Doing less gives me more.
Mr Tree Surgeon and I were chatting recently about how I’m doing ‘okay’ at the moment.
And we realised that I’m only doing okay because of the additional alterations I have made to my life, the concessions I make, and because of the constant compromises I have to make to try to live with a condition like M.E.
The way I don’t see my friends often, the way I don’t try to cook, the way I don’t leave the house often, the way I opt not to go out into the garden, the way I don’t shower every day, the way I’m spending less time online despite it being my main/only source of interaction.
I like to say I live well within my limits. Well, my limits are heavy and restrictive and they do not stretch far.
I live ‘well’ because I do so little. And sometimes that little doesn’t feel like enough.
I am doing less and less and less, because I am unable to do most things without suffering for it.
To mould something of a new and decent life for myself around the restrictions my health places upon me, compensations have had to be made left, right and centre.
People see me looking and acting and seeming quite well. I am only those things because of how limited my life is and how trained I have become to sticking within my limits for the most part.
I say No far more often than I say Yes.
And of course, when I relapsed in 2020 I didn’t have the luxury or the option to reduce what I was doing; I was too sick to do more than be horizontal in bed and get to the toilet when needed.
But as I come out the other side of that relapse, doing less is giving me close to something like a decent level of function. And that, my friends, is not to be sniffed at!
Adding a disclaimer that being more unwell doesn’t mean I have not stuck to what I know to be sensible or my limits. Being more unwell merely means I am more unwell, through no fault of my own.