Do I want to be here

I at last have my safety net, a pack of morphine fast acting tablets that means I no longer have to fear that I will find myself in pain that I just can’t deal with it. It actually feels like a huge weight has been lifted off me, one that personally I will never understand why I have had to go through in the first place. I just hope I am not jumping the gun as I didn’t need them last night, I expect though I will be able to report on there effectiveness all to soon as I seem to have a bad bout of pain around about once a week and not always at night. I actually almost expect that I will not need them for several days, sods law always seems to rule life.

I have now for many years thanks to the night that heralded the end of my first marriage, sat and asked myself a question that I think everyone should ask themselves and then to listen to their answer in honesty. I’m not going to give a huge detail about my first husband but when we married I found myself in a life where he always had the upper hand and my role was of the old fashioned version of a wife and mother. As the years past I was slowly convinced the I was unable to do anything else and that I would not be able to survive without him. I hadn’t worked for 10yrs and was thrilled when he agreed I could actually have a job, which I found, as a barmaid in the local hotel. I had stayed on after work for a drink one night and then took a taxi home, but I was met by a drunk and angry man who was going to have his say. After about an hour of him shouting at me and not listening, he suddenly declared “I don’t think you want to be here”. I totally shock myself by answering instantly “no I don’t”, I knew as I said it I was speaking the absolute truth and I wasn’t going to go back on it ever. In just over a month I had learned that I could be myself and I could stand on my own two feet, but that evening I leaned much more. I had discovered that your heart answers questions with more honesty than our voices ever do and I promised myself to keep asking myself every painful question I can think of through out my life.

“Do I want to be here”, it sounds like a simple question but it actually has many different levels to it if you give it just a few seconds thought, the simplest and most clear levels are that of relationship and location. Not only did that question end a marriage, it also removed another past boyfriend as well. Right now though I am very happy with my husband and there wasn’t a seconds thought required to answer this time, or at any point in our marriage at all. I have discovered over the years that the location question doesn’t really apply to me as I must be a total home-bird, regardless of where that is. Not once have I asked that questing and come back with a no, I need to move house now, even when I was living in a bedsit I was content. I know a lot of people don’t understand how I can be happy in a home I just can’t get out of, but to me it is simple. Everyone seems to believe that I would have a better quality of life if we just moved to a bungalow or ground floor flat, but it would actually make no difference to me at all. It would make life easier for the ambulance crew who shift me up and down all those stairs, but to me no difference at all. When you don’t have the energy to get dressed or to move yourself around in a wheelchair, well you might as well live on the 20th floor without a lift, I still wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. I totally love my home and unless someone could slice it out from the block and relocate it, I really don’t want to move.

There is one other version of the “Do I want to be here” question that I have also actually asked for many years as well, do I want to be alive, here living this life on this planet. I actually started asking it even before my first marriage ended and even then one of the factor that were included was my health. When I was undiagnosed I asked it a lot as living with all my conditions un-medicated, unrecognised and often declared as imagined, was really difficult. At times the answer came back as “no” something I have made no secret of here in my blog. When I asked it this time I was a little surprised to find that although not an instant or sunlit yes, it was still a yes and a better one than when I last asked it. That set me off trying to work out why as something had to have changed to make me feel so different. It took me a while to realise that part of it was down to being told I had COPD and that combined with the activity of my MS, where causing me all the pain and difficulty with breathing and so on. Yet again it was being diagnosed and correctly medicated that had lifted me. Yes I was quite the opposite when first told, but just knowing what is wrong has actually improved how I feel about life. So yes the old having an name for it all, has done it’s conjuring trick and turned itself into a positive.

But that wasn’t actually all of it, what I found myself actually acknowledging this time may well surprise some. I remember feeling it not long after my being given the time limit on my life, but I don’t think I have written about it or even spoken about it. There has been a huge relief in actually being told there is a 10yr limit, strangely I have found a sort of peace in the fact I now know how long I am going to be living with all of this. I don’t really know how that will sound to others, or what you might think of it, but I do know it is a comfort to me. Before the clock was set ticking I was facing an unknown length of time living with a life that would have seen me reduced to some sort of vegetative state. I know I was facing eventually having no mobility, lose of memory, lose of speech and lose of almost everything we see as life. I could have lived for a normal length of life, although unlikely, but I could have been facing 30 years plus. I know Adam was horrified when he heard 10 yrs, but I felt and still feel relief because I know it is coming to an end. Even knowing that death from COPD isn’t a nice way to go, it actually feels like a better way to me. Even just getting those painkiller has raised the “yes” answer higher again, knowing I’m now not going to live with excessive pain, has changed a lot.

“Do I want to be here” is a question that can mean many different thing to many different people but it is a question I believe we should all be asking ourselves, as the “yes” answer is important, happiness in all sectors of life is essential, if you find a “no” then change it, it is your right to live happily and to have the best possible out of your life.