There’s a popular saying, “I have no F__ (insert bad word) to give”. Apparently that word is clearly used as a form of measurement in today’s society. Well, sometimes I run out of another F word. I run out of forks. If you have a hard time getting your loved ones to understand your fatigue and your difficulty keeping up with the rest of the world; this article is definitely a read to save.
My daughter asked me a question while gently riding the waves on our recent vacation. She asked if I had the money to buy anything, what would I buy? It’s a typical kid’s question. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a typical mom. This is something she has grown use to and after my answer; she dunked me under the water giggling.
I told her that most things I want, can’t be bought. Awareness for vestibular disorders, specifically Meniere’s Disease, is number one. However, time and energy come in at a very close second. As I got dunked for not saying a mansion and pony; I knew I’d be writing and article on this subject. So what does forks have to do with any of this?
A woman once wrote an article describing energy as spoons. The article was an awesome read and made a lot of sense. I recall thinking how some things I struggle with were not in the article. I describe these struggles of time and energy as forks.
Many people have judged us warriors and labeled us as ‘lazy’. No offense, but on a good day, I do more than most women do in a week. But we all know that it will catch up with us at some point. When it does, we will have to rest for hours and days to recover. On bad days, just showering is a struggle. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had “not working” thrown in my face. The argument of “if you can do all that, you can work like other women jungling”, can be easily explained in forks.
Look at it this way: The healthy person and the warrior both have 20 forks a day to give. The forks represent energy. The healthy person spends 5 forks on daily chores, food shopping, house cleaning, doing bills, laundry, etc. The warrior, struggling the invisible conditions, must give out 8 forks for the same tasks. The healthy person spends 5 forks on their kids, school papers, homework, sports and events. This costs the warrior 7 forks. The healthy person spends 5 forks on themselves, time with their spouse, children, family, and all the extras of the day; leaving 5 forks left for working. The warrior only has 5 forks left at this point and needs 8 just to finalize the last duties; let alone have forks to do a 9 to 5 job. Usually, by 5pm, we are out of forks and still need to complete the day. There are so many things I’d love to accomplish but, I’m out of forks. As a warrior, I must manage my forks wisely. Some days, I’m trying to manage life with half that number of forks.
If you have judgemental people in your life, get rid of them. You don’t need that negativity. Some people we just can’t get rid of that easily. It’s just not that simple. Whether it’s a spouse struggling to understand or a teenage child acting out trying to grasp that you’re ill; put them at arms length for a bit. Explain the forks in the hopes they will understand your battle. When they forget and get demanding, just say, “Sorry, but I have no more forks to give”. If they truly love you and want to understand you, they will have no problem using their own forks to help you out. It takes time as adjusting is a process for everyone involved. As far as the other people in your life judging you at every turn, cut them out of your life. Arguing and trying to justify yourself, takes 30 forks. You don’t have enough and they clearly are not worth it. In life, in your disease, in everything you do; sometimes you just have to say, “fork you” and keep moving on in a positive direction. At the end of the day, nobody is going to go as hard for you as YOU!
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