Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013

So here we are at the end of 2013. I can hardly believe that. To coin a popular phrase "where has this year gone?" But it's true, time just seems to have gone so quickly, other than the long nights when I've been in pain and the constant clock watching for the next dose of pain killers. It does make me question yet another popular phrase "time flies when you're having fun," because there is not much fun when you are living with a chronic illness or pain.

New Years Eve always feels a bit strange to me. It's one of those dates where you feel you ought to be celebrating and making resolutions that the next year is going to be 'your year.' But when you know that sometimes you don't get a say in whether it will be 'your year' or not it can be difficult. Maybe it is just a modern culture thing that you feel a though everyone else is out partying and you're being boring sat on your bum watching rubbish pre-recorded tv or going to bed early and trying to sleep through the fireworks. However I will be reflecting on what has happened over the past 12 months and desperately hoping for good times in the new year. How can you not on this day? 

It can be so easy to just focus on the negative things though, for some reason our brains seem to retain and recall them much more than happier memories. I have just done one of those year reviews on Facebook and been looking through some photos and it's reminded me of some of the nicer things that have happened this year. To be honest I can't believe that they were this year, which sounds strange when I've just said that time has gone so quickly. There was, catching up with family that I'd not seen in years. A Christening. A baby shower. My friend gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy. The beautiful weather we had this summer. Two holidays, that also included meeting friends we met last year and continuing friendship with two beautiful Greek families, that I have come to love dearly. It was lovely to celebrate a Greek Goddess' birthday and make her feel special, because she is. As well as them helping make my Dad's birthday so fun. Not sure if he appreciated the X amount of candles though. The owner of the restaurant even ordered a ramp for my wheelchair to get into the inside section.

I am just so glad that despite how bad and frightening my condition got this year that with the support of my family and airport assistance I could get away to a place where I feel so comfortable and relaxed and where I can laugh often, which afterall is the best medicine. I simply couldn't even imagine getting away without all their support. The support and holiday were much needed. 

And of course I have to mention the major event that was meeting the gorgeous Pasha and Katya. I don't think I have ever been so awestruck. I needed to have a serious word with myself to calm down, it would do no good to pass out and miss my photo opportunity. Seriously the television does not do tht man enough justice, other than showing his great personality. Funnily enough though it was shortly after that, that my legs began to give way. Hmm could this be the answer. Looking forward to seeing them again next year, hopefully.

Then I managed to get out for my birthday dinner, which meant more to me than any present. And to top it off having a lovely Christmas.

As I've said before it's really important to focus on the positives. Yes, this year has seen me completely bedbound for a time and the only way I can leave the house is via wheelchair but in getting the wheelchair I've been able to make more out of my better days. It was such a hard decision to make, as it's placing yourself in a vulnerable position. It is a symbol that you have a disability and admitting that and facing the consequences is scary and heartbraking. Especially for someone that used to be so active. As soon as I could start participating more in normal things like going shopping I soon saw that this was a way of gaining some freedom and keeping my mental health stable.

The other great thing to have come out of this year was starting this blog. I'd never really heard much about blogging before or even read one, but once I did I thought it would be a worthwhile thing to do. I always want to try and be proactive but obviously when you suffer from a chronic illness it can be difficult to just get through each day. You feel as though you should be raising awareness but that's hard to do with little energy. You often associate raising awareness with a charity event, which requires  lot of work. But this blog has really helped, if only for cathartic reasons. If by writing this blog I can help other sufferers, which it seems it is doing from some of the lovely comments I get, or to raise awarenes of the illness then all the better. I never could have imagined that it would give me the support of lots of others in similiar situations. That I would come to get to know people that understood completely and have words to comfort because they know exactly what it's like. A lot of the time we don't even speak about our illnesses, but when we do there's a lot of people that will lend an ear or share a moan. Our favourite moan at the moment is how annoyed we get by people broadcasting how bored they are of being ill with a cold for a day.

I've also enjoyed receiving comments from people that have never heard of M.E and that thank me for opening their eyes. That a few more people know about it and the devastating effects it can have on someones life and on the lives of people around them is reassuring. It's so scary to be diagnosed with something that you've never really heard of and neither has many other people because you don't know what to expect and you can spend a lot of time trying to explain yourself, trying to make people understand the severity of the condition. People that may have heard about it assume it's as simple as being tired all the time.

To throw in a reference to my parents and dear friends Marian, Bob, Aggy, Eddie, Karen, Mete and Vasillis it's been a one thumb up one thumb down year. I'd tell you all the joke but I've laughed it out of my brain. But to leave you all with a quote that I put on my Facebook blog page recently link;

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, 
if one only remembers to turn on the light
Albus Dumbledore

Whether you're a Harry Potter fan or not I think this rings true. Things are tough but there is still so much to be thankful for, moments of brightness in everyday. People that are there with kind words. A good book or a film that maked you laugh out loud. Recalling happy memories and looking at photos from good times. So when your health allows, enjoy it, make those lovely memories to look back on, on darker days. Take pictures to help you recall them. This goes for everyone whether they suffer from a chronic illness or not, life can be cruel to us all times. Above all don't take your health for granted, both physical and mental. Good health is a gift that often gets overlooked.

All that remains for me to say is to wish you all a happy new year, all the best and keep creating fab memories. 

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