When you are by yourself, as I am, day in day out, it is incredibly easy to take things to heart. What I mean by that, is that when someone says something perfectly innocently, it is heard or read in a totally incorrect way. When you send as many tweets as I do, or write as much, it’s not really surprising that from time to time, I completely innocently upset someone. It is even more likely to happen when your main audience is those with chronic illness, including those isolated as I am, by being housebound. When you are feeling down, are in a lot of pain or feeling more alone than normal, well we all take things in ways we normally wouldn’t. It used to be something I did a lot until I started to realise that I was just being precious. Then there are the times when I have suddenly found myself face to face with those I have upset, well, as face to face as the internet allows, and trying my best to sort the whole terrible mess out and often making it worse. The result is that now you wouldn’t believe the care that I try to take when I write anything, beyond a, “thank you” or a “(((hug)))”.
It is amazing just how much our moods are affected by what is happening to us at that second. As I said, I have frequently thought that someone was being either really nasty or far too personal for comfort. If you are like me, someone who has only come to social media since I became unable to work, understanding just how 140 characters, (as on my pet favourite Twitter only allows) can skew the real meaning with ease, takes time. Reading what isn’t there, is beyond easy. In the first year, I lost count of the times I found myself sitting here feeling wounded, but for some reason, I’m not the sort of person who makes a fuss about it. I just sit here quietly hurting, and actually making myself feel far worse than I did before I read it. It is easy to say, just take it with a pinch of salt, but when your body is racked with pain and you’re looking for an escape, not persecution, it’s sometimes hard.
Our bodies have so much to answer for, being in chronic pain is something that you get used to, but when you’re having a bad day, it’s affects us in ways we don’t expect. Without a doubt, I know that I, and probably others, wouldn’t bat an eyelid at any of those silly things that turn into that straw that breaks us. I’m using social media as it’s an example, as it one that I know for sure, we have in common. It could just as easily have been something on TV, or that our partners have said, whatever it is, I’m sure you can all sight your own examples. It’s easy for us to understand what is happening when we look back, but others aren’t always that patient. Adam has told me that he has often dismissed all I was saying and how I was doing so, because, he knew that that day, I was in pain, although I was totally unaware of my error myself. Those online can’t see me, don’t know me, and some often don’t care. So like so many things in our lives, it is us who have to take the care, choose our words, and our subjects, with others foremost in our minds. Our lives are so complex and as much as we like being around people, they don’t half make our lives harder.
Chronic illness steals so much from us, and for some of us, our patience is just one of them. I have to admit that I have over the years went through spells of hiding. I know that sounds odd to some, but when you’re struggling and you know that you have recently upset a couple of people, even when for the life of you, you couldn’t see how, it just feels easier to avoid them all. If I have hidden away, I know for a fact, that that means there will be others out there who have done just the same. If blogging has taught me one thing, whatever we have done, someone else out there will have done it as well. The one thing none of us should be doing is hiding. People don’t understand what is going on in our heads. They see our illnesses as physical and never take into account that the mental impacts can be huge. Just because most of the time we handle things well, doesn’t mean that we don’t have our off days. Every spasm, every time that we find ourselves with our arms too tired to push that wheelchair another inch, our mental state changes. It affects what we say and how we say it, and because we are so tied up with ourselves, we don’t always notice it and we can’t tell you, we don’t mean it.
We are tested in ways that the able-bodied and healthy will never understand. What our bodies do to our brains, especially our emotions, is something I know I didn’t understand, until I found myself here. It is only those closest to us who see it, feel it and know how to handle it. Our lives are nothing like they once were and this is just yet another example of how screwed up it becomes. So if I do at any time accidently hurt you, I’m sorry, and if you do me, well, I promise to understand and just brush it away.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 29/07/2014 – Unable to stop
I am in one of those “I just can’t be bothered moods”, not normal for me I must say. In fact, I don’t remember when I last had one, I just want to do nothing, not here online or anywhere else, I just want to curl up and disappear for the rest of the day and worse still, I don’t know why. I hate this, I know some……