Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Good with the Bad

Yesterday, we hiked 3 miles around Guajome Lake.

The day before, I conquered this mountain (extinct volcano) at Calavera:

Sometimes, having autoimmune disorders can feel like two steps forward, one step back. I had two fantastic days, during which I felt "normal". Today, I am on the couch in Star Wars pjs, dealing with some UC issues (no matter how much I love them, salad, corn, and j-pouches just really don't mix well). Today I need to take it easy. 

"Taking it easy" has always been tough for me - I am Type A, sometimes to an extreme, and I enjoy being active. I go stir crazy when I am relegated to the couch by my symptoms. Autoimmune doesn't listen to Type A though, and I've learned over the years to listen to my body, and respect it when it cues me in that I need that break. I've had people comment that my life must be fantastic. I myself even joke that I live the princess life. But there is nothing fantastic about being forced to rest, being forced to take it easy, being relegated to the couch when there is a whole world to explore.

It's one of those tough things to explain to people who don't have autoimmune issues - the good days and bad days. The good days look really good. The good days are really good. I had a smile on my face walking up that mountain. Six months ago, I was barely able to walk around my neighborhood, let alone walk up a volcano. I was excited at how easy it was to get out there and conquer. I was excited to not wake up sore the next day, to able to go on another hike right away. I felt good. 

The bad days suck the life out of you. But I am learning that they are necessary in this life I am living. These days - where I need to do nothing but lay down and let my body recover - are necessary so that I can conquer mountains on my good days. I may resent the bad days for not being good days, I may resent having to couch-potato, I may resent the comments that I am "so lucky" to be able to couch potato when all I want to do is explore, conquer, live life, but these bad days remind me to slow down. These bad days remind me to rest, recuperate. These bad days remind me that, if I listen to what my body is saying, if I stay in tune to it, if I don't push past what I am capable only to end up more sick, if I agree to a couch day, well, good days are coming. Conquering can be achieved. Exploring can happen. Life can be lived. I can get back here: