I keep thinking I’ll be well enough to write soon, but eighteen months has passed and soon has not arrived.
When I was last here, I mentioned that bitch payback had showed up. Well, she had much bigger plans than I had first realised, dragging me down to the bottom of crash mountain like a helpless rag doll, bashing me against a few rocks on the way, and then dumping me there. Told you, total bitch.
Following the initial decline in my health (about two and a half years ago) I had put a comprehensive treatment strategy in place and was doing everything my specialist told me to. Everything. But as I was starting to find my way out of that crash, and getting ready to skip off into the recovery sunset, life decided to be kinda mean to me. And despite my gold star worthy patient behaviour, my body was still too fragile, and it was all just a bit too much. Too much led to the rag doll crash, a much bigger and louder crash than ever before, and I now seem stuck at this new level.
I’m just about staying on top of daily life, with the help of my wonderful husband (yes, he’s still wonderful, and yes, I’m still going on about him), a cleaner, and a reduced service on cleanliness, grooming and glamour. And whilst I’m truly grateful that I can still look after myself, and I do understand not being able to do these things for yourself brings a whole other level of suffering, it doesn’t leave much spare energy. So not much else really happens (it’s taken me months to write this rather short offering, but my it’s good to write) and there is a lot – a lot! – of lying down with my eyes closed.
I’m okay, considering. I continue to be drawn to Buddhist teachings – definitely encouraged by a teenage style crush on Pema Chodron – and try to incorporate some of the practices into my daily life. And through a combination of acceptance, being present, meditation, and practicing gratitude for the things I can do, I have found a sense of perspective and peace with everything – well, most of the time. I mean, it’s not my dream life or anything, and there’s at least one moment (sometimes quite a few moments) in every day when I think I can’t do this anymore – when I’m in pain day after day; or I’m feeling particularly awful; or there are hours ahead of lying down with my eyes closed; or the heaviness of the isolation catches up with me; or I’m simply fed up with the relentlessness of feeling unwell every single day. But the feelings always pass – some pass through easily, whilst others, admittedly, disperse via tears or tantrums – and then the sense of peace returns. It’s not an easy way to live, but difficult experiences, in their many many guises, are a part of life, and this one just happens to be a part of mine (and I’m fully aware ‘difficult experiences’ can be far worse than this one). So I do my best to embrace each day as it is, whilst also doing everything I can to recover.
It’s a strange life, for sure, but it’s the only one I’ve got, and it’s the one I’m doing my best to make the most of. And whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say CFS is a gift (a gift from someone who doesn’t like you very much, maybe), this serious decline in my health has given me the opportunity to look at life differently – it is what has led me towards learning more about Buddhism and other spiritual ways of life (and learning always makes me happy), and it has allowed me to experience life in a more meaningful way. Okay, I’m gonna stop now, before I step too far into pretentious spiritual speak. Anyway, it’s time to meditate.
Thank you for all the messages over the last year or so, and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply. But, hey, you’ve been in the best company. Lots of love, Karen… Xx