The week starts again and Adam has headed out to work which of course means once more I am on my own. I find it strange how many people find being alone so hared to bare, just this morning I read a tweet from someone who is still able bodied but it facing a future of possible housebound existence, and although there is only 140chars to send as a message, I could feel their pain and fear towards the whole idea. Maybe the fact that I can’t remember ever feeling that way is why I cope so well now, I never saw housebound as something to fear, I saw it simply as a challenge and one I had to find my solution to. I believe that if you face anything in fear and you will fail, you have already set up lists of problems and negatives without a single positive to build from. I can’t remember what my positive was now as it is so long ago that I started this process, but I do remember that it was a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to be destroyed and diminished by something that is after all said and done, is part of almost everyone’s lives. Those of us who get here through illness arrive early, but most will find that in their later years, will be here to.
To be honest to say that I found a huge list of positive about being housebound might be a bit over the top, I think it was more a case of not being able to find a negative that can’t be solved, and that negative tag removed. I doubt there is anyone out there who live their lives on a cushion filled with nothing but positive air, I have come across some who appear to, but normally drugs had a lot to do with that. But seriously, think about it in honest human terms, we don’t all have a life that is wonderful every second of every day, or bursting out in song like a Bollywood movie, the truth of life is we get on with it, moving through highs and lows, but mainly just on a level called normal. Housebound is just the same! The biggest difference once you get past the money and work issues, after that the biggest thing I have noticed is I have more silly little problems. I spend a lot more time working out how to do things, finding ways around things that were never an issue in the past. It may be just me, but well I actually enjoy those issues, they keep my mind ticking over and there is a great satisfaction in just doing something that appeared at first glance, impossible.
I guess that what people fear the most is loneliness, of those who do speak to me of what they fear, that is the greatest issue I hear time and time again. I can only say that it isn’t the horrific specter that most think it will be. When your health has deteriorated to the extent that you can no longer be out and about, your health also means that dealing with people, no matter how much you love them, is actually just too much. I know for a fact that having anyone here is a tremendous drain, yes it is wonderful to see them but I couldn’t cope with seeing them constantly. The hard fact is that I don’t have the energy, at times being by myself is often easier than it is even to have Adam with me. When you are drained to the point where just sitting is pulling the last dregs of what you have to give that day and someone is expecting conversation, well you drain even quicker. I actually think that if I had an extended family and loads of friends constantly coming to see me, I would go completely mad, or withdraw to my bed in the hope they would take the hint. I guess that is the plane truth if you had the energy and health to have an active social life in your home, you would probably still be able to go out and about. If you loose that ability well you will have also lost the energy. When friends withdraw at first it is painful, but eventually it is a blessing. I know that sounds terrible, but it is the plain truth. We all need people in our lives, but as our lives winds down, we need and want fewer and fewer. Hospitals used to limit the number of visitors to two to a bed during visiting hours, well now I totally understand, two people here for an hour, would actually wipe me out and require my to sleep to the next visiting time.
It is hard to imagine ourselves to ever be like that, I never thought I would be either, but here I am and here is the truth. Chronic illness changes us into people we wouldn’t believe we could ever become, but we slowly change and we slowly don’t want the lives we once prized so highly. Look at being housebound with realistic eyes of a future that won’t be terrifying, won’t be lonely but will give you the most wonderful opportunity, to learn and enjoy so many things you never had the time for. Read back through my posts, in there you will see just how much I have found to be good from my years isolated from people, and look for the fears you have, I doubt you will find them. Make your list of what scares you, then look at it again as to what just requires a solution, once solved what is really left to fear?