The Seated View: Respecting The Crash

“…Shortly after getting up on Sunday and having nothing left in me to do anything, the lightbulb went off. It was so bright that I’m sure scientists are currently studying satellite photos of Toronto trying to figure out what that flash was. I realized that this is what usually happens when I get sick. The “just one more week” syndrome. The part where I make myself work like a demon for five days, believing that I just have to get X, Y and Z done and then I can take a week off. And then a nanosecond after I cross off the last item on The List, I get sick and lose the next two weeks or more.

I realized that I was a juggler who had added one too many balls, desperately trying to keep control. Yelling “I’ve got it, I’ve got it!” while everything is crashing down around me, I very clearly don’t have anything other than a raging case of exhaustion and an overinflated idea of my own capabilities.

I’m starting to think that despite 30 years of having a disability, I’m still in denial about the reality of having a disability.”

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  1. Nancy Aurand-Humpf says:

    This is a common theme in my life. I want to cram so much work into the good days that I end up paying for it. Sometimes its worth it, sometimes not. I guess I need to get past thinking that pacing myself means I will miss out on something.

  2. HayWire0831 says:

    Denying our condition is human nature and I’m sorry, but I think sometimes, it’s the only way to get anything done. If you just accept it, in my opinion, it wins. I’ll deny until the day I die. I guess “deny” isn’t the right word. I’ve accepted the fact that I have a disease and a disability, but I’m in denial about it getting worse. I feel like our bodies know when we think we’ve been “had”. It will NEVER win!!! I will ALWAYS win!!! I denied it’s invitation to give in. Thanks, but no thanks.

  3. Michele Fraser says:

    I was diagnosed in October with RA and I’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions ever since. This post is so appropriate to how I feel right now. I will recover from a flare and feel really good and then I get overconfident and start to think “hey, maybe the meds have kicked in and I’m better now”….then Bam! I’m flat on my back thinking Okay, apparently I’m not better. This illness toys with your mind. I’ve learned alot in the last few months and I guess I still have alot to learn. Thanks for posting.

  4. Lene says:

    Thanks for posting this, RA Guy!

    Marion – thanks for saying that. I decided a long time ago to blog with emotional honesty as a way to practice not pretending I’m better than I am. It turned out to be a really good exercise in learning to live with my disease instead of ignoring that I have it.

    Nancy – it took a long time, but I finally realized that cramming everything into the good days guarantees I’ll have bad days. Instead, working within my limits every day allows me to do more in the long run because I don’t have to take as much time to heal. Most of the time, I understand the theory and practical application of this concept and then there are times like this week where I apparently need to start all over again in this lesson. Some days are blonder than others…

    HayWire – I think there’s a difference between giving in and giving up. I’m still instinctively fighting against the notion of acceptance of my limitations as giving up – it’s where I instinctively go, but I do know that they are not similar. Living with RA does mean a certain amount of denial in the everyday, but I think it’s important to be aware of when the denial enables you to get things done and have a life and when the denial become self-destructive. It’s a balance that’s never the same every day.

  5. Angela says:

    Just found your blog. Had always felt quite alone in my fight against RA. I was diagnosed 27 years ago at age of 15. I have been living with RA longer than without. I completely agree with you. I find I do exactly the same thing. The problem I have is I’m a single mom so everything is always on my shoulders not matter how sore they may be at the time. So I have to fight through the pain everyday. Can’t wait to read more of your blog. Thankful I found others fighting the same battle.

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