Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just Do it

Like Nike, right?

Just do it......That's what I feel like sometimes with the Big S.

Even though it almost always feels like you have a low grade temp, you just do it.

Even though it almost always feels like you have a low grade, just under the surface flu with ever swollen glands - you just do it.

Even though you always feel tired, fatigued, lethargic - you pick up your boot straps and just do it.

Even though your hands hurt, will not get warm to save your life and your muscles are tired or sore - you just do it.

That's the deal with Auto-Immune disease. You just do it, because you have to.

Break on through to the other side.....Push it real good..... Just do it.

If you always feel a little sick, when do you give yourself permission to just be?

I had a friend that was sick the last few weeks, and we had plans a few times and she loved herself enough to put herself first and say NO to me.

It made me realize that I have the right to do that as well. Be selfish and put myself first, but if I am always busy "pushing through" what I feel like to live a normal productive life, when is it my turn to say no?

If you have read my entire blog, you already know that I have my Neapolitan theory. The three levels of my day. If I have plans in the evening, then I know I need to rest in the afternoon so I have the energy and stamina to go out. Vice Versa for morning, afternoon and evening. I can't seem to go-go-go all day long anymore.

But - I do go-go when I can. I "Just do it" a lot. Actually almost forgetting my Neapolitan theory or if not forgetting it, not accepting it and allowing myself to feel mad, envious or loss when I am not able to take part in the activities that may happen later.

For a while there I was helping a friend organize a house. We would leave in the morning and be gone about 5 hours, but during those 4.5 hours in the home, we were organizing. Well, when I would get home, I was beat. I mean whooped. I could not have gone out even if you'da given me a ticket to the Oscars. I was tired, achey, swollen and done.

But - I found myself - instead of being proud of a job well done, or having a feeling of accomplishment for whatever project we finished that day - I found myself envious that my friend, once home and showered, was back out with friends having fun (as she should). 

It made me so sad... and envious and made me grieve another loss I hadn't realized before. I almost felt pouty, like a three year old - "well, damn - If I know there was fun to be had later, I wouldn't of done the damn house". 

It is something I have/had to acknowledge and then accept. But man is acceptance a hard pill to swallow some time. I try to really put most everything into perspective now adays and then accept what is or what is to be. As hard as that is sometimes. 

With an Auto-Immune disease, your body never turns off. Your body is fighting the good fight all day long. Your little soldiers are always in action which is why we feel tired. Just as when someone without an Auto-immune disease starts to get a cold, and their little soldier bolt into action. 

It's the nature of the beast that I will be more tired than my friends and family. That I will always be pushing through what feels like a low grade flu every day so that I can work and play with them. 

And after work or play, my fuel is gone. My soldiers were working on the inside all day and I was working on the outside and together, whatever energy source I had that day is used up when I get home. It is what it is and I need to accept that without jealousy, anger or envy. 

When my friend was sick, I must admit - Part of me, the part that is still processing all that has happened, is still happening and what happenings are to come with this disease - That part of me went to a very ugly jealous place and had a fleeting thought..... Why can't you push through like I do every day. What luxury do you have that allows you to say, Can't - Sick, yet I push through the flu, aches, fatigue, malaise, swollen glands - all of it every day. 

I guess that luxury is self love and selfishness. Not in the derogatory sense of the word, but the true Webster meaning. To care about ones self first. Sometimes you need to be selfish. 

It's been an odd strange few weeks, and in doing a lot of reflection and acceptance of things -  I realized that it is okay to be selfish sometimes too with this disease. 

I guess in my head and heart, I have been trying to prove to myself to others since I got "sick" - I can do it. But at what expense? So, I am the one who sits at home swollen and achey, when I should be at a BBQ. I don't know the answer to that. I am learning as I go.

It's not in my nature to be selfish though. It is a foreign feeling for me. I have always been the giver. The can't so no girl. Sure I'll help or wow they sound sad - I better do something, make soup, send a card, drive over - make sure there okay. I'll take care of the homeless, bullied, anxious, sick, but I won't take care of myself?

I think I will always be that girl, but I think I need to tone it down a tad. No one really cares if I can "do it" or if and when I "push through it". People forget. You don't look sick, so no one thinks to check to see if your okay or understand if you can't make it. It's human nature I guess. Just as it is human nature to be envious sometimes... but I am learning to accept things as they are without envy. 

I am not going to be the life of the party all of the time anymore, I am not going to be in the popular crowd anymore. Being sick is NOT popular. It's not fun having to accommodate. I get it. And instead of getting mad at myself, or sad about it or envy what is - I am learning to accept things as they are. 

I will do what I can, when I can - and there are times when I will still "push through" and "just do it" - and I will do this without expecting a "Mighty Martyr" award or Gold Star. 

I will do it because I choose to, without regard to acknowledgement and with knowing that in doing so, I may be sacrificing some other stuff later that day. And its okay.

I still CAN - and that is a blessing. I have a great husband and a super kid at home, and if I come home and can;t get back up off the couch, then at least I am in good company - and IF there is something I need or WANT to do later that night, I can say no. I can follow my own Neapolitan theory and make sure whatever I schedule, it will not interfere with what I want to do later.

Pushing through and just doing it every day is exhausting. And for a few weeks I had a pitty party about it. I needed to go to a place of acceptance and mean it... and I think I have.

But as I always say, I am a work in progress and Scleroderma is a practice - Always changing and forever readjusting. And that's okay. Because this IS my life. And I am so happy to live it!!

Life is Good!!

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