Last year, I did an eight week course. It was an art class almost every Saturday morning, from mid October to December. I really did enjoy the class: It was a lot of fun! I made friends within the class and got a lot of good artistic advice, and even more confidence in my work. I don't regret doing the class what so ever.
My body, on the other hand, hated it very much. I tend to be busy over the week (and by 'busy,' I mean going to school, coming home and doing homework in bed). But those weeks were extremely busy for me: Things started popping up from nowhere! It was a bit more than I could handle. There was actually a point when I became so stressed out that accidentally spilling coffee on some paperwork I was supposed to be sending out sent me into a hysterical screaming fit.
Mentally, I was breaking down. But the physical toll was much more intense. I lost my Saturdays to recover from school since I was out of the house by six thirty in the morning (just like every day). The class was three hours of standing to paint or draw. And since the train schedule is a bit different on Saturday, there was lots of waiting around. Sundays were reserved for sleeping only. There was no going outside or doing any chores. In fact, if I had a bed pan I don't think I would have ever gotten out. There was a lot more pain, and even new joints experiencing pain. My shoulders began to ache from the world I carried on my back. I was burning out.
The end of the class marked the beginning of the winter holidays. I got two weeks to attempt to recover. But to be completely honest, I'm not anywhere close to where I once was. I may not have been energetic before my Saturday courses began, but I wasn't fighting to keep my eyes open in school either. I was making a lot of progress before the class, and my rheumatologist and I decided to try going three months without an appointment. When I saw him in January, I wasn't nearly as run down but it was enough to send off little alarms in his head. I was sent for labs that required 80% of my blood and I'll be seeing him again shortly to discuss where we will go from here. I know many things are being questioned at the moment medically, and I will share them once I know. I just don't want to tell you my own suspicious and come off as a hypochondriac. Which I'm not.
I'm just an unpaid medical investigator.
I like to pretend I'm Wonder Woman. I love coming across as being able to save the world and still be home in time for supper. As open as I am about being chronically ill, there's this part of me that still fights it. I come up with the dumbest reasons why I can't do something or don't want to go somewhere. There's over a hundred excuses I've given for taking public transportation, walking or riding with friends instead of just driving my own car. Honestly, It's just that driving is too much to handle. I've told people I don't work after school because my parents insist I focus on my school work only. And though that is actually true, it's because I can't handle it. I volunteer once a week for three hours, and it takes me a few days to recover from that: How am I going to work everyday after school?
I admit it: I'm not a normal young person. A lot would call me lazy. And that's okay.: They don't know what it's like to live like this. I resist peer pressure say no to doing drugs to become 'cool.' I resist peer pressure and say no to burning myself out just to be 'normal.'
Don't do more than you can handle. It might seem worth it at the time, but you may regret it later. Don't be mad with yourself if you find you can't handle it anymore. You're strong for going as long as you could.
Don't destroy yourself with work that you feel you're drowning in. It's not worth it.
Do take care of yourself. You're worth it. You're beautiful.