I spent most of my life thinking, and feeling, that I was lazy, slothful, and just generally a layabout. I didn’t much like feeling this way about myself, but the evidence seemed pretty strong, and as with most stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves, that evidence just kept showing up. Waking up is really hard and takes a long time, I *never* seem to get enough sleep, I generally require most of the weekend to recover from the week, and motivation and energy just seem to be harder to come by for me than they seem to be for others.
Most of my adult life has been spent trying to compensate for my laziness. I drink a *lot* of coffee, I smile more than I’m inclined to, and I spend a lot of what little motivation I have fighting through fog and lethargy.
Being of an engineering mindset, when I received my Crohn’s diagnosis, I immediately started doing my research. What should I find but that chronic fatigue is a common symptom! Was it possible that, after all these years, I wasn’t actually lazy after all? Could it be that there was an actual reason for the fact that most days feel like crushing burdens to be carried?!? This was mind blowing. It didn’t change my experience… I’m still tired all the time, but my experience of that experience (my meta-experience?) was transformed. Rather than being judgmental toward myself, rather than condemning my apparent laziness, I was able to muster a level of compassion and forgiveness for myself.
I do not tell you this to seek your sympathy. I tell you this because I want you to understand the enormity of what else I’m about to tell you.
2 days in a row now, I have commuted to work on my bicycle, completely under my own human power.
Yes, it was hard. Yes, I tried to talk myself out of it. Yes, it’s only 4 miles and mostly downhill. Yes, I still feel a little wobbly an hour later. Doesn’t matter. I did it. That’s what matters. And ya know what? I feel pretty damn proud of myself. Will I do it again tomorrow? Dunno.. ask me tomorrow. But at least I know that I’m capable of it.