It’s a question I ask myself and get asked regularly.
But if I’m honest, the answer is pretty simple.
There have been long periods of time where I have been completely incapacitated; unable to so much as take a shower, let alone take part in the “normal” parts of life. No employment, no socialising, no hobbies, no relationships… I couldn’t do anything except fight against the voice in my head that told me to give up and die.
And if I’m really honest, I still have those times. I think I always will, to some extent. But now, they’re shorter, less frequent, and less severe.
So when I find myself in one of my “stable” periods, I absolutely go for it.
I grab every opportunity. I take on projects left, right, and centre. I contribute to this and join in with that. I study, I write, I read – I even (occasionally) leave the house!
I grasp at all the things I can’t do when I’m unwell. I try to cram in all my goals and achievements and successes while I still can, knowing that tomorrow I could find myself back in a slump.
I lose so much time to mental and physical illness. So when I can, I do.
Maybe it sounds like a bad idea. Maybe I am causing myself some stress or making myself feel overwhelmed. I’m sure I drove my CBT therapist up the wall with my refusal to accept “pacing” as an option… But it doesn’t work for everyone, and I’ve got stuff to do.
Sometimes I complain that I’ve taken on too much. I get tired and grumpy and mopey.
But when it comes down to it, I’m just so grateful for these moments where I feel a “normal” person, with “normal” dreams and “normal” goals.
I know I am so fortunate to have these moments.
So I will savour every single one.
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