Monday, May 21, 2012

Stop Shoulding on Yourself

I recently got back from my first visit to Reno in three months. I was there for over a week and I'm absolutely exhausted. I was able to accomplish a lot (bought a new kitchen table, took my dog out almost every day, started getting estimates on redoing my backyard) but I think I overdid. That's why I've been staying in Sacramento so long; there aren't many demands on me here and I can just recover. It's not my boyfriend that is pushing me to do so much though, it's me.

The biggest obstacle with my illness is living within my limitations. I constantly struggle with not doing too much and accepting that I'm not a "normal" 26 year-old. A counselor once told me I should stop "shoulding" all over myself. I thought that was funny, yet poignant. I get caught thinking, "I should be getting better fast..." "I shouldn't be so lazy..." "I should be working..." Of course that's ridiculous because healing has no schedule, I'm really not lazy, and at this point (as well as the foreseeable future) I can't work.

I wish I could say that this all gets easier, but I'm not sure it does. Every time I accept my limitations, they change. To be honest, I'm still coming to grips with the fact that I have two incurable diseases. I have always been an overachiever and my illness has forced me to reign in my expectations about what I thought my life would be at this point.

It's funny, my mom's coworkers are always asking her, "Is Megan's boyfriend still around?" I suppose they can't fathom a healthy person sticking by the side of someone who is sick. And to be honest before my boyfriend I couldn't imagine it either. I always saw myself as damaged because of my illness, and in a lot of ways I still do. Before I got sick at 21, I honestly don't think I could have seriously dated someone with so many health issues. The greatest thing is my boyfriend doesn't think of me as ill (yeah, he may be delusional) and accepts my limitations. I am constantly amazed that we're still together because he puts up with so much. Relationships are really a lot of work, but double that when someone is in chronic pain. My recommendation is don't get into a relationship when you're at your worst. Even if he/she is the perfect person for you it probably won't work since you can't start off on equal footing.

1 comment:

  1. It's sad to give up on our overachieving and expectations, but I have had to do the same thing, and it has helped me feel less guilty. I'm sorry that you've had to do this in your 20's - I was lucky, and I had to make these changes in my late 30's. Hang in there - I think you are on the right path. And hooray for your boyfriend! Mine (we've been together for 8 years) is sick of me being sick all the time, but still with me and still supportive....