NJ and my wife goes to work. That would free me up to do bits and pieces of paid work but without the pressure of having to do so.
- Church Life: my church life has already been hit hard. I used to preach once a month at my church, but have been unable to for a very long time. This is because I don’t have energy in the evenings to prepare, and don’t have control of my pain in the mornings to deliver it. I’m only managing to get to church once a month at the moment, and then it’s a real struggle.
TL;DR – Accepting My Limitations
I have limits to what I can do. However I have been ignoring those for a very long time, which has probably been why I am now “crashing and burning”. Life is changing on multiple levels and I adjust to change very slowly. I hope to gain a level of understanding from you my readers and friends and simply ask that you bear with me through this really challenging time. Accepting my limitations does not mean liking them – but being at peace with them.
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