Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is it worth it?

It has been an extremely long time since I've posted anything on here. Mainly it's been because I just haven't had the time and energy to be doing much in the way of creative writing. It's there inside me wanting to come out, but when I'm spending all of my time and energy on work, and driving to teach my theater classes, and running around trying to gather costumes and props, and teaching swimming lessons now, and trying to fit in meals and sleep and medications and infusions it's pretty hard to sit down and let all these words and thoughts come out onto the computer screen (or even a piece of paper if I'm not near my computer). I will often start writing something on a piece of paper, often scrap paper that I happen to have with me at the time, but it never makes it to its conclusion. But tonight I'm feeling contemplative. And I have probably another half hour left of my evening doxycycline infusion which means I can't go to bed yet anyway so I'll just start writing and see where I end up.

Lately a lot of people have been telling me they're worried that I'm doing too much. And frankly I'm worried about the same thing even if I don't let on to it very often. This is my typical weekly schedule right now:

  • Monday
    • 8:00am-3:00pm Preschool
    • 3:45pm-7:30pm Teach Swimming Lessons
  • Tuesday
    • 8:30am-1:00pm Preschool
    • 4:00-6:00pm Advanced Theater Class
    • 7:00-8:30pm Choir Rehearsal
  • Wednesday
    • 8:00am-3:00pm Preschool
  • Thursday
    • 8:30am-1:00pm Preschool
    • 3:30-6:00pm Beginner and Intermediate Theater Classes
  • Friday
    • 8:00am-1:00pm Preschool (followed by about an hour of cleaning)
    • sometimes an appointment around 2pm
    • 4:30-6:00pm Teach Swimming Lessons
  • Saturday
    • Often a theater rehearsal from 2:00-4:00pm or 4:00-6:00pm
  • Sunday
    • 10:30am Church (sometimes choir rehearsal at 9:30am)
    • 4:00-6:00pm Annie Rehearsal
So that's my "typical" week nowadays. It's a lot. Each week I feel like I'm putting out more energy than I'm generating and I'm slowly losing my reserve that I usually have to help push through what I need to do. I am flirting with the dangerous ledge that I seem to try to ignore until I'm right there on the edge looking down just before I slide off and crash hard. I hate crashing because it's so scary and it can get so out of control so quickly. In the past I have had many degrees of crashes ranging from mini-crashes to the mega crashes that are really scary and not only scare me but freak out most of the other people around me. Right now I'm probably on the verge of a medium-sized crash but so often a little crash can snowball into something much bigger. And before you know it you're tumbling down the mountainside and just hoping there will be something soft at the bottom to break your fall.

In a lot of ways it's scarier to be somewhat well (by which I mean relatively functional in the "real world" and straddling the "real" and "medical" worlds) than to be sicker and more debilitated. When you're sick and can't do much, you can expect to wake up and feel badly, you don't expect to suddenly be able to do a lot and, while crashing is still scary, it's a little easier anticipated and handled because there isn't as much to lose. But when you're relatively well and able to be working and fitting in fun things from time to time, crashes are so much harder to deal with because there's a lot farther to fall and much more at stake. If I crash now and I crash hard, how would I manage to continue working? Would I have to take time off of work? Would I be able to manage financially? What would happen to the independence I've finally gained after such a long time of being so dependent on my parents and other people in so many ways? So many things to lose. So freaking scary.

There's a song by Lori McKenna called Mr. Sunshine that says, "You scare me more than the hard times. I know they're comin' around again. You scare me more than the grey skies. Good morning Mr. Sunshine." It's true. When you're in that "grey sky" time you know to expect the grey skies. But when you're in the sunshine, it's almost like you're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or else you're living completely in the sunshine and when the grey skies move in you're taken totally off guard. Neither one is pleasant.

Anyway, I'm doing a lot is what I'm trying to say I guess. And I'm scared of that crash. I keep telling myself, "Just make it through this week. Next week is school vacation, you can rest then." But there's a voice inside me saying, "Just make it through the week? How am I supposed to do that?" I honestly don't know how much I have left in my reserve of energy. Somehow I manage to find that little bit of energy I need to get through what I have to get through, much to the surprise of me and everyone around me. But my body is giving me signs that I'm just doing too much. To an extent I can ignore some of the signs. I can deny that I'm completely and utterly exhausted except when I lie down and can't imagine moving a single muscle because of how much energy it will take. I can shrug off the increased headaches and just pretend they're worse because of the weather. I can ignore a lot of things, perhaps that's my stubborn nature coming out, but it's really hard to deny lab results that are there in black and white on paper. Lately they haven't been terrible but my liver is obviously starting to say it's had enough of something. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it won't turn into anything worse. When I draw my labs each week I will the numbers to go down (at least the liver numbers, wouldn't want my white or red cells to go down much).

Sometimes I honestly wonder if it's worth the sometimes seemingly impossible balancing act to be doing all that I'm doing. If I push myself to do too much because I'm feeling better but it ultimately pushes me into a crash that takes me a long time to pull myself out of, is it worth it? But if I just take it easy all the time and don't really enjoy the time that I am feeling better, is that worth it? It's a double-edged sword I guess.

Alright, that's enough pondering for tonight. I need to get myself to bed so I can hopefully get 8 hours of sleep tonight. Just three more days this week and then I'll officially be on vacation! And perhaps I can get things more in balance then.