I scroll endlessly between the two options: dark green or dark grey? Which pair of boots will be better? (I really wanted patent black, but they didn’t have it). Grey will do. Grey will be good. It will be better than patent black, really. It will be more wearable.
Do I really need these boots?
Most days I am actually okay about being ill; I kind of accept it and get on with life. It doesn’t feature much in my thinking.
Today is not one of those days.
It always seems to happen after the good times, the best times. We have just been on a trip away from home, for two nights in a hotel. It was a humongous room with a balcony overlooking the sea. After a month of not being outside at all, I could see the horizon again. I had a massage which was indulgent and relaxing. I watched the people come and go as I sat waiting for my massage and thought to myself that I looked normal, that these people couldn’t tell from looking at me that I spent most of my days in bed. I ate creme brûlée. I saw penguins and seals. I laughed at my boy, and spent quality talking time with my husband.
And now I should be grateful, but I feel profoundly disheartened.
Most of the time you survive this illness by telling yourself it’s okay, this is normal, really, and there are worse things, and you could be worse off, and I could be bedbound, or not have my husband and baby – and wouldn’t I rather have those things than be perfectly healthy? And of course, I would.
But then there are the times when it just strikes you again: this is not normal, this is not okay. It is not okay that I have to measure out my activities in teaspoons, that I have to miss friends’ weddings, that I cannot play games and run with my boy, that I cannot go to church, that I can no longer sing, that I am not doing ministry, that I am just never, never getting better.
I am home now, and already my body is aching with the strain of the fun of Christmas and the time away. My heart is clunky and erratic, my muscles painful and knotted. And I am tired – so tired. This is the ‘payback’ of pushing things, even a little.
I am bored of being ill. I am weary of it. Today this does not feel okay.
I cannot cook for myself, but I can still buy boots. I can wear boots, and when I leave the house I will have new boots.
And then I consider, is it even worth buying them?
My rule of thumb, post-2010 relapse, has been to do a maximum of one thing a day, and aim to leave the house for an hour or so once a week. But major relapses since then have shown that even this is too much. I need to rest more. My rations are probably more like one thing every other day, leaving the house once a fortnight.
So that means this year I will leave the house maybe 26 times, and most likely only wear those boots approximately 15 times this year. It is foolish, ridiculous even, to buy a pair of new leather boots, simply because I love shoes. They will get so little wear. It is an extravagance. I should not buy them.
I have to be frugal, like this, with pretty much every area of my life when it comes to time and energy expenditure. Going over-budget on fun things for a day can cost weeks and months in a relapse; it’s not worth it. Have I gone out for a meal last week? Then for the next two weeks I need to talk to friends twice a week rather than four times a week.
I go back to the website and select ‘dark grey’ and click ‘buy now’.
Sometimes all you can do is buy the ridiculous boots anyway.
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