One of the things about having been ill is that I've had to learn how to challenge almost all of my lifelong habits. Specifically, the one that in the end brought me down was my addiction to intensity of experience, both 'out there' and 'in here', coupled with my need to be forever engaged, one way or another – whether with ideas or people or communication or work or campaigns and worthy causes – and simply just doing stuff.
What this led to was an inability to recognise my limits – that I had any, even – and, more, acting and living like an extravert when actually I'm an introvert, and an extremely sensitive and easily-over-stimulated one at that. I burnt out, and my heart has been telling me that in firm terms – times when the simplest exertion would make my whole body shake from the pressure on my heart (and I mean eg just getting out of bed).
Thankfully, due to acupuncture, rest, taking notice of my dreams (I mean nocturnal messages from the psyche kind of dreams, though the other ones count too!) and medicinal herbs, that hasn't happened for 3 weeks now.
It is, of course, a continuing process to undo these habits. And I'm making progress.
Rest is a new habit. I who fear boredom find I love it. An hour in my hammock in the sun on occasion takes some beating. My heart is now slow and steady.
I've kept exercising; after all She Who Wears Her Grey Matter On The Outside still needs her twice-daily walks, but a mile or two has mostly been all I can manage the last little while.
The best thing is that the other night I did a not-inconsequential walk of around 11 up-and-down miles, very fast (I'm naturally a kind of shortarse Sunday-stroller, enjoying looking and smelling and listening, while TM and his very tall son who's with us at the moment do the Roman-soldier route-march thing), on the Southwest Coastpath. OK, it's true that 3 or 4 years ago TM and I walked a 'severe' section of the coastpath from Sidmouth to Lyme Regis in a day, carrying packs; that must be about 22 or 23 miles; but since last autumn that's been inconceivable to me; I've just felt too weak.
But it was a beautiful evening, just past the solstice, and we stopped at the pub in Hope Cove partway (there's a diversion on the Bantham to Hope Cove section due to landslips; it adds a mile or three to the there-and-return journey).
Microsoft for Mac is whirring away still behind this window. For light relief for us all, here are some pics. Keep your fingers crossed for me that technology won't scribble me out so that I have to Get A Proper Job.*
* Hooray! I can at least access my email programme now, two hours later.