This piece is part of a series of paid commissioned opinion and personal essay pieces by Disabled writers. Disabled people are constantly asked to work for free, to give their opinion for free and to educate people for free, and so I have created this space to not only give Disabled writers the opportunity to write and speak, but to gain income as well. You can expect to hear from a variety of Disabled, Deaf and hard of hearing people, Neurodivergent people and those living with chronic and mental illness. This is entirely fundraised for. Pacing & Chronic Illness | What I’ve Learntby Natasha LipmanLike many people living with chronic illness, I have a bit of a complex relationship with pacing.Having been told to “do it” for most of my life, but never taught what “it” actually was, I spent many years believing that pacing was:
- Do a thing
- Do another thing
- Pacing doesn’t have to be blocks of activity followed by blocks of full cognitive rest. This is something that I always struggled to do – and was pretty much the extent to which pacing had been explained to me in the past. So when she said this, I sighed an existential sigh of relief. I think about different energy “buckets” – physical energy, mental energy, and restful energy. I can switch between them.
- Pacing shouldn’t be a thing that makes us feel as though we’re able to do less, having to restrict our lives. Of course it can be a real challenge, but the aim of it is to enable us to do more things in a more sustainable way over time.
- Pacing needs to be proactive not reactive. That it’s better to take a short break before you need to, not after you already start to feel totally rubbish and need to take a substantially longer break to recover.
Leave a Reply