“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Support at Last!

A couple of weeks ago, as I contemplated the New Year, I was talking with my husband. I had finally gotten my head around the fact that CFS just might last for awhile -- and I told him, "I need to learn how to live with this." He answered, "No -- WE need to learn how to live with this." What a loving thing to say!

True to his word, we had a family council a short time later. We explained CFS to the kids more completely than before, and we let them ask questions. I told them what to expect and how to read the signs that I'm not doing well. We let them know that this is probably going to last a long time, and it was time to stop waiting for it to "just go away." We pointed out the way they have been taking advantage of my CFS symptoms -- like not finishing jobs because I'm too tired to hound them about it, or twisting my words because I can't remember anything. We let them know what kind of expectations we would have from here out.

Has it helped? Well, I'm not going to say everything got better over night!!! But, now my little boys aren't throwing fits to get my attention when I'm zoned out -- they are recognizing it as CFS, not indifference. The jobs have been getting done a little better. My oldest is offering to run a few more errands for me, willingly. There's a gentler attitude towards Mom these days.

The most amazing thing of all, I think, is a gift from my middle child. My two oldest have to get up very early -- 5:30 am. Waking them up every morning is torture for me, because it interrupts my precious sleep and I never know if I'll be able to get back to sleep after it. I definitely attribute it to exacerbating symptoms when I'm not doing well. Well, my 13 year old asked if it would help me if she set her alarm and started waking them for me. What an amazing offer from a teenager!!! I accepted, and that first week was heavenly! I figured she would try it for a week and then discover it was too hard and not worth it. So, when I approached her about it, she said, "No problem, Mom -- it's really easy for me to do. I don't mind it at all!" So, she's still doing it! Cheerfully! Amazing. Just amazing.

Maybe that's why this January has been so refreshing for me. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and it is because I am no longer carrying this burden alone. I feel like I can work on getting healthy without my family unwittingly sabotaging my efforts.

Dang. I feel good!