Earlier this week, we had two days of unusually dark, drizzly weather, during which I felt bad both physically and psychologically. On the third day, the sun came out. I felt better than I had, so I joined a friend for a walk. Because time was an issue, I didn’t stretch before leaving the house. Then, distracted by conversation, I lost track of time and the distance we had walked. When awareness set in, it was too late. Far from being energized by the experience as I’d hoped to be, I was completely exhausted.
I dragged myself home, curled up in bed, and slept the entire afternoon. A horribly painful muscle spasm the next day reminded me that I’d broken two of the cardinal rules for living well with fibromyalgia. I didn’t listen to my body, and I crossed the line between not doing enough and doing too much.
It’s not that I shouldn’t have walked at all. A short walk after some stretching, especially in the sunshine, would have been very beneficial for me that day. But, clearly, I walked too far, pushing my tight muscles way past their capacity. The result was feeling way worse instead of feeling better.
Human nature being what it is, on days I feel well, I often choose to believe that I am well. If the rest of the population can push past a little pain and fatigue, so can I! Remember Jane Fonda’s advice to “Feel the Burn“? That philosophy might have benefitted the rest of the world — but not those of us with fibromyalgia. For us, the wiser choice is to “Stop Before the Burn.” Unfortunately, I occasionally need to be reminded of that.