As many of you may have noticed, I don't post very often when my health isn't doing very well. And, well, I've been pretty spotty for some time now. I know my CFS well enough now to recognize the culprits: two big, important, stressful events.
The first was way back in May. The reason I didn't get to post for ME/CFS Awareness Week was because I was wiped out from a speaking engagement. That's right -- I was invited to speak to my congregation at church, and I accepted. The topic I was given was vague. It was to talk about the blessings of the gospel. When I was invited, they suggested that I use my perspective from the trials I have.
I knew that many of my church family did not understand why I suddenly was not coming out anymore. I felt like they deserved a solid explanation, for everyone's sake. So, I went into detail about what my life is like with CFS. Then I shared with them how much the Lord has blessed me and helped me shoulder this burden. I described the hidden blessings I have found through CFS, many of which I mention frequently here on my blog. I told them that I know God is mindful of me, and He loves me and takes care of me through the miracle of my loved ones.
I was raw and vulnerable after sharing this with oh, about 200 people, some whom I know didn't "believe" in CFS. But I had a very positive response afterward, and more importantly, people finally understood. CFS is no longer the elephant in the room. They can ask questions and treat me like a normal person again. It was worth the very severe crash that followed.
The second event was just two weeks ago. My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I was unable to help with the majority of the party planning and preparation, but I did volunteer -- yes, that's right, volunteer -- to put together a 400-picture slide show. That meant going through several hundred photos, selecting the right ones, scanning, saving, cropping, touching up, and putting them all in the program I was using. It was exhausting, especially since the Howells are procrastinators and I got a lot of photos last minute, but the end result was fantastic. I felt like I had pulled my weight, even though I did no cooking, setting up, or taking down.
The night of the party entailed an hour and a half drive out to the desert, the stress of family relations (I know you know what I'm talking about!), standing in the heat for numerous family photos, and another hour and a half drive home. I only stayed about two hours, by which time I was shaking and crying and leaning on my husband for dear life as he walked me to the car. My son drove me home.
Of course, I crashed. Just when I was finally starting to recover from my May crash. Frustrating! But worth it. See?
The good news is that I have no more events. I've taken a hard stance for my health. I have skipped my beloved water polo games, and I have broken my boys' hearts by saying no to soccer this season. I'm giving myself time to heal. And I will keep you posted on my progress.