Now Now Now!

18 Sep
I need a Jess calming device! Photo credit Morgue File User Pennywise

I need a Jess calming device! Photo credit Morgue File User Pennywise

Continuing my little journey through the psychology of Jess’ personality and ME/CFS: Now Now Now! This is my little phrase for the sense of urgency, do it now, franticness that engulfs me at times. Ok, that engulfs me all too often.

This Now, Now, Now way of being is why:

  • Yesterday morning my timer sounded telling me that my 20 minutes of computer time was up. Yet 10 minutes later I was still tapping away at the keyboard. I just.couldn’t.prize.myself.away…So much for my renewed resolve to step away from the computer…
  • There is a stack of US guidebooks on the coffee table (and Oz ones on our bookshelves) for the dream ‘I’m recovered’ holiday of a life time. I had to buy the books Now! As soon as Mr B and I had talked about the idea of an American road trip I NOW – Mr Amazon does very well out of me in this regard, my bank balance does not…
  • I got annoyed with Mr B when he moved the pile of clean socks off the bed onto the floor. I wanted him to put them away Now! (In my defence on this one, who keeps clean laundry on the floor?! My other half apparently…love you sweetie)
  • At 9pm at night, when I should be mid bed time relaxation routine floating in a bubble bath, I’m urging Mr B off the sofa to build the new lamp [insert any new item here] that had been delivered that day…(are you sensing I’m a delight to live with?!)
  • In the middle of my yoga practice I left my mat to look for Mr B’s ‘lost’ gym shorts despite him telling me ‘we’ll look later’ I just couldn’t not find them Now! It would eat away at me and suck the joy out of my yoga time if I didn’t (or at least that’s how I justified breaking my yoga practice to myself….)
  • Perusing food blogs one evening last week I came across a 1 minute chocolate cake in a mug recipe. Yep you guessed it, I had to make it immediately. And of course it took longer than 1 minute to make (especially when I managed to knock over the jar of cocoa powder in my haste…)

These are just a few examples of the crazy Now Now Now pattern that seems to have a strong hold over my body.

I need to slow down and stick to the ME/CFS speed limit! photo by Morgue File User Sioda

I need to slow down and stick to the ME/CFS speed limit! photo by Morgue File User Sioda

When I look back I can see how impulsive so many of my actions are. To be honest I cringe at my behaviour. With the wickedness of hindsight it embarrasses me. And yet in the moment, I am gripped, overwhelmed, enveloped, engulfed, trapped by this sense of urgency to such an extent that I don’t even realize it is happening in that moment. The realization only comes later with a little self reflection. My heart races, the feeling of pressure inside my chest is so strong, something is gripping me, it’s physical. I have to do it Now! Whatever IT might be. This all creates a great deal of internal stress (yep we’re back to that old chestnut, the old foe of ME/CFS).

Let’s just go back to the first example of this pattern that I describe above for a moment – the not stopping when my computer timer sounded. I was telling Mr B that this had happened, and he replied ‘that I was naughty’. And yes I guess I am. But pulling myself back and stopping is so very hard. I tried to explain to him just how physical the urge to carry on and finish what I was typing was. I noticed that as I explained this I clenched both my fists. I bent my fingers tight and my finger nails pressed sharply into my palms. My hands and forearms shook a little. And that is how it feels. I’ve got to do it Now! Now, Now, Now!

This Now Now Now behaviour flies in the face of every good management technique for ME/CFS. It is completely contradictory to the planning and pacing that makes up so much of my life. Wanting to build X, finish writing X, desiring Mr B to do X Now, Now, Now! is totally unhelpful to my recovery. It pushes me beyond my limits. It means I do more than I should, more than my body can handle and as a result the pain and fatigue increase. Not at all helpful. And not at all how I’d like to live.

Doing too much in answer to the Now Now Now demons drains me. It exacerbates my physical symptoms. But that is not the whole of it. The urgency of it all is not calming. It is highly and acutely stressful. As I say in the moment the urgency is generally so overwhelming I can’t see through it. It’s very much an unconscious pattern. On the rare occasion I catch myself mid flow it is such a battle with myself to step away, to stop, to pause, to breath deep, that the very act of trying to slow down is stressful. Yep the S word again. Stress Stress Stress…

I can see personality traits such as being a Type A pusher and hardworker, liking to be in control, all come into play and exacerbate the Now, Now Now tendency. I can see that these traits are holding me back from recovering my health. Like the obsessive thinking that I described last post, they are perpetuating patterns, contributing to my still being ill.

I also think there’s an element of wanting to do what you know can’t do. I know I have to take things slowly and steadily. I know I need to plan and pace. And a lot of the time I am very good at that. I think this Now Now Now tendency is almost my unconscious giving Me/CFS the two fingers and saying ‘try and stop me’! Of course Me/CFS always wins….And I need to control these frantic tendencies. NLP has a role to play here.

I will end this post by saying, I have gotten a lot better at noticing and stopping the Now Now Now. NLP has helped me with this. As has meditation and yoga, helping me tune into my body more and to feel generally calmer. I am a lot better at this than I used to be. Yep I used to be even worse. Same with the obsessive thinking. Now, how scary is that?!

If you missed my post about obsessive thinking and are keen for some more crazy Jess stories check out my last post here.


17 Responses to “Now Now Now!”

  1. dawnhosking September 18, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    It is so tempting to ‘just finish this’ isn’t it. Slow and steady win the race 😉

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      Yes I should remember to be the tortoise and not the hare!

      • dawnhosking September 18, 2013 at 10:33 am #

        The only thing is it is tempting to be the hare when you feel a little energy stored up 😉 Have a great day 😉

      • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Yep the old boom and bust chestnut! Hope you’re having a great day!

  2. currankentucky September 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m laughing yet again! Reading your post my head is nodding away as various images flash before me, of all the times I’ve pushed pushes pushed to get something done and part of the reason was because I knew I shouldn’t be doing it, but I wanted it done NOW! Incredibly silly, I especially hear you re the step away from the computer, so many nights at 9pm or later I’m still checking out blogs tapping away on the keyboard when I should be relaxing getting ready for bed. And guess what, the blogs and the tapping will be there the following day, yet im in a rush to read them NOW. Why????!!!

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

      I wish I knew the answer to why!!! That seems to be the million dollar question! Glad my post made me you laugh again, a laugh a day keeps the doctor away 😉

  3. Jumping_Jenny_444 September 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m still in the process of learning how to slow down, but I’m getting there. I like your “calming device” picture–I could definitely use a “Jenn calming device”! 😉

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks! It’s a never ending learning curve I think. I’m definitely still learning how to slow down tho I’m much better than I used to be!

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor September 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    Yep. On the other hand, all this stuff is kind of called “being driven.” Which gets you through law school and me through medical school. It gets you searching for your best ME treatment and me finding some dietary/lifestyle interventions that help my GI tract and head. It keeps you from having to wake up to dirty dishes in the morning. Wink.

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Yep there are upsides! Clean dishes in the morning being a major bonus! Not sure getting through law school actually served me all that well! Maybe if I’d dropped out and not gone on to working in corporate law I’d be healthier now…and maybe not!

  5. Siobhán September 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I laughed out loud when I got to the 1 minute cake in a cup, mine was a 5 minute cake in a cup!!! I think I made it at 10pm just to see if it would work…. another great posting thank you. Siobhán

    • myjourneythrume September 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does these crazy things!! Glad you enjoyed my post.

  6. Chronic Pain Heroes September 19, 2013 at 7:05 am #

    Oh my goodness, I had to laugh when I first started reading this. Once again I saw myself in every word, every situation, every NOW tendency. It can’t be a coincidence that so many people like us get sick. I first learned about NLP a few years ago – before I got sick. Naturally, I wanted to become a practitioner… NOW!! LOL I will definitely look into it again, but with no illusions (or delusions) of anything more than for my personal benefit… for now 😉

    • myjourneythrume September 19, 2013 at 7:09 am #

      I’ve been thinking the same thing, it can’t be a coincidence that so many people sick with ME/CFS type illnesses have the same traits. I swear it’s the illness that links all the craziness together! And I’m so glad that I’m not the only one like this, there is comfort in numbers!! After I’d done my course of NLP therapy I immediately started looking into practitioner training, I wanted to do it NOW! even though I was and still am far too sick to even consider it! Crazy. Having said that I have found the NLP techniques useful in dialling down some of my crazy thought patters.

      • Chronic Pain Heroes September 19, 2013 at 7:12 am #

        I know what you mean. I can’t even begin to tell you the relief I felt when I found your blog and saw so much of me in your words. It somehow makes it a bit less scary. I thank you, again, for being so willing to put your life out there to help all of us. You are an incredible blessing 🙂

      • myjourneythrume September 19, 2013 at 7:13 am #

        Thank you so so much, that is so lovely to hear. Thank you for reading and following, that means the world to me and makes me less scared. 🙂


  1. Health Update – September 2013 | my journey thru M.E. - September 20, 2013

    […] NLP more to work on reducing my crazy thought patterns and worries to reduce overall inner stress levels and in turn improve my physical […]

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