Focus focus focus

Well I had a really interesting weekend at a Toastmasters district conference here in Sydney. I was particularly inspired by two world champions of public speaking who attended, and it reignited my enthusiasm for the whole public speaking thing. One of the places I feel in my element is in front of people, making them laugh and inspiring them with some sort of message, and I’d love to turn this into a career.

I feel frustrated that I’ve hit a road-block when it comes to feeling ill all the time. I don’t really feel like I can just sit here and wait for it to pass, because I have no idea how long that’s going to take. On the other hand, I get overwhelmed when I think about what I need to do in order to get where I want to go, especially when I can only head there at 50% speed. Sometimes I think a lack of focus and direction are just adding to my sense of fatigue, since it’s easier to feel depressed and hopeless when I’m not “heading somewhere”. Yeah, I know our sense of self-worth is supposed to be innate rather than based on our achievements and contributions to others; but I do feel a whole lot better when I’m making a difference in the world than when I’m not. Problem is when I push myself too hard into overwhelm, I end up resentful of the whole goddam situation and of other people – even though it’s not their fault.

I went to acting practise last night, which wasn’t a brilliant idea given that I was tired after the conference, which only ended that afternoon. But I do really enjoy it, and it did give me a lift. The weird thing about this fatigue is that it makes life very un-enjoyable on the one hand, yet imposes a limitation that reminds me just how much I do enjoy many aspects of life which are currently closed off to me. I wanna hang around so I can enjoy them again in the future, and I have to focus and prioritise which ones I can do right now since I can’t do them all.

I woke up feeling a bit wrecked this morning; maybe a 4/10. I took some Sudafed and that should get me up to about 6/10, which ought to be enough for me to head to this afternoon’s class. Anything about about a 5 is relatively functional.

I want to pursue a career as a communicator/comedian/writer, but it’s going to take time. Of course I want it now now now. Since starting the Gupta programme I’d been thinking “I’ll put that off until I’m better”; but I’m not so sure that’s a good idea since it leaves me feeling even more stuck and I have no idea when that’s going to be. It’s a matter of balancing the stress I feel from “not going anywhere” against the stress I feel from pushing myself too hard when I’m ill.

I’m going to drop one of the acting classes I’m doing next term, and take up a camera class instead, so I can get comfortable in front of a lens. It should also allow me to restructure my week so that I have time to prepare some speeches for Toastmasters too, which will get me back on track with the public speaking. Meanwhile, I think I’ll be living on Sudafed for the time being…

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.

4 thoughts on “Focus focus focus”

  1. I am learning not to think of my recovery from CFS as a period of putting life or my dreams on hold; instead, I am doing something very positive by learning to deal with it in a positive way. It’s like meditation- I used to think of it as a waste of time because I wasn’t doing anything. But now I see it as really doing something. The body is still, but meditation is active, effortful and can have powerful effects. The same is true of recovery from CFS. Especially for you and your dreams. People are inspired by people who transcend adversity- people who live it- who don’t just talk about it. I know it’s not easy- it wouldn’t be so inspiring if it were! And you are already doing it- your blog is inspiring! Best wishes.

    1. Thanks Pam! I really appreciate the encouragement. I’ve been looking at how to pursue those dreams within the context and limitations of CFS, without pushing myself so hard that I end up collapsing. It’s great to know that people are reading and being inspired; that’s awesome motivation for me to keep going.

  2. eeek … you do know that Sudafed is a really bad idea …….. you are basically taking speed to make your body push through when it just needs to rest. From what I have read and been told, the fatigue, wobble muscles and all those symptoms are actually your body breaking down tissue because the cells don’t have any energy left in them so the body starts looking elsewhere. Those symptoms are what keep us alive because they force us (or warn us) to stop and rest, ignoring that does long term damage to your whole body.
    I understand you just want to be well now and get on with your future … I feel the same. What I have decide to do is put all my dreams and goals etc on hold until next year. The plan is to give myself that amount of time to recover (boring as it is). If in a year I am no better then perhaps I will just try to forge ahead but I feel like doing that now is giving my body no chance of recovery, I am just damaging myself more ….

    If you haven’t already read this then I suggest you do … http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/CFS_-_The_Central_Cause:_Mitochondrial_Failure

    Take care 🙂

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