06 Nov 12 The Road to Slow

 

Anyone who has had ADD/ADHD knew that our biggest bane was moving slowly. We did everything fast. We ate fast, typed fast, talked fast, worked fast: we did about everything fast. We would even sleep fast if there was such a way to do so. It was not by choice, mind you. It was simply the way we were programmed. We were skilled at multitasking. I could carry on a conversation and type a letter at the same time. I didn’t, only because then I ended up telling the person what I meant to type, and then typing what I meant to tell the other person. I didn’t say I was good at that kind of multitasking, I just said I could do it.

For those of us for whom the world exists in fast forward, what happens when we needed to slow down? I was not talking a stop and smell the roses type of slow down, but times when not slowing down was truly bad for your health.

When I was in High School, I caught the dreaded kissing disease- mononucleosis. I was so sick I missed half my senior year of high school. Part of the reason I was so sick was because I couldn’t slow down enough to actually get well. As soon as I felt a bit better, I would over do, and get worse. Trying to find that stable, elusive, middle ground has been something I have struggled with ever since. Although I was better, my mono was considered chronic. Day to day activities were fine, but if I over do, a simple good night’s sleep does not cut it. When I did too much, and felt overwhelmed, I became tired. Bone tired. Now, I knew of others who just “power through” and I was glad they could. I knew they thought I was a wimp for not being able to do that. What they did not understand was that I used to, with bad consequences.

One time, many years ago, when my kids were little, I pushed. I was still a young mom, and was trying to do everything. Be a mom, a housewife, a volunteer, and do it all. I pushed, and pushed even though my body was telling me it was time to just be.  But of course, as stubborn as I am, I didn’t listen. Instead, I pushed harder.

Finally, my body took charge, and I collapsed. We are talking fell on the floor, couldn’t get up to even crawl into bed collapsed. I was so thankful that when I did I had the phone in my hand, because otherwise I would have scared the kids in my helplessnes, who were in another room watching TV. I had to call someone to just help me into my room. For three days I could hardly turn over. I remember crawling to the bathroom, and it took me five minutes to get there and get myself onto the pot.

Not one of my finer moments. Not one of my healthiest either. I made it through cancer without a recurrence of the effects of the mono, but I was not oblivious to the fact that it was still there. I tick off the number of things I had going, and how wonderfully busy I was with so many wonderful, exciting things happening, I realized I was exhausted. I needed a time out. I knew I would be hitting my breaking point if I did not.

The question of the day was what to give up? I could not give up driving the boys where they needed to go. Not at this stage of things as they were learning to drive. I could not  give up cooking and housekeeping. No one else would make sure it all got done. I hated to take a break from my volunteer job since that was what kept me going, and kept me energized.

It was time to find a way to stop and smell the roses again. I needed to employ my remedy of going to bed for about three days and immerse myself in a few good books.

Maybe I should immerse myself into writing a new one. That might keep me busy for a day or two.

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