This morning I made a good decision for my health, but I am still feeling unsettled and like a failure.
For weeks now, I have known that a workshop was being offered through my work this weekend, on Friday night and Saturday morning. The moment this event was announced, I immediately knew it was going to be extremely difficult for me to attend because I never schedule back to back a late evening and an early morning. I took all the necessary precautions including having an honest discussion with my supervisor about my concerns and limitations. This conversation was absolutely necessary because I am still crawling out of a bad setback, and pushing myself too much at this point would be disastrous. I am finally up and sitting in my comfy chair for most of the day instead of living life between my bed and the couch. I do not want to lose that progress!
My supervisor was exceedingly understanding. I work in a church environment, so she knows more details of my health that I would likely disclose in another work setting. She said I could decide as the weekend went along if I would be coming both days and how long I would stay each day.
Friday night went well with no major complications, and falling asleep that night I was 100% set on also going Saturday morning. But Saturday morning, I woke up at 5AM, and my mind began to race as I weighed the pros and cons of going.
So many thoughts racing through my head.
I’ve made so much progress in the last month and a half, and I would be devastated if I lost it. But what will people think when I don’t show up? I feel about 50% sure that I will be ok and not experience serious repercussions if I go. That seems like a HUGE risk. If I go, and it goes well, I will feel more confident in myself and what I can do. I also really want to attend and hear the material being presented. One day is not worth it for a month lying on the couch. How bad is my pain REALLY? Am I making this out to be worse than it is? Both my supervisor and the program director have back problems – will they think I’m exaggerating how limiting mine are? Are people just being nice, but on the inside think I should just shut up and do these things? Do I think I should just shut up and do things????
And on and on my mind turned for the next two hours until my alarm clock went off at 7:00AM. Please tell me I am not alone in this!
I woke up at 7:00AM and decided I would see how I felt after taking a shower. Well, that sealed my decision immediately, as just standing up for a 10 minute shower led to a spike in pain levels. And not just pain, but pain in the right place and the right type of pain that comes before a setback.
I texted my supervisor to double check it was ok if I missed, and she immediately responded it was no problem. Relieved, I fell back into bed and slept until noon.
Looking back, I am 95% positive I made the right decision. I get this specific type of deep pain in my left SI that means bad news if I don’t rest. Other types of pain I get – muscle aches, pain that is more symmetrical, burning pain etc… – can be just as or more severe, but are not such clear harbingers of an impending setback to square one. Deciding not to go was best for my short term and long term health. It was one needed decision in a whole line of decision that I am hoping will lead to a return to some form of stability. I have been in fairly stable places before, so I know it is possible. I just need to keep making decisions like this that are better for my health and not based on what other people think of me.
So, feeling confident that I made the right decision, I am hating that I feel like a failure in life for not being able to go. Right now, I am erring on the side of doing less. In the past I have been in places of “just doing things because I need to live my life even if it hurts,” but I am taking on a new strategy right now of saying “no” to present activities for my future benefit. My recent thoughts on being fearless have led me to believe that sometimes saying no is the bravest choice. So, today I am choosing to live a little more fearlessly, saying no to events I want to attend because I know it will be better in the long run.