Adrenaline inner tube

I made a decision yesterday to do something I knew would make me crash. Part of me thought it might not be so bad. Another part of me knew it would be wise to plan downtime the next day to recuperate. That second part, the reasonable, planner part, although realistic and more self-compassionate than the other parts of me, thought perhaps it was an overreaction to think I’d need the entire next day to get over it. Turns out that plan was right on target.

I’m on a week-long vacation with my husband and my parents. Although my parents are in their 70s, they have more energy than I have had in years and are always up for an adventure. It’s a bit intimidating. I try to take things at my own pace. However, yesterday was above and beyond my pace, like riding a pedal tricycle amid a NASCAR race. 

Adrenaline plays an interesting role in fibromyalgia. I was aware all day that I needed to do what I could to keep myself comfortable and conserve energy, but I never really felt all that bad. Toward evening, as we drove back to our rental house, my pain increased significantly, but we were getting close and I knew the end of the day was in sight. I was daydreaming of my pajama pants and a cozy blanket, of lying on my back and stretching. 

When we finally got to the house after 12 hours on the go, my inner tube of adrenaline burst. It had been keeping me afloat all day, but it suddenly recognized its work was done. It whistled as it quickly deflated, casting me aside and letting me slip through the hole in the middle, arms over my head as I watched it wither away. There was nothing I could do.

Without my adrenaline inner tube, I managed to slip into the shower and then into my pajamas. I crashed, face first, onto the bed and lied there with muscles so sore it felt something like I imagine the start of paralysis to be. My stomach growled, but the thought of chewing and swallowing, of moving my arms from food to my face, was too much. I could hear my family downstairs, eating dinner together. I could not bring myself to get up and join them. I fell asleep, hair wet, teeth unbrushed, curtains open.

Today, I am drinking in silence and stillness, making the most of my recuperation day.

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