Thursday, 11 August 2011
Wow - such a long time since I have written here.
I shall get to the gratitude part soon, promise. Firstly, just a quick update on my living arrangements and my general level of health.
Last Thursday saw me move out of the house I shared with my ex-girlfriend and into my own little apartment. Healthwise, I am doing surprisingly good since the move - which leads on nicely to the main subject of this post... gratitude!
I was struck today by a feeling of how much I have to be grateful for.
The house move is complete and I am in an apartment I adore. It is such a pleasant place to live, to convalesce and to reflect. Sunlight streams in through the massive Georgian windows, the character and age of the property makes for very satisfying aesthetics. It is quiet, for the most part. Birdsong is the most prevalent sound - so all rather pleasing on the ears.
Today I managed another short walk in the grounds and ventured a little deeper into the undergrowth, leading to the canal. I ate wild berries from the bush and I marvelled at how an area left untended by humans blossoms into something most skilled gardeners would struggle to match. An abundance of supposedly endangered bees were sharing in my appreciation of all the wild flowers that were around.
Sure, the first few nights of living here were strange. I felt very isolated - especially as I had no internet connection. I missed my ex-girlfriend, I missed my cats, I reflected on a 7-year chapter of my life closing. Moving was right for me though. It was right for many reasons. My quality of life is already infinitely better due to having the whole property on the same level. My ability to feel like I can move forward and begin a new chapter in my life has increased too. My desire to be as independent as I can be alongside having M.E. is being tested and satisfied too.
The past few days have been filled with a sense of how lucky I am. My mother has been conscious of me being a little 'needy' during the adjustment phase and has been ringing regularly to chat and reassure me. My postman has been delivering a constant supply of 'welcome' cards and postcards from kind-hearted friends. I have been managing to dawdle around the apartment doing what needs done, slowly but surely. Everything has been positive and has reminded me of the connections, both old and new, I have made with people.
My ex-girlfriend has dropped in since the move. We were able to chat as friends, effortlessly. Of course, I am sad that the relationship is over but I had already done the grieving part of that prior to the move. Now comes the acceptance and the joy in knowing we will always be friends and that we can happily spend time together.
And today, I received a visit from an old friend. I surprised myself by being able to engage in conversation for 4 hours. We put the world to rights, shared memories and laughs and had tea and cream cakes.
It was wonderful to be able to catch up with her but it also gave me a sense of confidence in the future. That I can carve out a bit of living amongst being sick. I have been very cautious with my health since I got ill, scared to trigger any flare-ups for full-blown crashes.
Now, I think it's time to cast off that caution and replace it with a more balanced approach. To be sensible and careful but to make sure that my life also includes a connection to the outside world. I have felt trapped in a bedroom for the past year or so, partly due to my own choices, and it's time to give more focus to the freedom I can allow myself. I may never be the person I was before M.E. entered my life but I am okay with that. I can live with the uncertainty and the lack of control I have over the outcome.
Much to be grateful for :)