For those that live like us, The Chronically Awesome, there comes a time when “The Big Tired” happens. It’s that time when you know that a nap
won’t do, a good night’s sleep isn’t going to cut it, and you have hit that total break-down crash and burn.
That doesn’t make you less Chronically Awesome, in fact the ability to realize and handle that you have reached a limit is very Chronically Awesome. Prescribing self-care, or calling the doctor for help is taking steps that show you have reached a maturity in your illness that has given you control over it instead of it controlling you.
That control doesn’t stop symptoms, it doesn’t stop you from feeling what you feel, but it does remind you to reach into your toolbox, the one you have been building up for days, weeks, months, years… how ever long it has been that your journey has taken you here.
Recently, I was in a big tired. A place where I had limited resources to turn to. I just needed to sleep but I knew I would wake feeling pretty much the same. I would wake totally ready for another nap. My fever was up, my patience was low. All I wanted to do was work if I was not asleep. All I wanted to be doing was building a foundation, but that is hard to do when you have no foundation of your own. With no foundation, each step one takes feels like quicksand or cliff edge.
Damn I was tired.
Over the past month, I have started and stopped at least 5 blogs. I have typed at least 6000 words that no one will see. I was too tired to make them make any sense. This was one of them. I just spent a little time turning it into past tense because the intense tired has past. Now I am in normal tired. The kind of tired I have come to accept in my life. The two nap a day tired.
Sometimes I think that others, oh hell sometimes I think that I have forgotten that I am human. I forget that I have very basic needs to attend to. I don’t do the simple things that I should be doing for myself. Were it not for my Care Partner, Brian, I would miss many a meal and I would be dehydrated. He makes sure that I eat, and he is constantly shoving water bottles at me and saying “drink it”.
This life is a lot for me. I know that many don’t want to hear me say that. Many want me to keep my chin up and pretend that it’s all ok. Doing that a year ago was very hard, doing it right now, well I just can’t pretend for very long. I do notice that the company I keep makes a big difference in how I feel. When I was recently out with a close family friend that knew about what was going on for me, that did not need me to explain anything and empathized with my issues, we could just get past the whole “sick” thing and just have fun. We had a great time, until I got too tired. We had been out a couple of hours, it was long enough for me. This life IS a lot for me.
When the big tired is here and I am walking in cinderblock shoes, I trudge to my soft bed, with my sweet dogs near my feet ready to cuddle up with me, and remind me that it’s all going to be okay. When the big tired is here, Brian is the one that has to dump me in the tub, make sure I am drinking my water, and he reminds me that I am not alone. When the big tired is here I just have to sleep.
And, I have to stop saying “I am sorry.”
Because, it’s not my fault. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t cause this. All the why’s and wondering in the world are not going to make this go away. The best thing I can do for me, and for all that I am responsible for is to take care of me. The next best thing I can do is to accept that sometimes I need help. When I need help, I need to accept it, be grateful for it, and instead of apologizing for needing, I need to say “Thank you.”
It’s easy to remember now, now that I am awake, now that I am typing, and working, and cooking. Tonight we are having chili for dinner. The house smells wonderful. It reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of when Mom would make chili on Christmas Eve. (As my sister Tammie would say “It’s the only damn tradition this family has!”) And it’s hard to remember not feeling this way, but it’s easy to remember the chili.
Oh shit. I forgot to cut up the onions. I guess instead of the big tired, I am about to go have the big cry. At least it’s an onion cry.