How Much Is Too Much?

by Hannah the Zebra

(Written February 10, 2010)

Yep, sure enough, I’m paying for it today. Yesterday I went to Target when I was already on the edge of an empty tank of energy. Today I’m exhausted and shaky and feeling terrible.  Why?  I pushed my self too hard yesterday.  Actually, I’ve been pushing myself too hard since last Thursday afternoon, but yesterday was especially bad.  Why do I do this to myself?  Because it’s so hard to always take the long range view of things and force myself to do what I know is good for me.  Especially when doing what’s good for me is no fun.  I should have chosen either going to Target or going home to make the necessary business calls.  Instead, I squeezed in what was fun, and then forced myself to make all the business calls once I got home.  I could have left most of them, even perhaps all of them, until Monday, but they all involved finances, which meant I was eager to get some resolution on them before heading into the weekend.

Part of the issue is that when I have days when I’m feeling significantly better, I take it as an opportunity to squeeze in something fun for the day.  Especially if it is something that I have been wanting to do for several days or weeks. I feel like my life is so circumscribed by the necessity of Kaiser appointments, walking for exercise, grocery shopping, cooking, and yoga.  There is little energy to do anything else.  And that gets so frustrating. Don’t get me wrong; I still feel that the two yoga classes are a joyful thing to have added into my life. I get out of the house, it’s soothing, and I meet new people.  Even better, I meet people who have similar medical issues to mine. But it is still something I feel that I need to do in order to build my stamina. I sometimes think of them as appointments that I shouldn’t miss. I shouldn’t, say, skip the yoga class so that I have enough energy to go to Target.  And sometimes, even though I have enjoyed the class, I feel so exhausted at the end that I have to drag myself home.

Sometimes I feel that I have given up so much; that my life bears little resemblance to the life I knew even a year ago, let alone my life before my immune system started to collapse. There are days that all I want is to be able to lead a normal life in which I can just drop everything, and do something enjoyable just for the heck of it.