I’m learning that I don’t like having limitations placed on me. If I am told I can’t do something, I want to do it even more. I have limitations placed on me now thanks to fibromyalgia, which has left me with chronic pain, fatigue and it being seemingly impossible to get enough sleep. I hate it. I used to love the occasional excuse for an afternoon nap but everyday? It loses its attraction.
In the past couple of years I have been slack in the physical exercise domain. There are reasons for that: I couldn’t afford a gym membership, my knees were too damaged by running and well, I just find it hard to leave the house and even walk down the road. It’s illogical because I know that no one is really going to care what I might be doing as I walk/run down the road but it’s like home is my safe haven and it’s just hard to breach its boundaries. I have good reasons for not feeling safe although I admit that perhaps it is time to let go. Mostly I have learnt to overcome my issues, but leaving the house is still one I struggle with. Another difficulty is that my history is such that I get into a regular routine of exercise and I can’t stop. I over-do it. I have done this so many times that sometimes it just feels easier to not go there at all.
But now I have this thing called fibromyalgia and I’m told to exercise. So I walk one and a half kilometres, and later get told that was too much. Too much? Are you kidding? Sadly not. And here is my problem: I suddenly find I want to run marathons. Even walking one would do. I’ve been told I can’t and that just triggers me off to want to climb mountains. Put limitations on me and I will achieve amazing results, although not necessarily the desired results. Except this time I can’t do much. I know there are forms of exercise I could try but that’s not the problem. The problem is I hate being told I can’t do something.
Next is a pattern that I have got to know so well, a downward slide into depression. It happens out of frustration. I can’t do what I think I want to do so I decide that this is my fate… and I hate that too. I start to withdraw and it becomes harder and harder to put myself out there amongst my friends and family. I expect that they will be thinking I should be able to do more too, so withdrawing avoids having to listen to their criticism of me. Let me be clear though that on the whole it is not their criticisms I have to fear, but my own. I am vicious – on myself.
Somehow I feel like I’m at the top of a very tall cliff. Those on the west coast of New Zealand, like seen the movie ‘The Piano‘ with Sam Neill and Holly Hunter, spring to mind. The land drops away to the beach very quickly and there’s no forgiveness for mistakes. I am at the top and stand near the edge on damp, long grass. Damp perhaps due to the night dew or maybe the sea mist that is rising from below. One false move and I slip. I slide feet first down. Because it’s dark I can’t see where I’m sliding until something allows me to come to a sudden halt. The weather has closed in and I can no longer see how far it is to the bottom of the cliff, if in fact I might have already got there. I rest… safe in the knowledge that I’m no longer falling. But I can’t completely rest because maybe I am just on a ledge that might give way any minute. And then I will plunge further into darkness and despair.
That’s depression to me. I’ve been down that cliff face many times before so I know how it feels. My biggest task for now is to step away from the edge. Sometimes it’s possible to actually stop the fall before I slide, sometimes it isn’t. Let’s hope this time it is.
And to lighten my mood, as well as yours, I’ll finish with this. Why not aim for something better, flying through the air rather than wallowing in the pond scum?
- Pain… 24/7 (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Cost Benefit Analysis Ramblings (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- The Fibro Fighter (and another Award)(infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia? (notoverit.wordpress.com)
- Fibromyalgia: Top Alternative Treatments (webmd.com)
- Finding Dr. Right for Your Fibromyalgia (webmd.com)