Acceptance is something I preach all the time. Don’t fight, surrender and accept where you are and that is where true healing begins. I had a taste of my own lesson this week. I have been doing so much. I have been socializing, working part time, going to the gym, going on long walks, making plans for the future and so much more. I also have a lot going on in my emotional life. My Dad is sick. The election left me in shock. I had my disability hearing which we prepped for for weeks which meant stirring up everything and telling the story again and again. I also was noticing my sleep had changed and I was waking very early in the morning closer to 730 but I seemed to have plenty of energy during the day and was enjoying being more productive so didn’t think that much of it. It seemed this was a perfect brewing storm. Even though I had a lot going on, I never consciously felt stressed about any of it. I was meditating every morning when I got up. My self care routine was better than before. But with everything that was happening, I think I was in some denial and my body doesn’t deal well with denial. Solve ME/CFS, the research organization I had donated to back in March from my Forgotten Plague screening had a donor event in Manhattan the Sunday before my hearing. I was determined to go in. I knew I’d pay but lately when I pay it lasts a few days and I bounce right back, seemed worth it to me. I woke up that morning running on adrenaline and nothing else, which doesn’t last me long. I was on the train ride in as I came crashing down. Eh. I have been able to push through lately so I kept going. At the event (which is another post), I felt as if I did years ago when I would push myself to levels I wasn’t capable of but didn’t understand the illness. I was still functioning though. I left early, caught the train home, drove home and got in bed. I didn’t feel great Monday but that was expected, I had planned for that. I went to my hearing which was uber emotional but I didn’t have a ton to say to the judge about my physical fatigue as I thought that was passing, really only the mental fatigue that still plagues me. If only I knew how the next week would go, I would have had a lot more to say. That day I went on my usual walk. Lately walks actually help me. I ran out of steam half way through and could barely make it back and was laid up on the couch the rest of the night. I managed through work that week coming home to the couch but had to leave early Friday and lay down that afternoon. I realized I had to go back to staying within my limits to start recovering the right way and not continue to slip down. But fear slipped in fast, this was new territory for me. I thought that “crashes” were behind me. Symptoms came back that I hadn’t experienced since “jail” including nausea from the slightest overexertion, arms feeling weak, chest pain, legs aching feeling like bricks, over amplified sound and more. That disturbed me. And the cutting back on things scared me. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am today. I felt the illness took so many years from me, and while they were tremendous growth years, I was not ready to compromise my future. Acceptance was so much easier when I had been removed from doing things for so many years, I had just gotten used to it and a new way of life. To have a taste of all of it and have such a sense of normalcy for awhile made it really painful to say this may not be working. I started fighting. I fought HARD. My mind went haywire of all the things I would have to give up. I was so convinced that this would be the first year out of college I could go to the town bar the Weds before Thanksgiving and see everyone home. I just presumed I would walk the 2 mile Turkey Trot walk. I presumed I would be cooking a Thanksgiving meal Friday. But the more I fought, the more stress I put on my body and the more emotional angst I caused myself. My thoughts were not productive. One night I started following The Secret on Instagram and decided, “alright Laura you need to pull your shit together.” I decided to start focusing on what I did want instead of what I didn’t. I shifted my focus onto living within my means for this moment which yes means giving up quite a bit, but instead of fighting it I am going with it. There’s freedom in that. I’m not walking right now but I did walk to the stop sign today. I celebrated that. I am taking breaks in my socializing. I accept that I may or may not be able to go Weds night and that’s perfectly fine (and no I did not end up going). I don’t plan on doing the Turkey Trot walk this year but that will be a great goal for next year. I have evaluated things that are probably not realistic right now and that includes the gym. I got a doctor’s note and suspended my membership. I don’t see that as a failure ,just a priority. My body is sleeping extra long right now and I am taking advantage of that. I still go back and forth with a little bit of fear but I just keep surrendering to each day and what is in front of me. Some days I can do a short walk, some days I can’t. I will be experimenting with a new drug. I’ve started some new supplements. I try not to let my poor cognition upset me. I have been using my brain retraining techniques and keep coming back to them. I’ve done this before I can do it again. I truly believe if you had it once you can have it again. I always tell people healing is a bumpy journey and never a straight line and I have to remember that myself. I am grateful for what I can still do. I went to Thanksgiving and I am wiped but it was super enjoyable. I am so grateful for my amazing friends and family who have been nothing but supportive. Yesterday I truly realized that the only thing we really have is the present moment.