Hello and Happy New Year!
I hope you all had a very merry festive period. If you’re reading this and you have a chronic illness, I hope you managed to join in at least some of the fun without too much payback.
I’ve been finding it quite difficult to write much of anything lately. Living with M.E can be really all consuming at times. For the most part I feel like I’m managing it all well and I manage to stay positive, but winter has been difficult. Despite my best efforts, the many germs that do the rounds at this time of year have taken me down several times (special shout out to my Primary School Teacher husband for kindly bringing so many of them home), and I seem to have developed a couple of new food intolerances. I’m currently conducting yet more ad hoc investigations into that, trying to rule things out and find the culprit. Think of me as Sherlock, only with a Lancashire accent and a cat instead of a Watson.
I also got a bit overcome with Christmas excitement and tried to do too much, so spent most of December in a cycle of ‘boom and bust’ – trying to do the things then crashing for a week, before picking myself up and foolishly attempting to do the things again, therefore bringing on an even worse crash. It’s a vicious cycle and one that is not easily unlearned.
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve found Christmas and New Year quite mentally and emotionally draining on the whole. Even though I had some lovely, fun family time over Christmas and spent New Year relaxing and catching up with very dear friends, it’s tough to have fun knowing all too well that no matter how well you pace your activities your health will take a huge hit for you having joined the celebrations. I’ve also found that while social media can feel like a great distraction and connection to the outside world when you’re a housebound hermit, it will turn around and punch you square in the face come December. It’s really quite difficult to see all your friends’ social media feeds full of parties and festive cocktails when you’re stuck in bed, having been too sick to shower for the fourth consecutive day. It reminds you of what you’re missing and what you’ve lost. It’s equally hard when people start posting their ‘best of’ photos around New Year’s Eve - looking back at all that they achieved in 2018 or all the fun they had. While I obviously don’t begrudge my loved ones their happiness and accomplishments, it can be hard to feel that all you really did this year was survive.
And yet, despite what people may present on social media, I know that it isn’t real life and that the festive period can be mentally and emotionally difficult for many people, for a number of reasons. So if you’re reading this and found that you felt quite gloomy at times during the festivities, then I guess I just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in that and I hope that you have good people around you who you can talk to or at least binge-watch RuPaul with until the gloominess doesn’t feel quite so heavy.
Now, on to happier things! Although 2019 hasn’t gotten off to a great start on the health front thanks to another stomach bug – I do have some exciting things ahead. Sadly, my dreams of opening up a cat sanctuary/mansion are still a long way off but I do have a few things in the pipeline that I’m really looking forward to and have a lot more to say about how my Perrin treatment is going, so I’ll hop to it and get to writing about it all soon.
For now, I hope January is being kind to you and that your New Year is off to a flying start.
And to those of you reading who are living with an illness like mine, then well done on simply surviving and getting up every day. I think that deserves a toast (of herbal tea, in a quiet environment of course).
Ciao for now, Lorna