A woman, chained to a couch, tries to run away.

What If I Don’t Want to Rest?!

I HATE resting. I have never been very good at it. It always feels like there’s so much to do! Work needs doing, my daily exercise to help fibromyalgia pain needs doing, and the house always needs a bit of clean and tidy. Food needs making. Dogs need walking. Shopping needs doing. The list of things is endless!

I feel stressed if there is lots to do and it is piling up, and I feel stressed when I am exhausted and doing too much. Where is the happy medium?!

Even when I am resting, I still question, "WHY AM I RESTING??"

Planning rest into my schedule

I am in a constant battle with myself and my need to be in control and plan everything.

I had thought that changing the entire pace of my life would be enough, but it’s not. I used to work a 30-hour week in an office. I now work freelance from home for around 20, but I start later, finish earlier, and I have no commute!

It’s not enough. I still have to limit the amount of everything else I do in a day. I still have to plan rest days if I am going to attempt to do something slightly bigger than the daily chores of washing the dishes and cooking our evening meal.

Why don’t I like resting?

Resting often makes me feel like I have failed. Like I have been beaten. Then that makes me feel weak, and I hate that. I was always Little Miss Independent before IBD and the fatigue it brought with it.

Then the fibromyalgia followed many years of pain medication and surgeries. Resting and asking for help makes me feel like am no longer independent, and that was one of the very few things I ever liked about myself.

I feel like I am being forced into it, and I basically am. I am the one doing the forcing, but that’s only a result of pushing too hard for too long in the past and ending up in a hole I couldn’t get out of.

Wanting to be in control with UC

Being forced to stop makes me feel like I am no longer in control, and control is something I have many issues with, presumably because IBD took away a lot of it. Realizing I couldn’t control what my body did and when was infuriating.

No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get a handle on it. I ended up with surgeries I’d never have chosen, and my career, diet, socialising, and many other aspects of my life were dictated by my disease.

So, why do I rest?

Accepting I need to rest with IBD

I have had to accept that things aren’t the way they might have been had I not been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was, and there’s nothing that can be done about that. I didn’t choose it. I didn’t cause it. It’s just how my life turned out.

Often, the only pressure being put on me is by myself. I have had to find new things to like myself for. Smaller things that add up. Being an ear or giving someone some advice that makes their day easier is a valuable use of my time, and I can do that while sitting down!

I know that if I don’t choose to rest, then I will ultimately be forced to. Therefore, I have to take control and choose when to rest. It’s scheduled into my daily life – because I need that control, and I need a plan!

Reminding myself to take care of me

I still have to constantly remind myself that I went freelance so that I could plan my own time, so taking some additional time off when needed is not failing. It is doing what I planned to do all along!

I know, deep down, that I would be failing myself more if I didn’t choose to listen to my body and look after me.

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