Monday, 12 September 2016

Giving up "Hope"

I had a minor energy crash again yesterday. I spent most of the day in bed, all brain fogged with my glands prickling and swollen, and feeling pretty despondent about being kicked back down the hole again, when I thought had been on a slow, steady upward trajectory the last few weeks.
Why did it happen? Who knows. Maybe I did too much on Saturday, even though it didn't feel like it at the time. And why am I okay-ish again today, when the last crash fully flattened me for 2 weeks? Dunno.
Anyway. I've been wondering about hope.
It all likelihood, this won't be a long term illness for me. Maybe a year, give or take a few months. Most people don't get super long term chronic fatigue from glandular fever. But the people who do are the ones who continue blog and write about it and dominate the web forums! Once they get healthy they stop blogging and get on with their life! However despite its unlikelihood, I'm still pretty scared of the spectre of long term illness. Like 10-15-20+ years. It happens. To lots of different people.
And so I realised yesterday, that for all my 'acceptance' of being fatigued, I have been clinging quite tightly onto the (albeit fairly reasonable) hope, that I'll be one of the people who's only sick for a short time. That before too long I'll re-enter the world of the healthy and energetic, with a few lessons that I learnt in slowtown packed away as souvenirs in my suitcase, and a better person for it.
The (very small) chance that I won't get better is a scary boogeyman in the corner that I am afraid to look at.
This hope is like a life buoy that I am grasping onto, providing the buoyancy to my sense of wellbeing.
What would happen if I let it go? Into the wild, stormy ocean?
Would letting go of hope enable me to more truly 'be here now', and more truly accept my limitations?
Would it release me from the despondency and disappointment that happens when I think I'm on the path to getting better, and then for no apparent reason I get kicked back down again?
If I let go of hope, would I then be less inclined to get excited when I am feeling good, and (usually inevitably) push myself too hard and overdo it?
Perhaps, if I let go of hope, my view could instead be: “I feel good today. I'm grateful for that. However I cannot expect tomorrow will be the same”.
And conversely: “Yes I feel tired/sick/sad/lonely/frustrated today. But I have no reason to expect that tomorrow will be the same”.
Embracing the transience of both joy and suffering.
Of course, if abandoning 'hope' meant abandoning self-care, the will to live, to learn, to keep researching and carefully trialling different health experiments, then that wouldn't be so great.
So can I still care for myself (and the world), whist letting go of hope? For some imagined, future vibrance? For something other than what is my experience right now?
And contemplating this question more today, I realised that my hope is a very stubborn thing. (Or my attachment to hope / fear of the bogeyman / fear of the wild ocean is). How does one let go of hope, if indeed it is a wise and brave, rather than reckless move, to release ones grasp on ones lifebuoy?

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