Time to Hit the Reset Button
There are days or seasons when life gets unavoidably busy and you know you’re going to pay the symptom consequences. You can’t help it.
It was a busy work week, but I thought I was doing okay at pacing myself. My parents were coming down for an appointment and had asked us to go out for dinner with them. It had been a while since we had connected, and we were looking forward to the time together. We got to the restaurant around 4:45 pm, so we figured we made good timing to beat the crazy Friday night noise and rush.
We enjoyed our dinner and were having great conversations! The noise level had increased. I wasn’t experiencing noticeable symptoms, so I thought I was safe. I would check the TVs hanging at both corners of the room that I could see. But for the most part, I was engaged in the conversations, so I didn’t even get that distracted by them.
Televisions in restaurants cause me to get very distracted. I try as best I can to sit facing away from screens. Because I seem to be drawn to them, no matter who I’m with. Things moving, colours changing, and my eyes seem to need to see what is happening.
Anyways, I was doing pretty well that night … until a hockey tournament group rolled in. The noise volume grew exponentially. Then it seemed like everyone in the restaurant was having a birthday that night – all the clapping, yelling, and singing!! The conversation was so good that I didn’t want to leave. I should have clued in that I would be in trouble when I was literally yelling so that my Dad could hear what I was saying. My husband and Mom were having a different conversation. I couldn’t even hear them even though they were sitting right next to us.
We left the restaurant at 7:30 pm. It’s the longest I’ve stayed at one in a long time. I welcomed the quiet street as soon as we walked out of the building. I thought I was doing okay, until I got home.
I felt hungry again and made myself something light to eat. I knew I was in trouble when I immediately started feeling sick while eating. Then my head reacted. The dizziness and pressure in my head began to increase and the exhaustion settled in. I went straight to bed after that.
You would think after 3 years of this journey that I would know better, but I couldn’t resist. Sure enough, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had partied all night! I was utterly exhausted. My brain was toast, and I was pretty much rendered useless. I got up for breakfast, managed to eat, and went right back up to bed. I was in and out of falling asleep. I would almost be out, and then would wake up again. The times I was awake, I laid there in a half-comatose state for the next two and a half hours.
We had planned to visit some friends in need. So, I managed to pull myself together and go visit for a few hours.
I climbed right back in bed as soon as we got home and laid there for another couple of hours. My husband was busy doing some renovations in one of our rooms on the main floor. I hardly heard it through my exhausted state. I was content to fall in and out of sleep and lay there with my eyes closed the rest of the time. I managed to make it down for dinner and have a bit of time with Michael that night. I went to bed again around 8:30pm. The next two days looked much the same.
I hadn’t seen my parents in a while. I enjoyed the conversations we were having and I was willing to sacrifice to have that time. It isn’t something I do often, as I don’t want to completely set myself back, but relationships are important to me. I do want to invest in people, and sometimes that physically comes at a cost.
I should have been more careful and asked my parents to change locations after the first hour or so. I would have enjoyed the weekend more if I had. I didn’t want to mention it though and lose the rhythm of the conversations we were in.
The key is to give yourself permission to rest afterwards. I knew that we didn’t have a lot going on that weekend, so I allowed myself to take the time to rest as much as needed. I was okay with resting in bed most of the day to give my brain time to recover.
Clearly all of this happened before COVID. I share this story with you though because it’s good to be reminded at times to hit the reset button.
I am reminding myself of this advice today, as I have been going non-stop the last couple of weeks. It’s still easy to fill my days without physically socializing with others. I’m sure this can be the case for you too. Suddenly you’re doing way more than you’re used to. If you’re wearing out, give yourself permission to take a couple of days to rest.
You know what is best for you. You can enjoy some time with people or other various activities. It may come at some cost, so make sure you take the time to recover afterwards. It isn’t good to push through and exasperate the symptoms. If you can, plan ahead and set some boundaries. Either way, take care of yourself and enjoy those precious opportunities when they come.