“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surrounded by Wonderful

Today I am celebrating my support system! I've been reading a lot lately about the horrible stigma that comes with CFS, and I am so happy that I have wonderful people in my life who not only believe me but will do anything they can to help me recover.

First of all, let me say that one of my largest conundrums has been whether or not I should be going to church. Our church starts at 9 am. There are three meetings that are about an hour each: first, a meeting with the family to take the sacrament, then Sunday School, and then a meeting with the women. I teach once a month the third hour, when just the women meet together. I love church! I love the things that are taught -- I feel fed when I come home. I love teaching, especially when a really good discussion gets going. I feel enriched. I love my friends who are there. But (or should I say BUT), it wipes me OUT! It throws my schedule off completely. I usually come home and nap for two to three hours, which means I don't get to sleep until late that night. I have to pace well on Saturday to conserve energy, and then I have to take it easy Monday and Tuesday to recuperate. I feel like it is physically sabotaging my recovery.

So, my first celebration is my wonderful husband who came up with a plan. After watching me struggle with myself for a few months, he suggested I try to come only for the third hour. I can still take the sacrament first, and then slip in to the women's meeting. I won't have to kill myself trying to get up and ready by 9 am, and just one hour should definitely be manageable. I'll still stay home on those days when I'm not up to going, but this should keep me from feeling alienated and cheated out of something I really enjoy.

Second, I am celebrating those wonderful friends from church! I was absolutely miserable on Sunday. It was one of those days where I shouldn't have gone, but I wanted to be there, so I forced myself to go, and then realized I should have been more judicious. After the meetings, a couple of my friends asked me what they could do to help. You've been there, right? What do you say? I told them there wasn't really anything to do, of course. But they didn't stop there. They pressed me, saying there had to be something that would help. I joked that they could discover a magic pill that would make my kids keep up with their jobs. That led to more probing and I eventually admitted my deep, dark secret: the house is a mess. Not just the clutter that builds up when you have kids that aren't keeping up with their jobs, but two years of filth that accumulates when you can't do the big jobs like mopping the floor and washing windows and cleaning the oven and scrubbing the tub. And, just like that, they said they were coming over to clean my house.

Have you ever done that? Have you ever let someone help you ... I mean, really help you? I am scared and in awe.


Dusty Bogwrangler said...

I don't think I've ever really let anyone (other than a partner) help me. I pay someone to clean for me. When I was well I liked to help and would give freely without any thought of return because the giving was the reward. I expect your friends will feel the same way.

Thought provoking post, thanks.

Renee said...

It is hard to let others help...but I try to remember how good it feels when I help someone else....I would not want to take that privilege and those good feelings away from someone else!