80% looks pretty good to me, although 90% would be better!
A mate brought to my attention a blog post to which I could totally relate. I found it interesting and hope that you too will find it useful:
Australian journalist Sarah Wilson recently blogged about her autoimmune diagnosis in response to an article by fellow autoimmune disease sufferer Meaghan O'Rourke who was told by her doctor that
"you may always feel like eighty per cent".
It strengthened me to know that "it's not just me" and that my experience of living with "flat batteries" is totally normal for someone with autoimmune disease. Of course, I have lived with this realisation for some time but it is nice to have it validated.
For years I found life a physical struggle and wondered how everyone around me seemed to carry on their daily routines with ease. How do they manage to work all day and still have energy to go to a night class? How do they go out to an evening movie and still manage to present the next day at work without skipping a beat? What are they doing that I am not? What do they know that I don't? What's wrong with me? Am I a weak person?
At the end of a day's work, I would arrive home absolutely exhausted. Even more confusing were the mornings when I would wake up feeling happy, energised and looking forward to my workday but by the time I had completed the 30- or 40-minute commute, I would arrive at the office feeling flat and needing to go back to bed.
It wasn't just the I'm-a-bit-tired-I-could-easily-go-back-to-bed daydream: it was full-on waves of fatigue that were almost impossible to resist. My eyes were "matchstick jobs" where you feel like you need matchsticks to hold them open! How could that be happening at 9:30 a.m.?
I know now what I didn't know then: I have a mixed connective tissue disease which has a lot of features of lupus and lupus flares can be triggered by exposure to ultra-violet radiation (UV light). I travelled east for my morning commute, straight into the morning sun which glared through my car windscreen onto my face, neck, arms and hands. It was enough to set off a chain of events which hindered my body functioning so by the time I arrived at work, the fatigue had set in.
In Deadlines & Disappointments, I described how it feels to be functioning at less than 100 per cent. In Almost There! Affirmation & Acceptance I explained how acceptance of my illness and limitations helped to improve my condition.
Sarah Wilson touches on both of these topics in her blog and shares her insights and realisation that working very hard to "get back to normal" may be making life harder. I can empathise with her relief to know that it is okay to "back off" and not have to fight so hard all the time. Being able to 'relax into illness' removes so much stress.
Sarah Wilson has discovered that one's attitude and perspective can make a difference to one's quality of life.
I have always felt that this is the most important step in feeling better - attitude is a little thing that can make the biggest difference; no matter how sick, no matter how out of control I feel when the body does not recover despite best efforts, my perspective on life is something I can control and change. It helps me feel better and triumphant - that the illness has not quashed my spirit.
Revel in this power. Use it.
Use it in any situation, even if you are not sick, and reap the benefits.