"Why are you so damn lazy?"
"If you just put in some effort you could have been a little more productive."
"You just lack motivation!"
Have any of you with chronic illness heard these words? Worse yet were these words you said to yourself? I am completely guilty of saying these things to myself even though I know they are not justified and absolutely not true. Of all people you would think I would have compassion for my body and for myself on the hard CF days and yet I can find myself filled with self doubt at my very own disease. Can you believe that? I have had CF for 33 years and have progressed drastically in the past four years and I still question myself when it comes to how sick I am.
Today was a rough day. It could be because I didn't sleep enough or because the little sleep I got was spent coughing. It could be that I was really busy this week and I overexerted myself. I will never be sure of the reason, but these days happen every once in a while. I woke up and went to the gym like usual, but when I got home I was utterly exhausted. I felt a little achy and my body hurt all over. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and sleep all day long! I decided to push through with a few cups of coffee and make zucchini bread with Kaylee. Of course, once the bread was in the oven my body revolted. The dishes were thrown in the sink and even the dirty bread pans were left on the stove top. And a little voice in my head reprimanded me for leaving such a mess. When that voice gets going I start to wonder if I am...lazy. I try to reassure myself that people with chronic illness have these days sometimes and that it is okay to take a day to relax, but that seed of doubt has been planted.
Thankfully, my mom had planned to take Kaylee to an art museum for the afternoon and so I was able to indulge in a very long nap. That break was a huge lifesaver and allowed me to have the energy to make dinner, but as I was setting the dishes on the table I noticed that my sink was now overflowing with the morning dishes plus the dinner dishes. I also had an untouched to-do list hanging over my head and the self doubt started to creep in once again. How hard would it be to throw in one load of laundry? Would it really be that hard to put away your shipment of medication that came this afternoon? Are you sitting writing a blog post because you really are too tired to do something more productive around the house or is it more because you don't want to do something more productive around the house.
I just feel such a disconnect from my body/health from my mind/spirit. I feel like I should be able to run around and get everything on my list done...and more! I feel like I should wake up everyday full of life and energy. I feel normal! But my body is not normal and it reminds me on days like this. That disconnect is where those voices come from. The part of me that feels like a normal human being isn't always empathetic of my body that just so happens to be a little bit broken. It is hard to have a body that can be so unpredictable. It is hard to not know what each day will look like energy and health wise. It is hard not to doubt yourself when nobody you know in your age group struggles with these types of issues. I really try to work hard on showing myself compassion and kindness. I know my body works harder than other 33 year old bodies. I know my lungs are in constant war against the bacteria that lives in them. I know I will never be the same as my peer group.
I just sometimes forget.