I came home Friday feeling wrecked from the week. My bag was full of work to catch up on over the weekend and I had a long checklist of personal things I wanted to get done. Yet, very little of it was to happen.
Saturday I got up after 11 hours of sleep, feeling just as tired as when I went to bed. I spent the day trying to work and got some things done, but also felt hopelessly behind.
All day I was fighting a deep ache in my bones. And exhaustion that made the bags under my eyes feel like they were carrying 100 pounds of bricks.
What a waste of a weekend. I hate these times when I am exhausted by the previous week, can’t seem to recover despite additional rest and have another bear of a week to look forward to. It makes me feel like a hamster, hopelessly toiling away on the wheel of RA.
I slept another 12 hours and took a nap on Sunday. And then I tried to look at my to-do list to make sense of it, prioritize enough to see if anything could possibly be dropped. I can’t get to everything and yet I feel these outsized expectations. Do you ever feel that if your co-workers actually knew what you were feeling and experiencing with RA that they would cry and apologize? That they would beg your forgiveness and take on more?
I know I’m having a good ole pity party. But sometimes that’s just where I’m at. I want to tell the world to go to hell, leave me alone and let me try to dig out of my RA pit. But it’s really not practical.
Another wasted weekend. Another loss of time feeling achy and stressed, when I’d rather be enjoying some quality time with my husband on a walk or just watching a movie. Another loss that cannot be recovered because once time is gone, it can never be returned.
I have to acknowledge and feel the loss. I have to remember that not all weekends are like this one. My bones may feel like they are breaking apart from the inside, but tomorrow is another day. The work will get done eventually. I cannot do it all and cannot take on the world’s burdens, because I have my own.
It’s clear that I have to say no more often. I take on too many tasks and it threatens my ability to do the things that I actually care about. Work can have my time, but it shouldn’t threaten my health. All easier said than done, but an important reminder of the need to set priorities.
Tomorrow is another day and I will treat it a little differently. I will need to take it slow, especially if I am still feeling terrible. And I will need to ask for help and tell people that “no, I cannot do it all.” One comfort is that my husband understands these things and asks how he can help, what he can do.
So maybe it is not a wasted weekend, but an insightful one where I had some reminder of my frailty and need to care for myself. Where I remembered what is truly important and that boundaries and priorities are part of the mix.
Perhaps others can do more and I can do a little less. Perhaps it’s possible to find a balance that better respects my RA, including the random fluctuations of pain and energy. I think this weekend hasn’t been a waste after all.
When was your last flare?