Over the next two months things are about to get hectic. Admittedly things already feel hectic and that's from just trying to haul my ass through the pain of each day and make it out alive. On top of that I've been trying to change up my room. Hey I need a change of scene. I bought new furniture way back in January and only in recent weeks has it made it's way to my room. Trying to go through everything and throw away all those bills from 2010, and socks that are sadly not going to be reunited with their sole mate (see what I did there) has been arduous. It's frustrating wanting to get things organized, especially when you are surrounded by piles of stuff that has no place until you can put the new furniture in. And all that clutter is somehow oppresive and has it's own kind of noise that creates so much discord. I just want to get it done! However of course it's not that easy. I need to pace it. Doing too much on one day leaves me unable to do much apart from stare at all the stuff yet to be sorted for the next few days.
However this needs to be put on hold a little longer as things outside of the bedroom are about to get busy. Although ironically during most of that time I will actually be confined to my room a great deal more to be able to reserve as much energy as possible to cope with these events. In the next 6 weeks I have 2 big events going to watch Strictly Come Dancing and a holiday to Portugal. And after that it's my birthday. I feel a little overwhelmed but at the same time incredibley grateful. I know it's not going to be easy. I know things could go glitterballs up. I know it's going to take every little scrap of energy and I know it's going to give me horrendous post exertion malaise, making me very unwell. You should have seen me the day after getting the news I had Strictly tickets, fighting for breath and feeling like I had been ran over by the Strictly Express. I also know that maybe it's not the best thing to do in order to preserve my health and to try and avoid further setbacks. But I have said it before and I'll say it again life is still for living. Each opportunity is a gift. A chance to have something more than a closed off world of drawn curtains, high pain levels and mobility aids. Where all you see in a week is 2 or 3 people and generally that's just to give you some kind of assistance.
More than ever lately I have felt the heartache of how small my world has become. How separate I feel from the real world, the world just behind my closed blinds or just downstairs. I spend so much time listening to all that's going on and not being able to be a part of it. Yet my resolve to try and make this life as good as it can possibly be for myself is at the most determined it's ever been. And that's saying something. I've been of the opinion that it's our own responsibility to create our own happiness and give ourselves chances for a long time. Possibly because I've spent more than half my life now with one chronic illness or another. Or perhaps as I have previously suffered from depression, anxiety and self harm and told myself countless hideous untruths about how worthless I was and that there was no point being alive. Maybe that has given me a greater perspective as well as a healthy respect for my mental health.
People say wow you're lucky and I'm not sure how much I'd agree with that. Yes I have a horse shoe in my room and a four leaf clover in my purse but I don't feel lucky. I'd rather my luck granted me good health and more independance, the ability to work and be more social. These opportunities have only come about though because I applied or booked. I put myself in the frame to have these chances. And chances is the right word, because they are big chances. I'm taking a gamble and hoping that on the day I can get out of bed. There's a high possibilty I won't be able to. That they'll go the way of many other failed attempts and literally all end in tears. Many will say I'm setting myself up to fail. I see it as setting myself up to try. And being a tryer is one quality I will always admire in myself.
Like I said I know there is a high chance things could not work out. I have a full understanding of the reality of the situation. There are many precautions and stratergies that go into any opportunity. Planning to the nth degree to make things possible. And like I said I am fully aware of the reality that things might not work out, despite everything being carefully planned out. As well as the effect such mamouth efforts will have on my health. You can read more about how I manage to leave the house from time to time and the effects it will have in my blopost let me put this in a way you might understand, which I have linked below.
Living with a chronic illness and knowing there's no cure or effective treatment I think you become even more aware of how unpredictable life can be. You feel that most of your adventures are probably behind you. That your life will never resemble that of the average human being again, or what we perceive to be average/ normal. It's a mental health disaster zone in many ways. But the human spirit can be a powerful thing. Somehow you find the strength to get through each pain filled day, somehow you adapt and find ways to cope. Yes, you cry and you curse and ask why this happened to you but somehow you find grit and determination to tackle each obstacle that is thrown at you. It's amazing. I have the upmost respect and admire everyone that gets through each day with a smile on their face and hope in their hearts. Hope is so important. And I think that by giving myself these opportunities it is a way of retaining that hope for me. I have to find some kind of life in this half life existence. I can't have the every day freedom and pop to the shops when I want. Nor work in my dream job as I trained to do. To leave the house at all it's in a wheelchair and with a family member. I'm the woman still going on holiday with her parents, which I didn't expect to be doing at this age, nor does society expect it. However it's the way things need to be to at least make travel somehow possible. To quite literally broaden my horizons. I can try and go after the extraordinary every now and again. As the saying goes "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll end up amongst the stars."
Let me put this in a way you might understand explaining how mitochondria work and how being able to leave the house on occasion doesn't mean we're better.
Holiday Get ready with me how I prepare myself to go on holiday, step by step from 6 weeks before to leaving for the airport.
Forget the boom and bust? Another post on taking chances and making the most of opportunities if we are able.
The Memory Jar A way of documenting all the special little moments and trying to seek out the good, despite the often bleak existence of chronic illness.