I have been reading a lot of frustrated posts on the Truehope message boards lately about how long this process is. Today I am frustrated too. I set myself an ambitious plan to make a few Christmas gifts, and I realized this morning it is just not going to happen. I will probably only get one of the three done. I am still too tired and weak to spend the long hours at the sewing machine that would have been necessary. So, that is disappointing.
When I started Empowerplus in May 2009 my only real goal was to stop the decline I was in, and to be stable without drugs. That goal has been met. What I didn't expect was the huge physical toll withdrawal would take. It is frustrating to always have to curb my activity because I am still having protracted withdrawal symptoms after all this time.
But at the same time, I'm aware that I've set the bar a lot higher these days than it used to be. I may not be at the sewing machine, but I am busy with other crafts most of the day. I was sore when I started hand stitching; now I can stitch for hours without pain. I was sore when I started knitting again; ditto. So I guess I know that perseverance will pay off in the long run.
Even my attention span is improving. The other day I worked all day on the SAME PROJECT. That is really saying something.
And, let's be clear. My protracted withdrawal symptoms only come after some new type of exertion now. It is only when I raise the bar. Sometimes it feels like I am fighting for every millimetre, but I can't deny the trend is there. Plus, I have planned to make Christmas presents before, and I have never done it. So one is an infinite improvement over none. My old therapist in California used to say, when I felt like was going nowhere fast, that recovery takes as long as it takes, and she was right.