I think I neglected to cover “pacing” properly. And today I am here to update from my vantage of my own incorrectly calibrated pacing!
Again, this is part of my daily life, and has been for nearly 19 years so I really should have got this down by now. The fact that I haven’t means I want to tell people, again, be gentle on yourself. You may not know what pacing you need right now. It’s tough for many of us.
And that not knowing I think is going to be a shared experience for many people self isolating due to mild symptoms. Is it flu? Is it something else? At what point do I change my routine? When do I ask for help?
I know my RA and fibro by now, but that familiarity leads me to push a bit often because I forget that I am in a constant state of inflammation that has subtle tolls.
For me all I was doing was knotting and securing ends of pearl strands to my fabric. Yet last night my back and hips were in so much pain during the night I now have a numb patch in my upper left back. Pain too, but that numbness is possibly a fibro thing. I don’t know!
Learning pacing is not a linear thing. But over time I learnt it is better to recover from over doing things rather than punishing myself for failing. So instead of saying “well it was my own fault for making myself sore” I say “ah fork, I need some anti-inflammatories/pain relief/extra meds but it’s a one off and if I get them sooner rather than later I’ll be able to get back to that project faster.“
Self blame is harmful. Recovery is good. Self blame comes from some very harsh societal messages. Recovery is revolutionary and is about compassion and kindness. When we can feel that way about our own health we start to think that way about others.
Even if it is expected or you do know what risk you took, being in a worse state is not helpful or healthy. Put a line under it. Give yourself the best chance.
But yes, the subtle symptoms of illness have a way of demanding payback. So treating them to your best plan, which is different for each of us, will help you better than saying “this is expected” or “I deserve this for not looking after myself.“
Oh and the reason my pearling took such a toll, it was a change in how I sit and use my body. It wasn’t more work, but it was different, that is enough under the best circumstance but it is an extra challenge by using muscles in unpracticed ways.
So am I glad I got my pearls to that point yesterday? Oh yes! It’s an emotional project and I want those pearls in particular secured and safe.
Did I forget pacing and am dealing with difficulty now? Oh yes!