Tonight, I am telling a story with the help of some passages from the young adult book, The Next Full Moon, by Carolyn Turgeon.
In the first one, replace "Ava" with "I."
Okay, so I haven't had a completely "magical transformation"-my illnesses aren't cured, I don't have a full-time job, I'm still single, etc., but my life has been a whole lot calmer since I accepted that my exhaustion is going to return. A couple of posts ago, I talked about how I was trying to accept my periods of exhaustion and my life has gotten a lot better because of it. My therapist often says that resistance causes suffering and I am believing her more and more. Now that I am not resisting my exhaustion, I do not feel as frustrated-instead of viewing my tiredness as something that I must fight, I view it as more of a relationship that I must honor by taking naps and not forcing myself to do as many activities. The funny thing is, now that I have accepted it, I have actually had more energy! I think a big part of the reason is that by accepting my situation, I haven't been as anxious lately. Anxiety can really make one tired! This has proven to me the power of acceptance and I truly am beginning to believe that no matter what, everything will be okay.
I was becoming so anxious and panicky a few weeks ago, because I didn't want life to go on if I was always going to be so tired. I hadn't yet realized that my tiredness would not last forever-it comes and goes. Even more importantly, I hadn't yet realized that even if my tiredness did last, everything would be okay if I could just learn to accept it. Once I accepted my energy level, then I could do something about it and I actually did. One, I am taking better care of my body-I make sure to take a short nap almost every day and I haven't been socializing quite as much. I'm still social, but the more relaxed attitude has definitely helped. Slowly, I am trying to let go of my need to be the perfect superwoman. Two, I had an honest talk with my new doctor about my energy level and we decided to try some things to counteract it. First, he got me tested to see if I had a thyroid problem and to my surprise I don't. It turns out that I am really healthy, which really is good news. Secondly, he lowered one of my medications and I think that's what did the trick! The medication is Zyprexa and besides weight gain, it is also known to cause drowsiness. I didn't think reducing it would produce that big of a difference, but I have really noticed a change in myself over the past few weeks. I feel apprehensive about my increase in energy, so I am still taking things slowly, but I am hopeful. Cautiously optimistic. I have actually had enough energy and motivation to clean several parts of the house, so that is a step in the right direction. People sometimes say to not have expectations, so you won't be disappointed-well, that is very hard to do, but I am trying. I do feel like something inside me has changed lately and I like it. I am handling problems with more grace and I am becoming better at using my DBT skills. Everything is going to be okay. I think I am beginning to believe it, because I am seeing it-I had also worried and gotten panicky about seeing a new doctor, but I prepared for it in advance and I had a productive and positive session with him. Everything is going to be okay. Everything. I might always have to take naps. I might always only be able to work part-time. I might not get disability. I might stay single. But everything will be okay. Life will not always be easy, but with acceptance, I know that life will always be worth living.