Thursday, October 02, 2008

An Easy-Does-it Sick Day or Four

What does it mean when someone with a chronic disease who works from
home decides to take a "sick day?"

I have fibromyalgia and with it, chronic fatigue. I am feeling
exhausted, depressed, and overwhelmed.

I always feel exhausted, depressed and overwhelmed. I am always sick.
But I still have my ups and downs and right now, I am having a down.
It's from the traveling, which is very hard on me.

I've decided I'm taking some "sick leave." I will get "paid" for it,
too, just as much as I always get paid: nothing at all. Well,
nothing for my labor. I do have a small income. And BB has one. The
pay, however, is not the point.

The point is, I am totally overwhelmed, sick and unable to cope. The
chronic fatigue that comes with fibromyalgia is getting the better of
me. I had 8 days of rain, soakings, insufficient sleep and bad food.
It's caught up with me. And I have too much to do.

I always have more to do that I have time to do it, more to do that I
have the energy to do. And there is guilt associated with that. I
feel as if I "should" be getting more done.

But STRESS is one of the major exacerbators of fibro and chronic
fatigue and it stresses me out that I feel guilty about not getting
enough done--and then I feel angry and resentful at everyone who I
imagine is judging me for my "laziness." "Walk a mile in my shoes," I
want to shout at everyone, because I am under the impression that no
one knows or understand what it feels like inside me with the pain and
exhaustion, because if they DID understand, they wouldn't expect so

But--how CAN they understand when I live with it every day and I don't
understand. Why can't I function like a normal human being and get
more done? I must be lazy and if I am lazy, I must be BAD! That's
what I think about myself when I'm like this, and that's what I
imagine everyone else thinks.

But is someone with cancer or diabetes BAD because they have cancer or
diabetes? I don't think so. While some lifestyle choices may
contribute somewhat to either of those conditions, they are diseases
that are largely beyond the control of the sufferer--and so is chronic
fatigue, at least at this point. Though my choice to travel and the
subsequent choices that followed from that contributed to my current
state, am I supposed to remain sequestered and never move? NO! I
don't think so. Already my condition keeps me from a number of things
I'd like to do.

OK, so I am sick, genuinely sick, today. And I will be, probably, for
several more days. This is why I am taking some sick days.

So, what do I then mean by this? I am going to try to take it easy.
I am going to try to lower my expectations as to what I can accomplish
today and for the next few days. And, I am going to try to not beat
myself up when in fact, I accomplish little and was secretly still
hoping against hope to accomplish more. I am going to try to take
time to rest and relax. I hope to sit and simply rest from time to
time, and maybe even lie down. Something I rarely do (even at night,

I am feeling guilty also for feeling sad and depressed about my
condition--I've had it put into perspective because a person who was
once a very close friend and also a sister-in-law and is still
numbered among my dear friends has an aneurism and stroke and I
haven't heard any more, but I hope she's going to recover. I'm
frightened for her, and for myself, and for all of us. Stroke is
terrifying, can be fatal, can render one unable to talk or eat or
move. And I know little about what is going on with her, so I am very
afraid. Worried and beyond worried.

Even with the perspective that her condition is so much worse, and
that I at least am alive and able to function somewhat, I am still
suffering and overwhelmed. I am still taking some sick days. I need

Life is short and could come to a sudden end at any time. Or be
irrevocably changed. I need to take the best possible care of myself,
and I need to start NOW--with a sick day. This day right here.
Today. Easy does it.

"Easy does it" is one of the slogans of the 12-steps, and it is one I
keep forgetting to practice. EASY DOES IT. One day at a time.

I am crying now, because I am so hard on myself. No one can tell,
probably, because I am such a failure. But I work SO hard at what I
think I should be doing. I need a little more EASY DOES IT before I
stress myself out of existence. Today. Now. Sick. Rest. Relax.
Easy Does it.

Mary, Thursday, October 02, 2008, 1:49 PM


Nadine said...

You should take as many sick days as you need. No one can know what you are feeling, so you need to take care of yourself. Drink some tea, "play" with some photos, read a book. OR do nothing!

BerryBird said...

I agree. Only you can know when it is time to take a sick day. You have to listen to yourself and take that time to rest and recouperate.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks. Just taking a shower and cooking dinner was exhausting.



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