Saturday, November 3, 2012

Taking Time for Me

Do you feel guilty the day after you have done something special with your family,
 and you have used up the energy
 you needed to go to work or to do housework?  
Do you wonder why your mood feels off center, and you don't feel like getting dressed or doing your daily routine?  
Even though you may have been dealing with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for a number of years, do you have selective memory, only remembering the things you think you should do?

Your brain becomes extra sensitive to too much sound, so you turn off the TV.  The dog keeps barking at the delivery man, and you want to jump out of your skin.  Your skin burns, your clothes feel scratchy, your mind can't stay focused on what you should do next.  Moreover, you need to go back to bed.
  And you feel depressed.  
These are some of the things you may feel with post-exertional malaise, fatigue brought on by date-night, going to the park, playing with the kids, having company over for supper, staying on the computer too long, 
or going shopping.  
You can probably think of dozens of other things that cause PEM.  Maybe, you didn't sleep long enough.  Maybe, 
you cannot pinpoint a reason.

What can you do to overcome the depression that occurs when PEM strikes again?  Let the feelings out.  It's OK to feel the feelings:  they are real.  Talk to a friend or family member.  Paint or draw a picture.  Write a poem.  Feeling the disappointment is not negative self-talk, but it is a normal reaction to abnormal health.  If there is nothing you have wanted to lose yourself in, it is alright to nap during the day.  Maybe, there is an easy craft project you have been wanting to do for a long time--but you don't have to do anything if you don't want to.  Let this day be yours to do what you need to do to rest and to clear your fogged brain.  

No one can tell you what that is, except yourself.  That's what I did -again- for the umpteenth dozenth time in my life.  And guess  
what!  After I figured out why I felt the way I felt, the guilt went away by applying positive actions to my day;
 which were as follows:  
a nap, dressed and put on light makeup, made the bed, wrote a poem and drew a picture to go with it, mod-podged a top to a jar, and read a book.  Basically, I read and did things I enjoyed.  The poem and picture were my "art therapy."  

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  My writing is based on my own experiences and what I have learned over the years through counseling and reading. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or have a medical question, you should consult your medical professional.

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It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah