Last night turned into one of those where I was restless and never really reached a deep sleep that could take me through to the morning. I know exactly what was wrong with me, but there is nothing that I can do about it. I am in the 48 hour period within which, when my body decides to actually let go, I will be going to the loo. It’s is total madness. I have gone from never going and never knowing when or if I would, to having a couple of days notice, followed by about an hours notice, then a two-second emergency run to the loo. I know it’s great that my bowels are moving, but do they really have to make such a fuss about it? Bodies I always thought were meant to be the vessel that carried us around. Perfectly preprogrammed with every internal process required and we didn’t have to ever think about it. Just another lie that I was told about life, along with the one that said “when they went wrong, they could be fixed”. It would just be nice for once to find something that I wasn’t lied to about. I remember all those horrid lessons at school called Biology when we were taught us how amazing our bodies are and how perfectly they worked. It was backed up by parents who took you to the doctor with every ailment from a cough to operations to remove those defective parts, but always being reassured with that line “the doctor will make it better.” Not once do I remember anyone once warning me that as time went on, I might just fall to pieces and unlike Humpty Dumpty, they wouldn’t be able to put me back together.
As a mother, I totally believed in never telling lies to children, never using baby language and in teaching not telling. I totally believed in answering all their questions, regardless of their age, or how busy I thought I was. I was so sure that it didn’t matter what you told a child, they only remembered what they were ready to learn and capable of understanding. But by constantly teaching them and answering their questions no matter how embarrassing or hard to answer, it meant they had the building blocks to move on to bigger subjects, knowing that they had the truth. It turned out to be totally true. My daughter can’t remember at all having the facts of life explained to her when she was 6, following a question triggered by the news, about how an 8-year old had had a baby. Yet she does remember never being fobbed off or being told a pack of lies about babies being found in a cabbage patch, or any of the other stupid things kids are so often told. I know that I was educated through the 60’s and 70’s and that things have changed since them, but I honestly think that children should be taught that they too could have their lives turned upside down by their health or the health of those they love. Having a small amount of knowledge about any subject, makes adjusting and learning far easier. Even if they were lucky enough to sail through life unaffected themselves, it might help to change reactions and attitudes towards those who do have an invisible illness. The stats say that one in twenty-five of us will have a chronic illness of some sort. That makes it impossible for someone to go through life, totally unaffected, even if it is just in the workplace, we all will know someone eventually.
The hardest thing for anyone to teach another is attitude. I so wish that it was something simple, something that we can just pass on to someone by placing our hand on their shoulder, but we can’t. I have never been able to work out where it really comes from, is it something that is deep set in our personalities, or is it something that we learn from our parents and extended family. For me, I would say it is a combination, but I do believe that it is also something that we can learn and change if we are determined to. I know I had the base there set in place when I was a child by the behaviour of my family. Their attitude to things like health and work were the ones that I started out with. I was and am, so different from my blood family that I think that is where personality plays its part, but I also learned much of it too. Our attitude more than anything is the thing that will make us sink or swim in any situation, but health is probably the biggest one. If you are the sort of person who takes to bed demanding nursing when you have a cold, you will find chronic illness really tough. But if you are like me, who had to have a limb hanging off by a thread to not show up for work, and even then if the surgeon had said it could wait a few hours, I would have gone to work, then it will be easier. That though is the bit that I think we learn. If your mum sent you to school with the measles, well health is probably not going to be something you see as an excuse, but it is only the start. Attitude is something that affects every second of your life when you are chronically ill. How we react to every tiny thing in our day, changes the next second and the one after. It is incredibly easy to bring your mood down, just because one tiny thing went wrong. This is where I had to learn.
It was hard and still is at times to just let things go. To just say that that doesn’t matter, it happened, it’s over and now move on. If you can’t do it, you have to learn it and learn it fast as heading down uncontrollably, has you heading into depression with rocket powered boosters behind it. I know that some people think that I am tough on myself, but I quite honestly have to be. I have to push out all those worries and problems, get rid of them and find a new way that works. I get rid of them here and if you read all I have written, I know that you will see that. In time, you also find the positive result of it. (I still hate that word positive.) It was Adam that first spotted it, he realised what I was doing and how this blog was my way of working through what life was throwing at me. You, dear people, are my psychiatrist, my counsellor and more. My writing is my sounding board, my place to shout and scream and come out of it smiling. I write daily because daily I am pushing myself to deal with life and to correct my attitude to me and the world.
Ask anyone with chronic illness and they will tell you that being ill has changed their entire view on life. I am no different and like others I wish I could inject all the knowledge into those out there getting it so wrong. I can look back and see just how wrong I was getting it and part of that reason was my attitude. I blamed myself for everything, it was always my fault and I was the one that had to work harder to get it right for everyone else and eventually me as well, somewhere off the end of the list. I let things get to me and dwelled on them, not for a couple of days, usually months, sometimes even years. My illness opened my eyes to what life is and what the point of it is. If I am not happy, there is no point. You can’t be happy with the world on your shoulders, even your own world. My life changed, some might say too late. I might have agreed once, but no longer because I am happy right where I am, living as I do and that is all down to getting my attitude right. Not even my world sits on my shoulders any longer, I am where I should be inside it and part of it.
Learning can be a painful process, but without it, our lives would be hellish and I for one never intend to stop learning. I may not have yet learned to love pain, but I have learned how to deal with it and how to live with it. Like doesn’t come into it, but my attitude most defiantly did. I stopped hating and fighting it and started working and living with it. If something is wrong with your life, if it can be changed, change it. If it can’t be changed then look to your attitude and change that. It can be done and it’s worth it.
Please read my blog from years ago – I’m still here
Everything has to be rushed this morning as Teressa and John will be here around 11am, they are coming for lunch today as their is some show that neither Adam or I have ever heard of, but apparently has been running in Glasgow for around 20 years, that they want to go and see. It is always the way, family arrive turn your world upside down and….. https://livinginalimitedworld.com/2014/08/06