I often think that after writing for four years, that I must have covered every single topic possible when it comes to living with chronic illness. Yet, every day, I sit down here and I start typing and every day, I find something to write about. I have never believed in the idea that you plan what you’re going to write. This theory that every story must be laid out with a clear beginning, middle and end, before you even start, just doesn’t add up to me. Nor that it has to flow bringing every single point within it, to a conclusion, as leaving some hanging, makes people think. Other than the last, if my posts do any of these things, it just happens, I never think beyond the next word, which always somehow, just appears. I’ve never been good at planning, for me. On a business level, I was great at it, I had to be, it was part of my job, but planning for myself, well, I never even tried. I know some people have their lives planned from today into the distant future, but just like writing, I’ve never seen the point in either. Yes, I’ve planned things like special meals or events, like our wedding, but when it comes to the average daily things, why bother. Life, like my writing, just happens.
I left school without a clue of what I wanted to do, other than to earn enough money to cover next month’s rent. I had already been living alone in the YWCA for over a year, and my father was to cut off all payments to me, on my 16th birthday. So at Christmas, I left school and started working on the 3rd of January, as a receptionist for one of the many oil companies in Aberdeen. The only plan I had was to save enough in 5 week’s, so that I could carry out my birthday present to me. To change my surname, so I had no connection to my family, and to put a deposit down on a flat, as I didn’t want to live in the YWCA, any longer. What would happen after my 16th birthday, who knew, or cared? Life did, as that was nearly 50 years ago and I’m still alive, married, owner of a nice flat and happy. I did it all without a plan, so why bother with them?
I never planned a career, yet, I always had a job and in the end, a good job, but I didn’t plan to get there, it too, just happened. I never thought that after my first marriage ended, that I would marry again, in fact, I was dead set against the whole idea, then I met Adam. I never thought, or wanted to own a home, yet once again, here I am, and I sure as hell, never planned to spend my final years, housebound and chronically ill, it, all, just, happened. Just as all this happened, I didn’t have a single clue, what I was going to write when I typed the first sentence. If I had been one of those people who had had a grand plan for my life, who had like so many other an in detailed plan laid out before them in their minds, becoming ill, would have destroyed every single bit of it. Could you imagine what that might have done to me? It would have destroyed me. Just as it destroyed so many people, people who fall into depression, because they have had all their dreams, and plans, snatched from them.
When I became ill, I didn’t have to learn how to go with the flow, I had been doing it all my life. I wasn’t thrown by not being able to do whatever I wanted either, as I did very little that I wanted for the first 28 years. I either did what I was told, or I did everything that simply had to be done. On top of that, I was already a homebody. I wasn’t one of those people who worked so they could pay, for that annual holiday, when they would jet off somewhere to lie on a beach. Yes, I looked forwards to holidays, because, they meant I could stay at home and spring clean my house, or do some DIY. I haven’t left the country since I was 12. The first holiday I went on since that time was when Adams family, asked me to join them in Arran for a week, I was 37 by that time. I had only one more holiday after that, again in Arran, just over a year later for our honeymoon. Good or bad health, my home is the place I have always been the happiest. In many ways, I know that that too, has made the lifestyle, that being chronically ill, has forced on me.
I was halfway through the second paragraph of this, when, I realised just where this was going. I guess my subconscious must have known, but I honestly, didn’t when I started to write, I never really do. Just occasionally, yes, there is a kernel of an idea, like when I wrote about the card, that my Mother sent me, but, I didn’t have the slightest idea what or how I was going to say what I did. Like always, I have meandered my way through this post, making individual points, and as I do so, I have drawn my own conclusions. I do actually believe, that if there is a type of person who will find chronic illness, not easy, but easier, it those who are similar to me. If you have planned your life to the last second, if you have grandiose expectations for yourself, then you are going to find this type of life, a total living hell.
There is also another thing that I have just thought of, that also possibly helps me to survive, I’m not a “what if” sort of person. I can also honestly say, that I haven’t once sat and thought about how my life might be now, if, I hadn’t become ill. Which is probably why I don’t have the feeling that I am missing anything. Where I am, what has happened to me, is just the way it is. All I can do is make the most of it, just as I have, where ever I’ve landed up over the years. There really is a lot to be said, for not making plans, and just living.
(No, I didn’t plan that last line either, it just appeared and rounded everything off nicely.)
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 22/02/2014 – Is stress the trigger?
Lately due to reading my old posts from two years ago, I have been wondering how it is that for two years I have written daily and not only daily, the posts have become longer rather than I would have expected……