It has been a strange week on one level it has been incredibly normal and quiet on the other it has been really hard and stressed, which is not normally for me a good place to be but I think apart from being a little tired I have emerged rather unscathed by it all. Heading through life with no direction has become a feature over the last few years, I never was a great one for detailed plans but I always had a general idea of where I was heading in the far, medium and near future. On waking I would plan my day a head and work my way through the list, the final goal of being simply able to say all done. When you have a working life or children these are easy plans to make and follow as there is a set reason why you have to write a report or get the sports kit ready for the next morning, life for most of us has a natural structure which takes little thought or consideration, but all that disappears when you are chronically ill, housebound and unemployed.
I consider myself to have been very luck to have stepped slowly to this final position where I am, I gradually worked more and more from my home and less and less in the office, the gentle slope over several yrs to the stay at home for ever began 5yrs ago suited me well and slowly showed my company that they were loosing nothing by my not being sat at desk in their offices, it in fact freed up a large space where all my files and my meeting area was, so in a way it suited them too. My biggest hurdle was when I was made redundant in September last year and it was at that point I had to make a clear decision of what I was going to do, to give my life purpose and structure which like it or not we all actually need. All of us can slope around doing nothing for a while but you can’t do it for ever without it eventually doing you more harm than good. I firmly believe if 10yrs ago when I received my diagnosis, I had done what I have seen some others do, just sitting down waiting for death, that I would have found it or I would now be sitting propped in an invalided chair drooling in a corner somewhere, I made the decision, not so much to fight but to continue living, they are two very different things and second was the one that seemed more my style.
If you are at this point where work realistically is slipping out of your reach, I recommend 100% do not allow yourself to sit down in front of a TV during the day. TV even at it’s best, which for me is any informative Documentary especially the history ones, will rapidly reduce you to being the image of progressive illness that haunts all of us in the small hours, when sleep won’t take over. Do not let it happen. I still 10 mths on send out applications for work, I know that getting a job that I can do from here is a slim possibility but it is still a possibility that I don’t let go of. I actively set up loads of job searches and religiously read through and apply to the mountains of emails that arrive in my in box each morning. I knew though by December last year that the possibility of my starting work in the near future was slim and although fun I couldn’t just play games on my PC for ever, I needed more. Years ago I had loads of hobbies, but all of them where in the craft field and that wasn’t possible because of my dexterity, but this may be an option, even a possible money earner for you. With that option closed I decided to start writing, something I have never done before, well yes I wrote as school and I was good enough for the School magazine, so I gave it a go.
At the basic level blogging can be done for nothing, important when there is no income, I pay a small sum for this account as it allows more options, I am hoping that the ads on the pages will supply enough to pay the costs, but they bring in very little so far. (Do me a favor click on one when you finish reading, it will supply a few pennies for each ad click.) I found quickly that I first – loved writing, second – others wanted to read it, third – I could fit it in a daily scheduled point, I believe that the third point is the most important for sanity to continue.
The second part, Twitter, many I know have found me by that route, Twitter opened up a new audience and a new interest. Even for those that don’t’ blog, when you are housebound twitter is an amazing, free tool that lets you be in contact not just with our friends and family but to meet new people, some with your medical condition or interests. It would be at my top of recommendations to anyone who is housebound, we all need human contact, carers and family can’t be around 24hrs a day but Twitter never stops.
I may have no income other than what the state pays me but I have a full day everyday. I do as much or as little and I feel I am achieving and that is the big secret of dealing with a Chronic illness, and I suspect old age as well, you have to keep achieving, keep you brain active and keep you world interesting. When the word bored enters you head, then you need to change things push yourself in a different direction, in 5yrs of being at home I have never been bored even now that I am unemployed, my time is still filled with enjoyable activity, well apart from the job hunt that has got a bit tedious I admit, but I have to look and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have one daily task that they don’t like. We can all achieve things, even if you are unable to do what I have, or you are bed-bound there are still achievements to aim for, these days you can study and obtain qualifications lying down or sitting, makes no difference, thanks to the internet we the invisible humans of the world can become highly visible and continue to be part of it as well. Search on line there are millions of free things that will inspire you and fulfill the possibility to achieve.