You wake up at a decent time before your alarm goes off (if you even still set one) and you sit up; no pain, not so dizzy, legs are not so tight, no nausea or you didn’t wake up feeling like you have not slept in a week. “Today is going to be a good day” you think, so better make the most of it since these days are far and few between! You get up and start thinking of all the things you want to get done, things that have needed to get done but just been backing up for weeks. Well today is the day you get caught up, you are going to get so much done! It’s almost exciting in a way, the idea of being productive for a change! Sound familiar?
You make coffee, clean the kitchen, throw a load of laundry in the wash, vacuum the house, finally sweep the patio for the first time in like a year and a few other chores and little projects you have been meaning to do but always end up not doing because… well… MS, that’s why. So you are on a roll, today was such a productive day! You got more done in one day than you typically get done in a week! Maybe you should slow it down just a bit (you think) but what if you physically can’t do this stuff tomorrow? Better do it while you can right? Either way, you feel really good about yourself! Then you wake up the next day; you really don’t feel good. You overdid it… Sound familiar?
So many of us (people with MS) do this (or so I have gathered from talking to people) and I am so guilty of it myself. On a day that I feel good (by which I mean not as horrible) I tend to want to get as much done as possible because “what if tomorrow I lose the ability to do it? Then I will wish I had” but this starts a vicious circle; you want to get all this stuff done because you are worried that “tomorrow” you won’t be able to and then because you overdid it you pushed yourself into a flare and now you actually can’t do those things! But it’s ok, because when you are feeling better you are going to get so much done! Oh… wait… circle…
Now this is one of those moments where I do not totally practice what I preach. I know we need to slow it down and not overdo it. I know that overdoing it can actually hurt me more in the long run, I know this but still, it’s so hard not to go, go, go! When you spend so much of your life wishing you had the energy to do “this, this, and that” trying to not get everything done in one day when you feel good is like a child sitting unsupervised in a room full of presents on his/her birthday and trying to not open one. It’s just so tempting! What’s really annoying is that this happens to me every time; I overdo it and I pay for it. I spend one day getting stuff done and I am out of the game for like a month. Wouldn’t it be better to wait for a good day, get just a little done and most likely be “in” the game for a month instead of a day? It makes sense to me but still I can never shake the feeling of “what if”, WHAT IF for some unforeseeable reason I really can’t do it tomorrow? That “what if” question has caused me so much pain and I know there are some good arguments for why doing things while you can is a good thing so all I can say is this; yes, do things while you can, but don’t over do it. Moderation is key, it takes a good amount of self-discipline (which I guess I don’t have) to not get carried away on a good day and yes, you never know what tomorrow is going to be like, tomorrow might suck no matter what but the one thing that seems to be a constant is that if you over do it you will more than likely feel like crap the next day for sure!
Do you have a problem with not over doing it on a “good day”? If not, how do you manage to take it easy? Or is this not even a problem for you? Share below!