Wrestling with “not working”

I’ve been really wrestling with this whole six-month-commitment take-a-break don’t-work thing. I don’t want to just sit around idle; in fact, I notice my symptoms more when I’m not doing anything. I have a consulting engineering business which gives me more work than I want to do, if I ask for it; but that sort of work just doesn’t seem to feed the emotional side of my brain any more. Plus I’d like to build a business where I can earn passive income, so I can eventually retire. Being paid by the hour to help other people with projects I don’t care much about doesn’t do that for me.

However, I do enjoy many aspects of the creative stuff that I do, which I’d ultimately like to earn a living from. I’m building a website to sell my first book on attraction and dating, and I quite enjoy recording interviews with experts to build bonus products. It’s sort-of “work”, but I can do it from home, and it’s quite engrossing; meaning I don’t worry about feeling ill. I do still worry about being successful at it mind you; this is a big trap for me. But I’ve been agonising about how to give up doing this stuff when I feel so compelled to work on it all the time. Which I guess means that I really enjoy it. Yeah, I’m probably addicted to the feeling of success, and every time I record a sale or an affiliate sale, I feel hugely motivated to do some more work on it. That’s gotta be better than sitting around feeling ill, worrying about how I’m going to find work that I enjoy again.

So I’m going to lighten up on myself about this. I’m sticking to the 6-month commitment to the program, and to only doing stuff that I enjoy during that time. I’m going to avoid anything that stresses me out as far as possible. But if I really want to do something creative that’s going to earn me money, I’m not going to hold off on the basis that I’m “not supposed to be working”. What I will do is pace myself, not “work” weekends, and take breaks when I’m on the computer so I don’t get sucked back into sitting in front of a screen all day. I’ll work on moderating my craving to be successful. And I’ll be grateful that I’m in a position of working because I want to, rather than because I have to. I can only imagine how hard it must be for people with CFS who can’t support themselves financially without the extra stress of working. So my thoughts go out to you.

I just watched Session 12, the final session of the Gupta programme this morning. It was a good recap. I’m going to go back to session 1 next and keep watching them regularly to keep the motivation up. I haven’t had a really bad day in a couple of weeks now. I went out with my friend Ash last night and stayed out till about 1am playing Band Hero on his PS3. I feel tired today, but not dreadfully so. And I’m learning to dissociate from that tired feeling anyway, as described in Session 12. I’m quietly optimistic; it’s still early days.

If you’re on the programme, drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing so we can support each other.

I’m off to play some guitar and chill out some more…

Author: Graham

I'm a guy in his late 40's, recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since May 2009. I now offer coaching and support to other people with CFS/ME.

One thought on “Wrestling with “not working””

  1. Ive just read your story here on f/book, and you sound exactly like me, I suffer cfs and fibromyalgia and believe it or not Im a struggling affilliate. I had to give up my job as a therapist and try & do something online as I can’t stand for any length of time and I suffer terrible headaches & fatigue. I have been looking for an affiliate buddy so I can move forward with promoting digital products. Maybe you can help me, as Im not good with websites. I live on the Gold Coast of Australia, would like to hear from you. Take care now. Greta Jourdane šŸ™‚

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