In the journey of recovery from CFS I’ve had to do a lot of work learning to trust me body. I’ve learnt to listen to the signs it gives me and respect its limits. It’s not the easiest thing to do, and I still have moments where I push a little to far, but we are now working together instead of against each other.
For me one of the hardest parts is still the brain fog. I’ve learnt to trust my body, but my mind can’t always be relied upon! Just last week I put a load of clean, dry washing back into the machine instead of the dirty pile next to it. When I realised an hour later I was livid with myself. However, that isn’t productive. It doesn’t stop me from doing the same thing this week.
With my gradual build up of time at work, the brain fog has been my biggest anxiety. As an assistant I need to be vigilant and on the ball, if I’m easily confused or making mix ups, how can I do my job? I’ve had to accept that sometimes I’ll make mistakes. Perhaps they are mistakes I would have made before I became unwell, but now I am much more focused on them and taking them more to heart. The truth is everyone makes mistakes. The more energy I put into worrying about making them, the less I have left to try to do my job in the first place! Objectively I am fine 99% of the time, but by focusing on that 1% I make it seem so much bigger and more frustrating.
The best solution I have found is to slow down. When I rush myself I am more likely to mess up, so I have to resist the urge to be a whirlwind of productivity and focus on each task one at a time. I also try to leave time to double check things once I’m finished. I accept that I am human and I won’t always get it right, but by setting up my day to give me the best chance of catching any mistakes, I am setting myself up for success. If I just fret about what my limitations are I am choosing to do less, and that isn’t what I want for myself.