Choosing to Do a Little Too Much

Knowing I was choosing the consequences

Living with a chronic illness like ME/CFS can leave us with some with some very tough decisions to make. The best way we can control being as well as possible, is to choose to live within our energy envelope. But to really do that, we have to let go of so much and deal with so much loss. I’ve become a bit of an expert at finding ways to be happy with the tiny life that can be lived within my energy envelope, but every now and again an unmet need shouts for my attention. Mostly, I do my best to find creative ways of getting the essence of my needs met. But sometimes, that just isn’t enough.

For the last 6 months I’ve struggled to walk more than about 700m and that has been on my good days. Any more has generally led to a crash. If you add a car journey to that, that distance diminishes further, even when I’m not driving. (I haven’t driven a car for about 10 months). Which means the only walks I’ve been able to do have been around a block in my residential neighbourhood. I’m lucky to live in a lovely neighbourhood with tree lined streets but my only contact with nature has been with those trees, our garden and the small front gardens in the neighbourhood. I love watching the birds on our feeders and I pay lots of attention to how everything in nature changes on the 3 different short walks I’ve been able to do from home, and mostly I’ve found pleasure and satisfaction. But in the last few weeks, after 6 months of this very limited world, I was going crazy for a deeper connection with a more expansive natural environment.

Pin for choosing to do too muchHere comes the difficult choice. Do something to get that need met knowing that it will very likely knock my health back and could really slow down the already snails pace progress I’ve been making recently. Or force myself to work harder and harder and trying to make the most of what is, ignoring the call of my spirit. What would you do?

I chose nature, and I did so, knowing that I was choosing the consequences. Knowing that, best case scenario, I’d have even less energy than usual for several days after and worse case, my progress could be hindered for weeks. Also knowing that a crash, even a minor one causes brain chemistry changes that leave me in a joyless state, knowing that I was trading an hour of the profound joy of feeding my spirit with a deep connection to nature, with a few days of being unable to connect with joy even when it’s starting me in the face. But after 6 months I needed to do that and I did it with my eyes open. I also knew not to expect the worse, to be prepared for the consequences but to be open to things going really well. Maybe the spirit lifting connection would do so much good that it would minimise the negative consequences?

I had a wonderful time. It really was worth it. I want to relive it and tell you all about it. But actually, my energy isn’t great at the moment. It’s not terrible but I am dealing with the consequences, I haven’t got the energy to write anymore today, and I’m feeling a little low this morning, but I’ve put a few pics in a little video for you:


6 thoughts on “Choosing to Do a Little Too Much”

  1. Thanks for sharing that Julie. It looks very beautiful there….and I hope you feel so much more rejuvenated in your spirit even though you’ve chosen to pay in your body. I don’t know if you have anyone to drive you, but my daughter and I (she drives, I can’t) we go for a spin to Leek or Macclesfield, and there are some wonderful tree lined roads along the way. We don’t get out of the vehicle because of covid, but just the beauty of the trees and fields etc does us the world of good. Take care…sending hugs xx

    • Thanks Maureen. It is beautiful. I find going for a drive, even when being driven, can be almost as tiring as going for a walk so I don’t do it very often either, but maybe I could think about it from time to time. There is some lovely countryside around Shrewsbury too.

  2. This is so true! There have been times when I’ve pushed myself knowing I’d pay the price. But I’ve yet to regret it. When I’m completely exhausted from having pushed myself too hard, I give into it and focus on how much I enjoyed or benefitted from whatever activity I chose.

  3. I’m sorry things have been extra difficult lately. I feel that yearning for getting out into nature, too. Even a short walk or a sit in a park would be nice. I love the video – it looks beautiful there, and so peaceful. Sometimes pacing isn’t quite possible, sometimes we do have to push and do more, regardless of the paypack. And sometimes it’s absolutely worth it. Rest up lovely  ♥ xx


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