Monday, 2 April 2012

Health Writer's Month: When the Going Gets Tough

Today's Writer's Month topic is

Quotation Inspiration. Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes.

The quote I've chosen is actually a song line: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

This is pretty much the way I've spent most of my life. I'm the person who can handle anything. I was the 20th Century Superwoman, who could work, study, have children, play competitive sport, have it all, do it all. The problem is, as the 21st century rolled around, I discovered I had lupus.

Sometimes, no matter how tough I am, lupus is tougher.

A part of me still clings tight to the belief that I can have it all and do it all, if only I push myself just that bit harder. But reality tells me that if I push past a certain point (and that point can change from one day to another), I will make myself so sick that I will be able to do even less. I have to decide sometimes, whether proving I'm tough enough to finish the task I'm on will be worth having to spend the rest of the day in bed.

My rheumatologist spelled it out when he told me to give up going to Curves: "Use it or lose it doesn't apply to lupus. If you over-use it, you're going to lose it." And I gave up the gym workouts I loved, to go and do hydrotherapy - not because I really wanted to, but because it was necessary.

I have had to learn to ask for help. That's tougher for me than doing anything for myself.  Watching someone else do something for me that I still feel I ought to be able to do for myself is one of the biggest challenges lupus has given me. It requires a completely different kind of strength.

Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough go back to bed.

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