Confession: I’m Not Well Today

I have a confession, I’m not doing as well today as I often share. If you are a follower of my blog, you know that I remain upbeat and hopeful. I’ve talked about how much better I’m doing than last summer and certainly better than November 2018 when I taught for the last time. However, the confession I have is that I only write when I’m feeling good, my brain is functioning, and I have enough energy. God’s honest truth, at those times, I am writing exactly what I am feeling and how I see things. I am not trying to mislead anyone.

Today, as I lay on my heating pad in bed, I’m challenging myself to write, even though I don’t feel like it. I ask for grace if this ends up being a terrible, rambling post. But, I want to catch this time when I don’t feel well. The September prompts from A Chronic Voice seem to fit my current state: Feeling, Gruelling, Tempting, Running, and Mending. I just hope that I can articulate well enough to express what it’s like during these low times.

teal line drawing of lotus flower

Feeling

My brain isn’t as foggy as it can get, feeling like pudding is filling the front part of my cranium. No, currently, it’s more like cloudy water sloshing around in there. I have pain at the temples that make like a headband from ear to ear. The back of my skull feels weighted and aches. I tried to go outside to get fresh air (after trying to shake this feeling with a shower), but my back is hurting so much that I just can’t. And so, I’m lying here with the laptop propped up on my bent knees.

I’m feeling on the verge of tears without any real reason. The physical pain isn’t all that bad, although it’s ranging around a level 5 in my back. There are so many others with Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain issues that experience way worse levels. I go between feeling like a wimp and knowing that what I’m feeling is valid and comparing is useless and harmful.

My body feels so tired. Like my arms are too heavy to lift. My stomach feels like it’s being jabbed from the inside and my bladder is burning deep within. All I want to do is curl up. I have Willow, my black long-hair kitty, willing to lay next to me, but I’m feeling discouraged about laying here with my house a mess and boxes of cold weather clothes needing to be unpacked and repacked with summer clothing. Oh, and this dang Fitbit (that I’m using for pacing) buzzing on my arm telling me that I need to move doesn’t help with my feeling like I’m letting myself down.

teal line drawing of lotus flower

Grueling

These times feel too heavy. Every little thing feels too much. Even wearing my specially purchased, comfortable bra is grueling. Now, that is a hyperbole, but you get what I mean. I’ve got all these plans and tasks that I want to do, that I planned to do, that I committed to do, and then….nada. I scream without making noise, “THIS IS NOT ME! I AM DEPENDABLE!” It brings me to tears as the weight of letting others down bares down on me.

I committed to being an enumerator for the US Census. I did two weeks or so (30 hours-ish) and ended up resigning. I just couldn’t keep up with the pace even though I could set my own hours each night ahead. It had sounded like a pretty cake job. Then, this morning, I clicked yes committing to subbing at a local elementary to be a MAP test proctor. The gig would have been 15 days of helping kids go through the test. Being it’s online, it really isn’t too demanding on my part. With having proctored this type of test two times nearly every year that I taught, I know the expectations and am actually great at troubleshooting when the technology goes awry. I clicked on it after my husband said he thought it would be good for me to do if I wanted to. Want isn’t the issue; it’s can. Within minutes, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to carry through with the commitment (starting tomorrow morning at 7:15 am) and so I canceled. Luckily, they actually had someone snag it up right away.

It’s just difficult to feel like I’m not able to commit. I had so thought I was getting to that point.

teal line drawing of lotus flower

Tempting

It’s so dang tempting to think that I will get “back to normal”. When I first learned that I had Fibromyalgia and what it was, I stumbled on some research that said there were people who were able to totally lose their symptoms. I never said this to anyone, but I was sure that would be me. I would join them on the list of those who no longer had any issues. I knew that if I buckled down, worked diligently on retraining my brain, I would get there. No matter how often I’ve been told that Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis, and now Fibromuscular Dysplasia are chronic and not curable, I felt that I could get there.

This is also a reason I get down on myself. I am not perfect. Ha! Ha! Nope, I’ve never claimed to be, but I had thought I’d be able to keep up my management protocols that I know work with more diligence than I have. Since, my post, comparing last summer to this, I have really gone into a slump of self-care. A lot of that is coming out of my drive and wish to write and be a part of the blogging community. I’m finding it hard to keep up and to do what I envision with my writing. I’ve got to find some way to follow this passion and fit in my self-care.

teal line drawing of lotus flower

Running

Part of my issue is anxiety caused right now between the discord of my goals and commitments running and tumbling around in my ADHD brain. I need to develop a healthier routine for my time usage. When I taught, that was one of the first things I did in preparing for the new school year. My routine was the same each day. I don’t have that now. Not really. And the morning pattern I’ve gotten into is really not good which is probably what’s leading me feeling so overwhelmed and getting me into the habit of not taking care of myself.

The other piece is there’s GOT to be a more efficient way to do what I’m doing. I’ve got to figure it out. I have seen fellow bloggers post their work-flow. I’ve been doing work as it comes to mind and as the demand hits. That’s not a good way to operate, especially with my ADHD Fibro-fogged brain; this just leads to me feeling overwhelmed and anxious-mostlikely a big factor to a day like today.

teal line drawing of lotus flower

Mending

As I’m developing my pacing plan, a big chunk of that has got to be coming up with a better daily schedule. I don’t want to give up what I’m doing. I really enjoy it. It’s just getting pretty overwhelming. I need to do some schedule mending, making sure that I put in what will help me be my best self. As I mentioned in my Boom and Bust post, the overachieving people pleaser is strong in me. She’s winning right now. My ambitions don’t give a darn how I’m doing. I’m really embarrassed to share this. I feel like I should be able to get this under control.

I’m finding that pacing myself is my greatest challenge.  My ingrained self comes out as soon as I am functional. That overachieving, people-pleaser is a relentless bully. She pushes me to stay up to get just one more thing done and causes me to lay awake at night thinking about what I want to get done.

Boom and Bust! Pacing is Hard

While I’m used to giving advice at this point, right now I don’t any. I know that I will shake this funk. Maybe tomorrow? What I do know is I need help to do what I need to do to be the person I’m striving to be. FULLY living can only happen if I’m able to function and feeling well.

I could use your help in figuring out how to lasso in my ambitious self. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you. And, I so appreciate your understanding.

The format for this post is thanks to A Chronic Voice link-up. This month, the topics were FEELING, GRUELING, TEMPTING, RUNNING, and MENDING. Each writer takes the given topics and gives them their own spin. Check out these wonderful writers at September 2020 Linkup (scroll past the prompts to find the linked up posts).



9 thoughts on “Confession: I’m Not Well Today

  • September 16, 2020 at 4:33 pm
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    If it makes you feel any better my work-flow is all over the place so you’re not alone! I’m an overachieving people pleaser too, and though I’ve made progress I think it will always be a part of me. I’m learning to let some things go, but I hate it.

    Reply
    • September 16, 2020 at 6:05 pm
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      It does make me feel better, thanks. I feel like I should be able to get a plan in place. We’ll see. I know that my morning routine of getting right on the computer isn’t healthy. So, I’ve got to get out of that habit.

      Reply
  • September 17, 2020 at 4:22 am
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    I was thinking about this today as deal with a flareup (it’s day 4 of the flareup). The flareup has forced me to not do too much and after beating myself about it for 3 days, and figuring out how to work around it and pace it (like you said), I am feeling more accepting of this flareup and what it’s making me do which is practically nothing other than reading lovely blog posts like yours 🙂 . I also feel I need to make this confession of not feeling so well more often than I do just so that I hear it and ease off a bit.

    Reply
    • September 17, 2020 at 6:14 pm
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      Hoping your flareup calms down soon; I know you’re handling more stress right now. We need to be reminded again and again that it’s okay and were enough as we are. Thank you for letting me know you identify with how I felt; feeling like I’m not alone makes it easier to handle in some way.

      Reply
  • September 17, 2020 at 6:43 pm
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    Hey Katie – I completely empathize! When my migraine hit I felt a lot of that pain and slowness and frustration too. I still deal with it off and on, this morning it felt really hard to get moving and everything felt just a little slower than it should be. I wasn’t in such bad shape that I couldn’t pull off my walk, because I recognized that at least this morning it was more of a mental fog than physical, but I have had similar headaches(that band around the forehead), though sometimes I’ve also felt like it’s an edged rock pushing against the front of my skull from the inside. I have a really sketchy plan with a lot of flexibility fit in. I also intend to have a post out every Friday, and in an ideal world, I have a draft written Monday(or Tuesday) so I can refine it by Wednesday, and put in my images Wednesday or Thursday, so I can schedule it Thursday at the latest. Does even that loose schedule always happen? Nope. Sometimes when I write a draft, it turns out to be something that should be divided into two(or more) posts, and other times I’m struggling just to write a useful something. I want to have everything I possibly can be automated, but I don’t at the moment. There’s always more to do in the world of blogging,and you just have to prioritize what you feel is most important at this point. I tend to divide my blogging work into ideal and essential and work on my ideals when I feel energized, knowing I may pause them at any point.
    And I only work on my ideals if I’m ahead of schedule on my minimal requirements. So, generally, I don’t do anything else until I have a solid draft of my post for the week completed. I read all these bloggers talking about being weeks or months ahead of schedule and just give that a big old ‘nope’. I’ve managed to blog as much as a month ahead to give myself a holiday(I took the month of August off last year), but haven’t managed that whole consistently having blogs done ahead of time. It’s a pretty dream to marvel at, though.

    Be kind to yourself as much as possible. You’re doing a great job, so please keep it up! You definitely can do it despite bad days or weeks(or even months) – I know, I’ve done it myself!

    Reply
  • September 17, 2020 at 11:52 pm
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    Wonderful way to use your prompts this month. I’m still in this darn flare that started on July 27. It has never let up. So this post really resonated with me. Making commitments and hoping you can do them is so hard. I’m an overachiever and a perfectionist, and yet 10 years later, I should know better. I simply cannot do work outside of my home. But I still pressure myself to do it and then end up cancelling. It’s always better to just let it be (for me) and focus on accomplishing things I can do in the comfort of my home.

    Being at home can also be stressful, especially if you work from home and that’s where all the blogging magic happens. Not only do I worry about keeping content up on my own site, but I also run and manage our company site and job board, and that goes out to tens of thousands of teachers around the world each month with newsletters, plus keeping content going and social media going for our business – wow. I just have to build in those breaks and make sure I plan down to every last minute to ensure I don’t overdo it. Be good to yourself, Katie. You’ll get it down and then those goal posts will move and you’ll have to re-evaluate in another year or two. Hopefully in a better way, but if not then we adjust – we’re pros at adapting and adjusting.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2020 at 12:16 am
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    Thank you Katie for using September’s prompts to share so vulnerably about your life. You are definitely not alone yet sharing helps so many out there too. I hope the pain calms down soon. September seems to have been rough for many 🙁

    Reply
    • September 23, 2020 at 8:28 am
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      The pain is calmed down, but the brain fog and fatigue are holding strong. For me, that is worse than dealing with the pain I have which is deep muscle pain (as if I worked out extremely hard after a month of no exercise). The brain fog makes it hard to function and the fatigue makes moving feel like I’m walking neck-deep in a swamp.

      Reply
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