I slept well last night, I know that because I woke up able to get out of bed without too much of a struggle. I wish I knew what causes that terrible stiffness that settles in over night, but not waking feeling as though there isn’t a joint or muscle in my body that can actually most, was great. I have noticed that stiffness settles in quickly these days, I don’t get it during the day when I am sat here typing as I suppose I don’t stay totally still, other parts of you shift about as your fingers do the work, but in the evening when I am sat on the settee, I freeze up. As little as an hour of sitting watching TV and standing is a struggle as are the first few steps. Walking across your living room like a centenarian isn’t exactly the image that I want my husband to have of me, but he sees it daily. My mobility varies all the way through the day but it is the evenings that I always seem to be the worst. My legs are heavy and stiff, they insist on trying to move without bending and my left foot always drags just a little, but often constantly. I have also noticed that if my stress levels rise as they do when going somewhere like a hospital, everything falls apart, but most noticeably if I am asked to walk or talk. All understandable but why I turn into a total cripple every night, is just annoying, OK I’m tired, but that varies, the level of immobility doesn’t and all I can blame it on, is my settee.
With so many different sites on-line to keep going I seem once again to have put myself to the limit of what I have time and energy to do. It is almost as though I’m not happy unless I am being stretched to my limit all the time. I know that that is something that I have always been good at when it came to any job I had, but you would think that now I am free of such things that I would slow down and just relax a bit, but I really can’t. I guess it is all part of a need that we all have to feel useful, there is so little that I can do that finding a way to pass on my life experiences and to amuse others with pictures and so on, has given me a purpose, something that I would recommend to anyone who is no longer working whether that is because of illness or through retirement. In many ways my day is spent on what some would call my ‘hobby’, sorry I hate that word. To me a hobby is something you dabble at, not something that you commit time and real effort to. I used to do a lot of handy-crafts many that people over the years had suggested I did to earn money, which was something I just didn’t want to do at the time, if I had the dexterity and eyesight now I would, but they weren’t hobbies, I did everything to the highest level I could. I have seen handy work from so many others that is totally beautiful and above the level of dabbling, the word hobby would be an insult.
Having a feeling of a purpose seems to be something really important to the human psyche, and I totally believe that without it we all fade quickly. There is though something that I think is missed when it comes to all the therapy groups and classes that I have seen that are available to OAPS and the ill, and it is an important thing. It has to be something the person actually enjoys doing and wants to do! Years ago I was unlucky enough to spend a couple of months in hospital and they insisted that I had a go at weaving the top of a small stool in gaudy colours and cheep looking string. I hated it and the therapy angle was lost as that hour each day didn’t help, it made me angry and depressed at that thought I had to do it. Even recently I saw a program were OAP’s were collected up by bus taken to a Church hall and sat a desks doing really bad handy craft and most looked as miserable as sin. Those that looked happy were the ones that were chatting loudly and producing little at all, for them it was company, for the rest I could seen nothing positive at all, to me it showed do-gooders doing no good at all, but still patting themselves on their backs.
Finding purpose is so individual, there isn’t a book filled with suggestions for a very good reason, for most people, not one of the suggestions would fit totally their requirements. Having said that though I really think it is an area that if more work was put into it, it would save the NHS and social services a fortune. Having a purpose hasn’t made the pain or anything else go away, but it has stopped me slipping into a depressive state and vegetating with nothing but what is wrong with me to think about. In turn that has meant that I don’t need drugs and visits to a psychologist and all the costs attached to that.