I’m watching River chase her tail in the small brown chair we have in our library as I try desperately not to panic about the last text I sent.
The text reads “I’ll be at the WAT meeting, barring sudden medical issues.”
It was sent to the worship leader of my church, who is in charge of music and praise band, of which I am a part of. I’m terrified because I’ve just committed to being at a meeting. I’m not a commitment phobic person, I swear, it’s just that my body makes me a liar sometimes. It seems to really enjoy making me terribly sick when I make promises about being places or doing things with other people.
Perhaps its a self- fulfilling prophecy; I make a commitment, get anxious about said commitment, my anxiety makes me feel sick, I am suddenly sick and must cancel my previous commitment. It has wrecked friendships, kept me out of work even before we found I couldn’t work, and destroyed my sense of accountability. It even makes me anxious when I meet new friends.
I try to remind myself that I’m always very clear that sometimes my body does not care about what promises or plans I make. I remind my friends that no promise from me is an absolute guarantee. In fact, most of my commitments look just like the text I sent today. “I’m going to say yes to this, but…” and includes a gentle reminder that it isn’t always my choice to bail. There is every likelihood that, come Sunday, I will wake up in the morning and find that pain or autonomic symptoms have made it impossible for me to get out of bed, much less leave the house. I may experience sleep paralysis, which has been happening much more frequently lately, and “sleep through” my alarms and be unable to attend as I try to rally my body back into the waking world and shake off the horrible emotional impact it leaves on me.
This is where I always hope and pray that my loved ones have the patience to keep inviting me to things. There is no worse feeling than the moment I realize that I haven’t been invited to something that I know I usually would be and know that its because the person thought about all the times they invited me and I either said no or said maybe and couldn’t be there. It’s a fear I know many lemons and spoonies deal with as well.
So if you’re a lemon or a spoonie reading this, know that you’re not alone in facing this emotional roller coaster of anxiety and guilt surrounding commitments. If you’re someone that loves a lemon or a spoonie, hold on to your patience when it comes to your person. Keep inviting them, keep offering ways to interact, go to them when they feel up to it. Don’t give up on them.
Peace and love to your Mondays, everybody. May your week go smoothly.
I’ll be there too, I promise.