This is the one million dollar question for Mr. Epstein Barr Virus. It would take me a while to explain the physiological reasons this nasty virus is zapping away my time by using up my energy. Here’s the every day answer:
- Trying to sleep.
- Staring off into “zombie zone” while your brain’s computer program is frozen.
- Thinking about everything you want, and need to do.
- Thinking how frustrated you feel about everything you’re not getting done.
- Effort made getting up. Effort made sitting down. Effort made breathing.
- On a good day, dishes get done. This task takes much longer than usual because your body feels heavy, as if matted with thick, dried mud. Your reflexes are off, so you’re more prone to dropping something. And in Zombie Zone, you forget where things go.
- Cleaning up messes and nursing cuts and bruises from dropping things, tripping, stumbling, doing anything other than sitting or lying down.
- Watching TV. Either escaping into a happily ever after, or feeling reassured that you’re not the only one dealing with enormous amounts of stress.
- Thinking about taking a shower. Visualizing it. Telling yourself you can do it. But the amount of energy it takes to undress, deal with the whole process of bathing, is too exhausting. So you remain in your pajamas, again.
- Asking yourself, am I depressed? I don’t feel depressed. I want to live! I want to get up and dance, drive, see my friends and family, work, CREATE! No, I am not a depressed person. I am depressed about my body not working for me. That it won’t listen to me, won’t obey my commands to MOVE! But I don’t let that stop me from doing whatever I can each day to appreciate this life I’m given and the opportunities to heal.
- Remembering all the things you used to do, how capable and physically strong you were. Reinforcing those memories so you don’t forget who you really are and what’s possible again. This illness is not my true self, it is a health hijacker.
- Crying, secretively, on those days when you feel so fed up in the cage that is your body, you want to scream. But you don’t have the energy. So you weep, quietly if someone is home, loudly if you’re alone. And you get that shit out so you can wipe your nose and move on with this healing business because it is hard work. And you can’t spend your days crying about it or you’ll defeat yourself. So let it out, cry your freaking eyes out, and then bravely face this day.
- Talking to loved ones on the phone, reassuring them you’re getting answers and doing everything you can to get better. Being extra mindful not to complain too much about your lot, not to feel sorry for yourself. You want them to know your spirit’s got this. No matter how much your mind checks out on you, your spirit will continue to fight the battle.
- Fantasizing about all of the things you will accomplish when you feel better. Working out again and feeling strong and free in your body! Being able to tolerate more foods (God willing!). Travel, oh all the place you’ll go! Expanding your work hours and feeling part of the community again! Engaging in your favorite hobbies; that half finished creative project finally gets done! Waking up feeling refreshed and being in awe how liberating having a running motor is again – you can drive anywhere you want, get the house sparkly clean, go for a super long nature walk! YOU ARE FREE.
So that’s where the time goes. Getting through the night, fighting to rise in the morning, donating hours of time to planning, visualizing, hoping, praying because doing, for now, is limited. Emphasis on for now. The best thing about having a crappy present moment is all present moments are temporary.