The following is a guest post from all round good guy who actually is rather smart, funny and goes by the name of Steve Errey.
You will have done some pretty dumb things I’ll bet.
That road trip in college. That crazy relationship. Staying in that lousy job for way too long. We all do silly things in our lives.
But having just done something that could have seen me hospitalized, spending a few months unable to get out of bed – or worse - I found a whole new level of dumb in my life.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
I’ve had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (I can spell it, just don’t ask me to say it) since 2007, and there are days where I can’t walk more than a few steps without wanting to throw up with the pain and sleep for a week.
Yet somehow, I just walked a marathon. All 26.2, painful, delirious, dizzying miles of it.
Putting my entire body and my health on the line was pretty dumb – people spend decades bed-ridden and even die from this thing – but I did it for one simple reason.
Because I could.
In the early days of having CFS I tried everything to beat it. I wasn’t about to let an incurable chronic illness get in my way, and I was determined to show it who was boss and teach it a thing or two about how things are done round these parts.
Turns out, fighting a chronic illness takes more than attitude, and it consistently floored me.
So I stopped fighting it. I stopped resisting it. I stopped trying to stop it. And then some odd things started happening.
Every Life Experience Has A Lesson To Teach Us
The illness began teaching me stuff.
Things like acceptance; even if what you’re accepting is unwanted or something that limits your life in all kinds of ways.
Things like gratitude; for the everyday pleasures and the moments of laughter and connection.
And things like integration; the ability to stop compartmentalizing and separating, and to bring all those parts together into a whole.
It’s because the illness has taught me a heap of things I never counted on, and because I’m lucky enough to be in a place where I can get out of bed and walk around a bit, that I felt I had a role to play in helping people who could do neither of those things.
So I set out to walk this marathon to raise awareness for this much misunderstood, sometimes life-ending illness.
To be honest with you, there were times both in training and during the walk itself when me and my body wanted to curl up and sob.
There were times where the pain of each step made me want to hail a cab and be done with it.
There were times when the brain fog rolled in and I got confused as to where I was and what I was doing.
Embracing The Shittyness Of It All
And there were times when I fully embraced how shit I felt. There’s no doubt that my body was in turmoil. I was struggling and suffering. It sure wasn’t pretty.
But here’s the remarkable and strikingly simple thing. My awareness of those “horrible” experiences was not suffering or struggling.
My awareness of how my body was and how I felt was just fine with however things happened to be.
So that’s where I hung out.
The noise and drama of struggling and suffering are plenty enough to drown out any confidence I might have had in being able to simply put one foot in front of the other, and if I’d chosen to focus on the experience of struggling and suffering the choice to quit would have become overwhelming.
The illness has taught me that however my body is, however much pain I’m in or whatever thoughts are spinning around my head, I get to choose my experience of life.
I get to be whole, and I get to choose.
We All Have Challenges
Same goes for you. You’ll have your own challenges going on.
There will be things in your life that you’re resisting with all you’ve got, stuff you’re struggling and fighting against and things you’re digging deep and staying strong in the face of.
But sometimes, the changes you struggle with and refuse to accept are the ones you need the most.
And sometimes, being strong is just about clutching tightly onto the way things have been because you’re scared.
If that’s you, maybe it’s time you tried something dumb too?
Steve is a confidence coach who’s raising awareness and fund-raising for CFS/ME, a chronic illness that destroys lives. Check out his marathon story at www.runfor.me and if you can spare just $1, donate right here.
I think Steve had balls of steel to do what he did and I’d love your take on what you think?
Also, what dumb thing could you commit to do NOW that you know you’ll be glad you did in a few days, weeks or even months?
Just make the commitment in the comments
Then in my next post I’ll make a huge commitment too and then I’ll tell you how we can support each other and make sure we both follow through.