I didn't sleep much last night. And when I don't sleep well, no matter how hard I try, I can't get the rest of the day online. I'm better to just clear my schedule and wait it out. But some days I have things scheduled that aren't so easy to clear.
So I'm sitting here, feeling like a floating head, torturing myself about what to do with an appointment I have tonight. I'm exhausted. I feel sick. Josh is sick in bed. And I can't decide what to do. I feel such anxiety on these days. I have flashbacks of my JW days and how each day there was a meeting scheduled (JW's have religious meetings 3 times a week) I would go through this anxiety about whether I felt well enough to go.
For someone with CFS/FM, it is not just a consideration of having the energy to be there. It's the energy it takes to put on clothes, put on makeup, eat something, get in a car or get on a bus, put on the happy face, socialize, be attentive to indoctrination for 1-2 hours, filter through the guilt and shame you will inevitably feel at some point during the meeting, socialize again after, and then make your way home.
Needless to say, I missed meetings on occasion, although not as much as you might think considering all that. I was indoctrinated to believe that if I pushed myself to get to these meetings I would receive God's blessing and that I'd feel much better after, as opposed to the guilt I felt when I didn't go. It would sometimes take me days to get over feeling like a complete failure for missing a meeting, just in time to go through the next round.
Granted, often I did feel better after these meetings. The religious emotional high spikes endorphins. But by the next day, I'd usually crash and burn. I'd go through this at least 3 times a week, plus those days where I was expected to be out in the ministry. You know, knocking on people's doors bringing the "good news".
And I bought it all. I bought into these ideas. I felt these meetings and the ministry were my "lifeline" and that I would not be able to live without them. I was addicted. And I was trapped. It was like Hotel California, "You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave."
These memories haunt me. Every time I make a commitment to do something, whether it's take a class or make a doctor's appointment, I'm terrified about what happens when it comes time to keep that appointment. I have this overwhelming sense of being trapped in having to go. Even when it's something I want to do there is still the anxiety around having enough energy to get through and the question of what happens if I don't. How do I escape?