The All or Nothing Approach  

Last updated: December 2021

The all or nothing approach. This seems to be how I live my life. Even before I got sick. I seem to have always had an all or nothing approach with everything in life.

I would spend most of the college year relaxing and then a week before everything is due, I start all my assignments and study.

I might get a little bored doing nothing and then I take up 5 hobbies at the same time. It can never be just one.

It’s never a good approach, but I never seem to learn.

Flare time

For the past month I’ve been going from flare to flare, and I have had no energy. My B12 is low so that is one of the reasons for my lack of energy.

So, I’ve been taking it easy. I haven’t been exercising much. I’ve been resting a lot. I will still stretch during the day. This prevents me from turning into the Tin Man... Or woman.

Before I started flaring and before my energy levels dropped, I went to the gym and swam regularly. I started doing the Couch to 5K app and I would run on the treadmill. This is low impact, so it did not hurt any of my joints.

Woohoo my flare is gone

Three days ago was the best I had felt in over a month. My gym membership ran out so silly me decided to go for a run on the road. I jogged 750 meters. Just under a kilometer. I should have stopped as instantly I could feel that this felt different from running on the treadmill.

Ooopsies!

Three days later, I still can't walk.  My right hip is always my bad hip. It feels stuck and inflamed. I can’t put pressure on my right leg. So now, even though my energy levels are up, this all or nothing approach has left me feeling immobile.

I should have just gone for a walk and done some yoga. This has happened a lot in the past in relation to my illness where I would go from doing nothing to doing too much. I always regret this and I always forget this.

If you’ve read my other articles, you'll know that I journal my symptoms every day.

Today I started a new journal called "The All or Nothing Approach." I wrote this title in big letters at the front of the notebook. I will write in this journal whenever I do something like this. To remind myself to take things slow.

It’s quite a strange feeling when in your mind you feel like you can do this, but your body tells you no. Or your body makes you regret that decision immediately. I’ve noticed with this illness that it is not a good idea to use the all or nothing approach. I’ve realized that I need to pace myself. I need to listen to my body, not my mind.

So, for the future I’ve decided to take a different approach. A more flexible approach to life where I listen to my body. A step-to-step approach.

Let me know in the comments if you have an all or nothing approach too! Maybe we can help each other avoid this approach!

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