I wrote this blog at the beginning of June and meant to post it but then I had an unexpected hospital visit. But reading it over, I still want to post it. Now that I’ve had another surgery I probably shouldn’t beat myself up as much about being unproductive. I’m back in recovery again, I’m allowed to have lie ins and play video games all day. But I know that sooner or later I’ll start to feel like I should be more productive but I can’t be because my body and mind are simply not there yet.
Anyway, here’s what happens when a workaholic, productive nerd has surgery that takes them out of action for a long frickin’ time:
Wednesday 6th June 2018
It is June. We are half way through 2018 and I can’t say I’ve really achieved anything this year. I feel like I have nothing to show for myself.
I am a naturally self-motivated person. My parents never had to prompt me to do my homework because it was already done. And in school I was such a teacher’s pet (not just because I fancied my maths teacher).
When I had surgery in January I was not prepared for how long the physical recovery would be. And I was definitely not prepared for the mental recovery. I can’t concentrate on work for long periods of time anymore. My focus is all over the place. The idea of big projects is still really daunting. They say you do most of your recovery in your sleep and 5 months on I’m still needing 10 hours of sleep at night.
I don’t want to be lazy. Spending hours in bed in the morning and then wasting time all day playing video games and not doing any work is not me! I don’t want to be that person. But I am right now.
Whenever I tell people that I feel like I’m being unproductive and lazy they rightly say to me, “you’ve just gone through major surgery you’re allowed to give yourself a break!” But how long am I allowed to give myself a break for?
I know this may sound ridiculous to you. But I feel so down whenever I’m not productive. I punish myself for being lazy and worthless. I’ve heard that frustration comes from the gap between your reality and what you desire. For me that gap is bigger than it’s ever been and I can’t see it closing any time soon.
I have all these ideas running around in circles in my head and I want to do something about them. To be honest, I thought I was getting better. When I was in Austria for the seminar I had to actually set an alarm and wake up every day to go to the workshops. But that ruined me. I was tired and I had no energy for socialising in the evenings. Every break we had I spent lying down to try and re-charge.
I thought about turning a new page now I’m home. Actually setting an alarm each morning like I used to and getting up and starting my day. But nope. First day I tried this I accidentally turned off my alarm instead of snooze (I NEVER DO THIS) and then slept until 10:30am and didn’t get out of bed until 1pm.
This isn’t me! I hate this!
I know that no-one except me expects anything from me right now. It’s all coming from me. The self-criticism and the self-punishment.
But the thought that keeps spiralling in my head is – what if this isn’t me recovering from surgery and a major health crisis anymore? What if this is just how I am now? What if I’m a lazy person? I hate this thought spiral. My friends have said to me that if I’m still feeling this way, sleeping loads and being unproductive one year from surgery then they’ll intervene but for now everyone is saying it’s fine.
But it doesn’t feel fine to me. Maybe I’m an over-achiever who puts too much pressure on herself. Actually yes, it’s definitely that. I feel so good when I’m working I love it. But then the pit I fall into when I’m in an unproductive rut is awful. Obviously, I would get the odd day like this before my flare up but now it’s most days.
The last 5 months have felt like lost time. A waste of time. I know this seems dramatic but it’s how I feel.
I’m trying (really I am trying) to let go when I have a down day. To forgive myself for being “lazy” and give my body and my brain the time they need. But I’m just finding it hard.
Have you ever felt this way? How do you trick yourself into being or feeling productive?