Saturday, 19 April 2014


That title took several attempts, my spelling is atrocious lately. I've been spelling things as they sound. Naughty brain.

Anyhow, today I'm diverting a little from my travel series because as the title suggests I've been doing a lot of looking back lately. I know the importance of trying to live in the moment and most the time I do. I often surprise myself with how fast time can go when you feel it should be dragging from doing very little over and over. However it's inevitable that we'll look back on occasion. Thinking about our lives before M.E and how much things have changed.

Lately I've been thinking about life a year ago and although I still had M.E when I think back things were very different. Just over a year ago my friend gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy and myself and another friend went to visit. But the big thing was that I actually drove the 20 minutes there and back. That's the last time I drove. I wasn't originally supposed to drive, not wanting to use up too much energy and fearing not being well enough to drive back, but my friend got lost so I had to go find her and then she followed me there. And all was fine. I do miss driving and the freedom it brings but right now I'm sure I wouldn't have the strength to use the pedals or handbreak.

What's more, a year ago I actually went to a football match. A 25 minute car journey 25 minute train journey, a ride on the top deck of the soccer bus, waiting around before going to our seats, climbing the steep steps to our seats, sitting for 90 minites, celebrating goals and then the same journey home. How the heck did I do all that?

I remember I wasn't going to go too, as I was feeling rough and hadn't had much sleep. Again, what was I thinking? In truth I was thinking I needed to escape my thoughts. I'd found out a few days before that a friend was in an induced coma after developing double pneumonia (hmm no problems spelling that) and all I wanted to do was rush down there, 3 hours away. But obviously I couldn't. It was very frustrating. So I think I was running off adrenalin. It also helped that I rested in the car and train and used minfulness. The good news is that he came out of the coma on Easter Sunday, so we now call him Jesus, which he relishes.

Looking back it's crazy to think about doing those things but I did them. I was very much of the opinion of trying to do what I could and grabbing opportunities. Perhaps subscribing a little bit too much to the boom and bust theory but I didn't care. I simply wanted a normal life when I could. And now that my conditon has got worse and fibromyalgia has set in I'm glad I did them.

If I could recover my health to what it was a year ago, first off I'd be extatic, I have no doubt I would be a bit reckless. Make the most of it. It may not be good in the long run and could end up relapsing again but at least I'll have intetesting memories. Of course I would ensure I got plenty of rest too and not do too much knowing full well a relapse could happen but if there was an opportunity and I was well enough I'd grab it.

Now those opportunities might just be to get out for half an hour round the shops but they're still opportunities I grab when I can. I remember being on holiday just before my diagnosis and telling myself that although my life was about to dramatically change that if I could still steer it in a good direction and make new memories then I had to make the most of things when I could. I'd try my best to not just be defined by illness and keep developing the condidence I'd gained. That's when I took a dip in the sea from a boat (I didn't jump). I am terrified of deep water so I shocked myself with that one. But I was so proud of myself.

The one time it bit me in the ass (although the payback actually wasn't too crazy) was when I went horse riding on holiday. It was more than I was expecting, we did a lot more cantering than I could cope with and I was clinging on as I was so tired. My horse also hated this other horse who's rider kept trying to talk to me about Prince Harry getting naked (he was a German man that turned up in just speedos, sandals and a bumbag, that's a memory in it's self). I forgot just how much hard work horse riding was.

But again I did it. I know some people will say well if you did that you can't have had M.E and indeed it is a big difference in the scale of things now. M.E is a journey with peaks and troughs. Those things weren't easy, there was plenty of resting and payback. However memories were made at a time I thought I'd be very limited to making new and exciting ones. I'm so glad I did.

Of course now they might be more tame memories to make but with the help of my memory jar I'm appreciating them all the more. Life is not just about the big events it's about experiencing great friendships and love, laughing and learning.

So many people take their health for granted. It unlocks so many doors and opportunities. So although I know I would grab opportunities and be a bit reckless once I reduce the severity of M.E, I'll be sure to look after myself too, so not to come crashing down again.

If you had the chance to do something new or revisit something, what would it be?

A photo collage below of some of those memories mentioned in this post. Check out those bruises!


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