Well, another month has snuck by without any posts. It seems as if it is all I can do just to get through each day. By last Wednesday, I was definitely not doing well on all levels, physical, emotional, and psychological, so I decided I would have a holiday break doing as little as possible. I am never sure how to figure out how much is too much but by last Wednesday there was no doubt that there had been too much.
One of the biggest problems I find in dealing with chronic issues, especially chronic pain, is knowing when I should just kick myself in the backside, figuratively, and get on with things and when I should simply rest. And my artistic temperament causes natural highs and lows as I work creatively. Earlier this month, I wrote my second novel. It just took off with me and it wrote itself in a flurry of days where I was writing 4-6 hours at a time. I didn't feel tired (well until the end of each day's writing) and I ignored my pain and I was on an adrenaline high, thrilled with how the novel was just pouring out of me. In twelve days I wrote 57,427 words and had a finished first draft. Then the next day my first proof copy of my first novel arrived and that was another high which kept me going for a week or so as I worked on finding the few goofs and sending off my corrections.
In and around all this, I kept on with my tutoring and volunteering at Student Link. But by last Wednesday I was more than ready for time off. I have spent all of the Thanksgiving holiday break reading. I read a five novel series by Patricia Wrede, The Lyra Novels, which I really enjoyed and then I started on a Robin Hobbs trilogy The Rain Wilds Chronicles, also wonderful. I have thought about quilting. I have thought about planning my book of haiku. I have thought about revising my second novel. But I have done none of that. I have snuggled into my recliner and read with one or two cats in my lap and the dogs at my feet.
As I mentioned earlier, my innate artistic temperament means that I have a melancholic nature and I need to watch for the signs that indicate I am slipping into depression. In addition, both Hashimoto's Thyroid Disorder and Fibromyalgia have depression as one of their main symptoms, and of course chronic pain also causes depression.
I worry that "doing nothing" could aggravate the situation. I have always been a do-er and it is hard for me to be idle. I had it drummed into me from an early age that it wasn't acceptable just to be; one always had to be doing. For most of my life that has been possible, and indeed I think my various activities have helped in my battle with depression.
But now I'm not so sure where the line is between doing enough to keep the depression away and doing too much to cause the depression to worsen because my other health issues are being neglected. So this weekend is going to be a test case. I shall see if I am in better shape when I return to the "real world" on Tuesday as a result of my very restful five days. I suspect my juggling act between too much and too little will continue for the remainder of my life, but I hope that with time I will be able to judge more easily where the line between the two lies on any given day.