I'm thinking Predator v Alien here as both sides of the equation do damage to me or in Bubbles pithy pitch 'mass-destruct my ass' (Oh, The Wire...so good). I work full-time, its a physical job but I have a lot of discretion as to what I do and when and so I can pace really well. The routine of the job is a lifeline, I like what I do and it allows me to cope. Sometimes I blow it and crash but there is enough slack for me to take it slower and build back up. I've done this since I got ill, 10yrs ago and for the last few years have been close to pre-ME; But I can't stop. Like a shark can't stop swimming. I am between a rock and a hard place. If I do too much I crash if I do too little I slide into pain and POTS. Xmas, an enforced holiday used to be tough because of all the family stuff and I struggled, now I handle it really well and enjoy it and can poottle about and feel good where once I would have been sliding into an outer region of hell. Weekends were long enough to do that in the early days. I went back to work today, for a half day. I am in bed now feeling like I've been beaten up. After 4 days how? People don't understand why I don't take holiday, it physically hurts. I have tried to find ways to mimic what I do at work outside of it but its so hard and never as effective. I think that I am riding the edge of PEM all the time and Xmas seemed like a good opportunity to see if I could back off and settle into a place of more ease. Yeah well that didn't pan out. I will return to the day to day pragmatism that has got me this far and trust to a sort of intuitive wisdom but there is this niggling feeling that it's like feeding a beast......fine until you run out of food. This pattern of activity management operates within the day as well, I build up to more vigorous work, to suddenly change from rest to full on leads to excessive symptoms and reduced capacity. I keep my HR below 120 and lie down as soon as I get in, this seems to kick start recovery. I hate this disease and what it does, I need to find a way off of this treadmill .........CFS........ more like WMD Oh and seasons greeting, maybe Santa will bring a cure next year.