Photography credit:
Photography credit: Daria Nepriakhina

I have spent the better part of the last few days in bed feeling really unwell. In the week prior, I made some choices that I knew would result in this happening. Last Tuesday I did something that previously would have been impossible for me to do. I went to see the Foo Fighters. You can probably guess from the name of this blog that I am a huge Foos fan and I was kindly given a ticket to the gig as a Christmas present from my in-laws. The gig had been rescheduled from June (due to Dave Grohl breaking his leg) and I was probably the only Foos fan in Scotland who was relieved by this! Had the original gig went ahead, I would have missed out– I spent all of that day unwell in bed. When the rescheduled gig came around, I wasn’t feeling as well as I had hoped but I was determined to go. We had seated tickets but it still took everything I had to be there.

I spent days in bed resting beforehand, spent the entire afternoon lying in a dark room on the day of the gig and then subsequently I’ve spent the days after in bed too. I don’t regret it though as, for a couple of hours at least, I was able to get lost in the music and forget about my chronic illness… well, apart from the fatigue that just won’t let up. The Foos were incredible, as always, and I had nothing but admiration for Dave Grohl– who was epically rocking out from his throne.

foo_fighters

Would I have chosen to purchase a ticket for myself? Probably not. After all, a gig encompasses everything known to make my illness worse– travel, noise and sitting for a prolonged period. But I was gifted a ticket and I had a choice; go or miss out. I appreciate that everything I choose to do in life has a consequence– as it does for everyone. In choosing to say yes, I was also choosing the consequences that would result from making that decision.

In the past I would push on blindly and decide to do the things I wanted to regardless. I would push the thought of flare ups and consequences to the back of my mind and would try my hardest to “be normal”. When the inevitable happened, I would always feel frustrated, angry and upset. Unfortunately, having the mindset of trying to be normal and being in denial about my limitations did me no favours. Although it is still frustrating and can leave me feeling defeated, I am much more accepting of my limitations these days. I’m not saying that any negative feelings are not justified or that you should suppress them. Rather– from experience– I’ve found myself feeling more content about my situation with a shift in the way I think.

I now mentally prepare myself for the consequences, as well as physically. I realise and accept that saying yes will result in me having to spend the days that follow in recovery. If I can’t give my body what it will need after the event or I don’t think I will cope with the aftermath, I need to say no. I have that choice.

Photography credit: Daria Nepriakhina
Photography credit: Daria Nepriakhina

I was also previously guilty of focussing on all of the negatives after an event. I would ruminate on thoughts such as, “this is not fair” or “why do I have to suffer like this?” This only served to make me feel even more miserable and I won’t do it to myself any more. It’s really unfair. I now show myself compassion and forgiveness and instead choose to focus on the positives. It was nothing short of amazing that I managed to attend that gig. It’s one of those moments where I genuinely thought, “I can’t believe I did that!” Even though I am now suffering as a result, it was something to be celebrated.

More often than not we choose to say no– often we have no option but to and it is in our best interests to do so. To live as well as possible we need to stay within our energy envelope and not continually push; saying yes is no doubt the exception. Therefore when we choose to say yes and step outside our comfort zone, we need to cut ourselves some slack. I therefore set you a challenge: change how you think. Ask yourself if you are being unfair on yourself and remind yourself to be kind. Think of the achievements not of the consequences.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Author

Hello, I'm Donna. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2013 and started this blog shortly after. After my health declined significantly the following year, I decided to become my own advocate and searched for answers. It took two years but, in 2016, I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. On February Stars, I share my personal journey back to better health; discussing what has helped me and the mistakes I've made along the way. I also cover topics on self-improvement, managing symptoms and living life to the fullest with chronic illness.

10 Comments

  1. Donna, I am so glad you made it to the concert. It does suck that we have to weigh carefully everything we do. Resting up before an event helps get me through the event but I usually still feel like hell afterwards. I went grocery shopping yesterday and I am still wiped out. I used to get upset about it but you are right…that only makes you feel worse. Even though I have to say no more often than I would like, I do appreciate the little things in life much more. 🙂

    • Thank you Sue. I’m so glad I made it too. I am still not over it a week on but it was worth it. I’m like you, I too have learned to appreciate the smaller things. It’s definitely the best way to be 🙂

  2. I’m sorry you are still suffering, but so glad you went. For me, I’ve learnt to gauge what will be memorable/meaningful, and focusing on that makes it easier to cope with the inevitable aftermath! I don’t “waste” energy on a night in the pub or a rush across town if I am having a bad week, but I would make the same choice as you, to take advantage of a thoughtful gift and see a band I loved, an experience I’ll carry around with me for ever. Glad Dave Grohl was as awesome as ever and feel rested soon xx

    • Thanks so much Lexi. I think you are absolutely right- those times when something is meaningful/memorable are worth pushing yourself for. It’s not something you can do very often but when you do, you make the absolute best of it 🙂

  3. Hi Donna, I’m so sorry that you are feeling unwell 🙁 Rest up and hope that you are feeling better soon. Don’t beat yourself up- you will feel better soon.

  4. Oh I relate to this. My brother got married last weekend and I have been caught in this wave of happiness but swiftly followed by anxiety over the event “people will stare at me in my wheelchair, what if my pain gets too much, how can i pretend to not be in pain so everyone else won’t worry” I knew going into it that I would have to “recover” from the weekend and oh I definitely have…but it was so completely worth it. Like you, I look back on last weekend and feel proud that I made it through. At the end of the wedding my dad said “you did great kiddo” and it meant the world to me. “change how you think. Ask yourself if you are being unfair on yourself and remind yourself to be kind. Think of the achievements not of the consequences.” LOVE THIS!

    • That’s amazing you were able to go to your brother’s wedding- go you! I can totally empathise with all the worries etc you had, there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding these events. People can be great energy builders- you’re dad sounds fab 🙂

  5. Hi Donna

    I relate to this post very much. This weekend I went to London to stay with a friend, and did so much more than I usually would. Before I went I wasn’t sure if I should go, if it would be too much, if the payback would be too much.

    But I’m glad I decided to go. I saw the Christmas Lights on Regents Street and I’ve wanted to do that for such a long time. I’m now in bed paying for it…but sometimes, it’s worth doing these things once in a while if our body will let us. It’s good for the soul 🙂

    Emma x

    • It’s so lovely to hear you were able to spend the weekend in London. I totally understand the “should I?” dilemma but I agree with you; sometimes we need to do these things for ourselves and it’s totally worth it. Often the payback is easier to cope with because at least it was for something good 🙂 I hope you start to feel better in the coming days x

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.