What I learned, upon review, and explanation

I had some time to think over the evening about the support group meeting (the one where I was the only one) and what I might have learned.

Nothing new but a reiteration that I need to have the confidence to tell people “no, I’m not ready” even though I know that they don’t understand why I say “no”.

I didn’t get any practical advice about how to deal with people that take it personally, or how to explain to them that their conceptions of “all you need to do” isn’t going to “fix” me.

I say yes to things I know that I’m not ready for, and sometimes I actually can do them to the detriment of everything else that actually *needs* to get done. Because it takes so much recovery time to do the extra thing.
As an example, you’ve heard of the bystander who lifted a car off of a child in a moment of fear/adrenalin/whatever. When the child is saved the person collapses, the body/mind wasn’t ready to lift cars but the challenge was all there was at the time. It takes that person time to recover, time for the muscles to heal, time for the mind to recover from the shock as well. That person isn’t going out to do their 3 mile jog the next day, or probably for several days afterwards.
It’s like that. That small activity that most people think of as daily fun is the equivalent of the adrenalin rush of lifting the car off of a trapped child for me. It isn’t fun, entertaining, or something I want to do again.
But unlike the car lifting person, I *do* have to do this activity again, over and over and over, because people expect it of me, because they don’t see that I just lifted a car yesterday and that I’m exhausted both body and mind.

Sometimes, I will say yes to something, to challenge myself, to see where I’m at, to see if I’ve learned to deal with some small aspect of “stuff”.
The trouble is that none of you (all inclusive you, meaning the world at large, not any one person in particular) ever know what the challenges are; I don’t go around declaring that this or that activity is my weekly challenge to myself.
Most of the time, just keeping my apt clean, paying my bills, and caring for Keegan are all I can handle.
I’ve since included exercise to my task of things that must get done a certain percentage of the time. I’m working on adding exercise without dropping the basics.

This is why sometimes I “flake out”. I’ve accepted a challenge, to see if I can do it, and I find that I can’t yet. It isn’t because I don’t have the guts or the willpower, it’s because I know what my boundaries are to stay mindful and sane and connected to the world, and that activity would take me beyond the boundaries at this time.
I don’t know how to explain this to people who have yet to find their limits. Some people never do. I don’t know how to explain this to people who believe there is no limit; that all you have to do is keep pushing and the “limits” will expand.
Yes, I do believe that, for most people, limits can frequently be expanded; but that doing so is a slow and careful process. And it is a personal process, deeply individual for each person and their circumstances.
I also believe that for a few people, there are limits; that to attempt to push beyond their limit will do only harm to their body and/or mind.

There are times to break the limits, and possibly your body and mind, as in the example of lifting the car off of the child.
But the true healing of a body/mind is not done in astounding feats that cause people to ohhh and ahhh, it’s done in small steps, sometimes backward steps, invisible steps, steps that take the longer path around when those who think they’re helping create crevasses in your path, and the infinitesimal steps against the gale of criticism and “tough love”.

This is why I say “no” so often, this is why I sometimes say “yes, maybe, I’ll have to see how I’m feeling when the time arrives”, and this is why sometimes I disappoint you when I thought I would be able to do something but then I had to lift a car off of a puppy and now I don’t have the strength to go to the mall, not even for 15 minutes, so I bail after I’d previously said yes.

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