As much as I hate to admit it, I can't do all of the things I'd like to do. I've been seeing doctors about chronic pain and other discomforting symptoms since I was 14 (my Fibromyalgia diagnosis came about 13 years later), so the disconnect between what my mind thinks I can do and what my body thinks I can do has pretty much always been there- but it doesn't make it any easier to manage. In this side-hustle/all-go-no-quit/glamorize-the-grind culture, it's not always easy to say, "No, I can't take that on, I need to take it easy for my health right now," and in this economy, it's not always possible. This the rock and hard place I find myself in this week.
I moved from Southern to Northern California in January to take a step back from the crazy busy boss life/grind I was living because my health was suffering and I needed to make a change for me. I'm happy to report that the move, thus far, has been successful. My symptoms aren't as bad as they were because I don't work as much and up here I have a little help with cooking and cleaning so I'm not doing everything myself- which has been amazing and incredibly helpful.
Now as we, the naturally over-achieving Fibro-Fighters tend to do when we feel semi-normal, we think, "Oh, this means I'm well enough take on another thing!" so I decided to go forward with an opportunity to play Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona (Performances start in less than three weeks! Squee!!). With this play came further opportunity to be cast as an actor to perform in short interactive/themed parties held at the venue where our play is being put on (Buena Vista Winery), and so far I have committed to two- one this month, one next month- as I figured they were far enough apart and not overlapping with performances for my play, and while I knew it was a lot, they were paid opportunities that I needed, because taking a step back professionally for my health came with a dramatic pay decrease.
This week, overtime and another paid one-time opportunity came-up that was too good to pass up, which is great, but also scary because I know that overdoing it can cause Fibro Flares, but I've always been passionate about being able to pay rent and eat, so it is what it is. My focus right now is to try to rest as much as I can while still meeting the demands of what I have committed to. Luckily, I can learn lines lying on an ice/heat pack in my bed, so it's not a lot of physical work, but with Fibro Fog, reading and memorization can be an issue, especially after taking on extra hours and extra gigs this week, so there are still challenges, and it's still work even if I am lying down.
At the end of the day, I have no clear answers on how to balance work/financial needs with self-care. Sometimes, you have to work when your body would rather be resting, but trying to balance the two as much as possible is my goal for the week- wish me luck!
If you have any tips/suggestions, please share them in the comments below!
Heather, Fabulous Fibro-Fighter and FSC Founder