Once I started to feel a bit better so was physically able to go out and socialise with friends easily (going for a coffee or round theirs for dinner etc), I started to take more notice of the slightly bigger social events, ranging from a friend’s birthday to a formal ball etc.
These events would defiantly rate a whooping 60-70 of my daily 100 credits, so would more than likely take me over my credit limit, and would also involve alcohol. (Talked about credit/pacing in previous post: Link)
Whilst these events would push me over, I still built them in to my weekly planners, as at least it enabled me predict when I was likely to crash, and I could really think ‘IS IT WORTH IT?’. As Toby says in several of his videos and I love this :
Think to yourself is this event a HELL YEAH? If yes go out do it live your life, if not learn to say that important word NO!
I really try to use this in deciding with whether or not a social event is worth it, there are some-things in life I just don’t want to miss. It is about learning to compromise.
For instance a month or so ago, there was the annual Bristol Young Accountants Ball ( It is much funner than it sounds!) I had been for the previous 3 years and really loved it, and all my work friends were going. I thought is this event a hell yeah? And yes yes it was, the thought of not going made me feel really left out and depressed, and to add a flare of the dramatic a bit like Cinderella.
So I brought my ticket the month before, and it gave me something to really look forward too (which is important), I brought a brand new dress and was just so excited, and this Cinderella really did go to the ball.
However like Cinderella there were compromises that had to be made by going :
- Ensured that I had everything I needed ready to go about the week before
- I had practised my hair at the beginning of the week, so I wouldn’t stress out
- I arranged for a friend to come and get ready and give me a lift in
- Ensured I had a few quiet days before the ball
- I let a few key/ supportive friends expected me to be there and got them to save me a seat on their table. I did this rather than letting everyone know I was coming because if I didn’t feel up to it on the day I could have pulled out without it being a big deal.
- On the day I :
- Had lots of rest
- Ate well including drinking lots of water
- One the night:
- With the help of an understanding friend, we arrived as dinner was due to be served rather than for the welcome drinks, this is so that I could go straight to sitting at the table (where a place had been saved for me) rather than having to stand around.
- I tried to drink a glass of water for every glass of wine
- I spent a lot of time sat at tables chatting to people (Rather than dancing away all night)
- I limited dance floor time, and kept on taking frequent breaks
- And most importantly, when the clock struck 12 ( well maybe 12.30) much like Cinderella I went home, instead of moving onto works favourite club.
Luckily unlike Cinderella I did not lose a shoe, and my very own and understanding prince charming came home with me at 12 as well.
Following the Cinderella theme, my night also had consequences.
Unlike Cinderella they weren’t quite as magical as my carriage (a taxi) turning into a pumpkin and some mice, and the love of my life using my lost slipper to search every house hold in Bristol trying to find me (I think you might get locked up for doing that these days!) they involved:
- Not being able to get out of bed unassisted the following day
- Being bed bound for 2 following days – with the exception of going to the bathroom
- Generally feeling like CRAP
- But what to me was the worse consequence of all (as I had anticipated the above and accepted them), was that a few other people from work, seemed to judge the fact that I was there or even worse judging me for being off sick because I looked fine. ( I was off sick at the time, but was building up to coming back with occupational health, who told me I should go if I wanted to!) .
But after all that the preparation, compromises and the consequences; was it worth it? HELL YEAH! & That is what the hell yeahs are all about.
What others think
I just wanted to say a quick thing about the views of others. I think the problem with CFS/ ME is that like my Cinderella moment at the ball, people see you as being fine, you put on your happy face and let your hair down and have a night of fun. What other people don’t see is all the preparation, compromises and physical consequences that you take just to have a hell yeah moment every now and then.
It is really hard when this sort of thing happens, and its not just with work people, but family, friends and pretty much anyone, and I don’t think for me personally anyway that it will ever stop being hard. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to write this blog is to many help show the other side to the happy face at a party, but also to show people with CFS that you are not alone.
Whilst it is hard, I now try not to dwell on it. I accept that it is upsetting but I move on and don’t dwell – I find meditation really helps with this.