I know you aren't supposed to push yourself beyond your limits with CFS, I also know that in the "early" stages this is possibly even more important. However, so many of us do it (myself included) - so why?
I've done alot of reflecting regarding this - and for me personally it is a combination of reasons:
1. Non-support from family members (especially spouse)
2. The feeling that you might be on borrowed time (for lack of a better term), and therefore you need to do x,y and z if you can (in my case - pay down debts and save money).
3. Others opinions that if you drop out of work than you might actually get worse (yes, even my doc has mentioned this.........)
4. Here is the big one (and please don't slam me for saying it): The feeling that the only way you can STOP is when your body forces you into it.
(In other words, I don't have the "right" to stop working as long as I am functional - even if that functional level is greatly diminshed. That I don't feel my disability level is high enough to justify taking time off, etc.)
Now, I know these are issues (in ways of thinking, feelings of self-worth etc.) and aren't necessarily rational but I have a feeling that at some point more people than myself have felt this way (at least I hope so - LOL).
Here's the deal: If I were completely honest - I don't even WANT to work anymore (shudder I said it....), I feel that I am wasting valuable energy on a job that is exhausting, stressful, and that my mind no longer cares as much about. I used to be a highly motivated employee, who enjoyed coming into work, who thrived on the reality that I was doing the job of what should be multiple positions, and that people needed me and respected me. CFIDS took that from me, possibly when it took my energy.
So I stand on the ledge - trying to balance my life now - based on standards and ways of thinking from pre-illness and the reality of my health post-illness.
Even though I hear all of you out there (who I am SO grateful for) telling me all of these things I know are true - there is always that BUT in my mind...........
So honestly, if you feel comfortable sharing, what hurdles did you have to overcome (mentally, financially or otherwise) to make the decision to leave work? Or did it catch up with you in the end - just as I'm begining to see it will most likely do with me as well?