A lightbulb moment!

I don’t tend to swear.

It’s one of those habit things. My job (when I am at work) is as a broadcaster, currently in TV and previously on the radio, so my default setting is to say ‘oh my goodness’ when something bad happens, rather than sh*t or the F-word.

However, today, in a frank conversation during a visit to the chiropractor, I seemed to let my inhibitions go, and I rather liked it!

As I’ve written about previously, it’s been a tough start to the year. Having reached a state of flow last November where I was managing my symptoms and energy reasonably well, the wheels came off just before Christmas and it’s not been the same since.

Indeed it got so bad at the start of this year that the physical pain of my ME/CFS alone was making me cry. Add to that the fatigue, and the sheet frustration at not being able to do what I wanted to do – such as sit down with a friend and natter over a cuppa – and the whole thing was turning into a vicious circle.

But, over the past couple of days, the clouds have begun clearing a little. I’ve been going back to basics, reading my previous blog posts about letting go of guilt and worry and – most importantly – being more selfish. That need to look after yourself above anyone and everything else is key.

I’ve really focused hard on ‘me’. I tried a pilates class a couple of days ago. It was a little daunting. Would I be able to do it? Would I have the energy? What would the payback be like?

Well I can tell you I managed it and I had enough energy for the really gentle movements. Indeed, those gentle but very specific movements combined with focused breathing really put me back in the moment. Afterwards I felt reasonably okay, much to my surprise. The payback actually came the following day when after a five minute stroll I needed to head back home and lie down in bed. I was wobbly from head to toe, and there was quite a bit of pain throughout my body. However, knowing there’d be some payback, and being able to link that pain to the exercise I’d done meant the risk-reward was worth it.

Added to that, I watched a fascinating video that a friend had recommended, which explained a little about how the brain processes feelings and emotions and experiences. It was quite scientific in places, but I’m one of those who love to ‘know’ stuff. It’s not good enough to tell me A+B=C, I need to know why that’s the case.

All in all, that centring of the pilates class, my now-regular visits to the chiropractor to keep my body in check, and a refocusing on letting go of frustrations and all the things I want to do but can’t do, has started to put my mind back to where it was last autumn.

In essence, I realise the past month has been too focused on trying to fight my symptoms and to please other people by doing things I thought were expected of me.

This week, I’m back to a place where it’s about enjoying the moment, not worrying about what others may be thinking, not feeling guilty about not being at work or having to cancel an appointment. It’s been about lying down when I’m tired or in need of some rest and quiet. It’s also been about dialling down on information that I don’t need, so watching and listening and reading less news, not bothering as much with social media (I’ve gone a whole week without tweeting!), and enjoying sitting in silence reading a good book.

As I said to my chiropractor this morning, I’ve reached the “oh f**k it” stage. Forget what the world thinks, it’s time to remind myself to focus on ‘me’. And that’s my lightbulb moment!



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