Are you a fast paced, go-getter, jet-setter type? Not happy unless your calendar is packed, events planned, constant goals to work towards with ever looming deadlines?
Or are you a slow paced, life in the left lane, enjoy the moment kinda person?
I’ve always been a fast lane kinda person; unhappy with even a hint of stagnation. It’s meant that with my short years I’ve packed a lot in, from living abroad, Uni, marriage, relationships, lots and lots of experiences. Not all of them good, the higher quantity the more likely you are to have negative experiences in the mix.
When I fell ill with M.E I had to come to a screeching halt and haul my ass over to the slow lane.
I don’t like the slow lane; I’ve never been able to stop that voice in my mind that reminds me every day that my life is passing me by.
Two years ago, I would spent weeks on the sofa, in bed or just otherwise quite immobile due to pain. Then one day I’d feel a little better, and I’d go out and do as much as I possibly could, ignoring to the best of my ability the screaming coming from my muscles, bones and rational part of my brain. I just needed to feel alive again. But it would come at a heavy price…a week of physical torture, being couch bound worse than before.
This cycle went on for about a year. I was taking all their meds, getting the massages, trying to be self sufficient as best I could. The term PACE was banded about. Doctors recommending the pacing therapy whereby you gradually increase your activities, with the hope of avoiding relapses. Personally it also just felt quite insulting; although it probably had more to do with my own defensive nature toward the illness rather than anything the medical professionals were saying.
About a year ago, I started trying to push through and do a bit more. I got to the point where I figured I’m in pain and unable to do anything anyway, so if I just push myself to walk for many 5-10mins, yes I’ll be comatose for the rest of the day but there wouldn’t be that much difference really, and it might help in the long run.
So I did, and it gradually got longer. Overall I was able to do more, think more, converse more. I’m not saying it was the walking alone, I’m sure all the vitamins, rest and meds were helping in their own way too.
Now I’m at a point where my fast-lane brain is kicking it up a gear and pushing me to try and break those cautious boundaries I’ve built for myself. We are back in the city, back with friends and there is just so much I want to do. And the hardest part is that I can probably do a large proportion of the things, if I pace myself. I still need rest and recovery after an ‘event’, but it’s less demanding.
6 months ago, if I’d have gone out I wouldn’t have had much choice about resting. But now it’s sneaky, my brain almost believes I don’t need it until it’s too late. The signs I have to watch out for are more subtle than before. Especially when my fast brain has it’s fingers in it’s ears singing *la la larlarlar la I’m not listening lets go dancing!*
I find myself quite envious of those people who seem…content, enjoy relaxing and having quiet duvet days just because.
I feel like my fast brain is constantly aware of my own mortality and it’s convinced I need to do as much as possible before that time comes. How about feeling good and enjoying ourselves, brain?? Huh?
I’m learning. As much as it pained me to do so, I had to cancel on a going out venture last week as I knew deep down it would just push me too far over that line into relapse-ville. The world didn’t stop, my friend didn’t hate me, I rested up and was able to do other things a day later! Life in Moderation….*woo hoo*
There is a lot than can be said about life in either lane, good or bad, the trick is just finding the right speed for you.
Another tale in my never ending quest for balance 🙂