A false start

The truth is I don’t particularly like to talk about it when I’m having a hard time. Actually, let me rephrase that, I don’t like to share on the internet with total strangers when I’m too whacked to get out of bed for a week and look like I’m still recovering from an epic NYE three weeks later (when on the night itself I was in bed before midnight, with not even the power of prosecco enough to prevent me from coughing up half a lung).

Yes, I sometimes dislike that level of oversharing. Honestly I’ve never wanted to talk about my health less than I do right now. I entered December 2017 feeling happy and positive, with plans for the year ahead bubbling away in my mind. Yet due to ill health, I arrived in 2018 in considerably less style than I had intended and have been really struggling to pick myself up again since.

Part of the reason Professional Sick Girl exists is to share the untold side of illness. I want to talk about aspects of illness in a way we don’t often hear and find ways to make them applicable to people who don’t experience it in their day to day lives.

So when I’m fresh out of positive, and chalk a day up as ‘successful’ when it takes me less than an hour to get out of bed- it’s hard to know how to talk about this in a way that achievers and happy ‘morning people’ can possibly relate to.

And then I remembered something. It’s January! The month of misery, dampened ambitions and soggy leftovers.

Surely I am not the only one out there who has not started 2018 as intended? Everyone starts out with lofty goals on 1st of Jan and yet a solid 50% (unverified stats FTW) land flat on our faces come February.

It occurred to me recently, that there are times the list of expectations I place on myself feels more exhaustive than the list of medications I take. While that may not be the correct analogy for all of us, we all go through times where our mismatched expectations of ourselves cause more harm than good. There are few times of year this reality feels more stark than during January.

Perhaps this is why I’ve never been one to make new year’s resolutions. I like the sentiment sure, and I’m all for people channelling their ambitions healthily. But we would also do well to realise when external circumstances may dictate the success of any narrowly defined resolutions, the resulting failure of which only makes us feel more deflated than when we started. And I admit, it is hard to make resolutions when you can’t assume you will be in a good enough state of health to see them through in 12 months time.

I’ve decided to try this year however; I have just one resolution for 2018 and it is to keep going.

When I feel so rough that I can’t remember ever feeling like an ambitious career woman, I will simply keep reminding myself that I am, until it feels real again. When a chest exacerbation has knocked me for six – and I can’t remember what a successful push up looks like, let alone the interior of the gym – I will trust that I used to be good at them and I can be again.

When I feel so lost – my confidence shook from a period of illness – that I can’t even fathom why I have such big dreams, I will remember all the dreams in my life I have already made reality. I may not know when, but I do I know there will be more to come.

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