If you’ve been with me a while, you know I’ve been struggling with an ever-growing list of health issues, both old and new. While chronic pain is already difficult for many healthy people to understand, the mental effects of conditions and chronic pain are even less understood. It eats away at you, saps your strength and energy, destroys your focus and attention span, and makes even simple tasks incomprehensible. So much of your brain power is devoted to registering or trying to deal with the pain that there’s little else left for the tasks that most people take for granted.
Today is a rare lucid day for me. Most days I barely feel awake or I find myself sliding in and out of awareness and ability as the day progresses. Most days I only have a narrow window in which to complete important tasks before I am utterly worn out. Even if what I’m doing is joyful or fun-like talking to my family, laughing at a movie, or researching something amazing-it uses up what little energy I have available. There’s that sort of hilarious but helpful analogy going around about spoons. That is fairly applicable to any condition that affects either your mind, your body, or both.
So I suppose today I have a few more spoons than usual. For me, the person that has to be doing something useful every waking moment of every day (and even my dreams are mostly lucid dreams; where I’m controlling the environment and outcomes to work out problems or change the dream to something more pleasant), truly doing nothing and resting is difficult for me. And yet, these past eight or nine months, I’m learning how. For me, who knows that every moment is so precious and that I don’t have much time left (even 50 more years would not be enough time) and who wants to learn and love as much as I can, enjoying something purposeless is a strange experience. I have learned how to be idle and still.
Sometimes, I even manage to enjoy it.
Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”. – See more at: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/#sthash.r1FBWKKx.dpuf