Every now and then, I have a Bad Day.
I don’t mean the kind of day where everything goes wrong and you’d just rather throw your phone in the ocean and eat coconuts by the sea (although I certainly have those days as well.) The Bad Days that I’m talking about here are the days when you wake up and nothing works. You usually make an espresso every morning as soon as you get out of bed, but one Bad Day you get up and it’s an agonising decision that your brain just can’t seem to fathom – will I have a coffee? You’ve been taking the same bus-route for the last six months, but all of a sudden choosing which bus to take is a fifteen-minute process. Any environment in which you hear more than one voice at a time becomes terrain that you can’t negotiate. Despite feeling really happy to be at the gym, the weights you lifted last week wear you down and you fatiguing within a set.
I don’t like to think that these Bad Days are related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I do know that I never had them before CFS. Although I celebrate the anniversary of my recovery on the 24th of February each year (and it has been three years so far!) every now and then I’ll try to floor the metaphorical accelerator pedal and my brain and body just stall – nothing happens, and the harder I try to push, the less I get out of myself.
I include the clip above from Breakfast at Tiffany’s because, although Holly Golightly is a call-girl talking about anxiety and I am an athlete talking about some kind of intermittent, post-CFS failure-to-launch, it illustrates something about the way that I feel about these days.
Some people told me that you never recover from CFS, that you just learn to live with it. It’s a concept that makes me uncomfortable, but that I sometimes subscribe to, albeit reluctantly. I don’t like to imagine that I’m walking around with this ticking bomb inside me, waiting to explode and splatter my new, beloved life with the shrapnel and gore of Relapse. But I remain “alert but not alarmed” to the possibility. It’s like my own microcosmic War on Terror.