I have a plan, a cunning plan…

I’m tired today, not anything to do with my MS or lack of sleep, it’s the kind of tired that seems to come from somewhere deep inside, almost from your sole. The kind of feeling that makes you want to go back to bed curl up and sleep in the hope that when you wake the world will be a different place. It is a tiredness that comes from my emotional heart as if I have pulled one bucket to many from the well and it needs time to refill. This week has had no more stress or activity than usual, nothing that has stretched me or challenged me. I feel as though I may have been running on half empty for a while and I haven’t given myself the space required to regenerate.

I sat here this morning for nearly an hour feeling blank and drained not knowing what I should be doing or doing anything at all. I noted that feeling a while ago in a previous blog and it has taken me until know to start to work out why. There is only one thing, bare with me here as this idea is forming as I write, it is so slight that it seems nuts that it can be the root, yet it seems to make sense. Until a few weeks ago, I had had a system as simple one and one I have slowly bit by bit pushed to one side. With the wonderful dark evenings I had been taking the space each day to just sit and do nothing. Each day had a simple flow to it set out by my health and the sun and I have now changed it, not on purpose but it has changed.

A few weeks ago I spent my mornings here at my PC, writing, reading emails and answering job ads. I blogged sent some tweets read others blogs and played some silly game or other. After Adam called at around 1 o’clock I switched of the PC and TV closed the curtains and went to bed for a two to three hours, my alarm set for 5 0’clock, just in case. When I got up it was always either dark or minutes from it so opening the curtains had no point, I would light a few candles, put the TV on and prepare dinner, sit down in front of the TV and waited for Adam to come home. Our evenings were spent together and had a gentle flow, of eating dinner together, heading through the remaining hours of the day until either the need to sleep took over or I simply had taken all of that day, my body could deal with.

Compare that to now. I spend my mornings here at my PC, writing, reading emails and answering job ads. I blog, send tweets and sort out photos for the next days blog, read others blogs and tweet some more. After Adam phones I go to bed for no more than two hrs, my alarm set to make sure I sleep no more than that. I get up put on the TV, my PC and sort out dinner. I tweet, reply to emails, read others blogs, play silly games, pausing just long enough to eat dinner, sometimes here at my PC, when it eventually starts to go dark I close the curtains, light the candles and sit down. There are only a couple of hours left now before bed, tired out and desperate for sleep. There is clearly the root of the problem, I am pushing in far more activity into each day, why, simple it’s light I don’t feel that as long as there is light in the sky that I should be sitting doing nothing.

I know that sitting at the PC to many of you will seem like doing nothing but it isn’t, the whole time I am sat here I am active doing things, trying to watch TV, write, play, speak and all at the same time. I am pushing in an extra quarter to a third activity and cutting my relaxation by the same. Clearly I am going to have to put this right, but it is going to be hard as this is something I have always done and was one of the reasons unlike everyone else I never liked summer. Daylight to me means activity, as long as there is light I have to work, clean be active, winter is the time to do nothing and summer the time to do everything. If the long evenings are destroying me already and I don’t take this in hand now, what am I going to be like by July. I can see already that this is easier than said as it is very much a deeply ingrained behavior, if I don’t though, I am heading at high speed straight for one almighty crash.

I remember last summer frequently having to go to bed as early as 7:30, I had seen my ability to stay awake later throughout the winter months as a small improvement. I am guessing now that it wasn’t an improvement at all it was simply I changed my way of doing things and stopped pushing myself to the limit. It isn’t going to be easy but for this coming week I am going to be strict with myself and act like it is winter and see how things go. I suppose it is the only way I can find out if I am right or not. I can’t trick my MS but maybe I can out smart it 🙂

Summer Wipe Out

MS3

It was the first day of really warm weather yesterday here in Glasgow and for me the first day of being wiped. Once you have had MS for a few years in a strange way you get used to the pain and the fatigue but every summer this one gets me and surprises me. I don’t know the medical reason why this happens but it is really like someone has removed your batteries. It isn’t the same as the normal tiredness it really is a total withdrawal of energy even for simple movements and the drained feeling grows as the heat rises. Once out of my childhood years I really quite quickly lost the love of summer, when it no longer meant long days playing it lost it’s luster.

I can only really remember few overly hot summers here in Britain the first and strangely the most vivid was the summer of ’76. I had total freedom that summer, no parents to tell me what to do, no school and unfortunately no money. It was for the first time in my life that I had to go out and find a job, strangely it was really easy. I walked through the city and out to the beach. In those days there were a small string of cafes on the promenaded who I knew sold loads of ice cream and stuff to the summer visitors so I thought I might get a job there and I did. The very first one I walked into and asked gave me a job there and then. I found myself in a kiosk right down by the sand, selling all the things families would spend money on.

For those of you who don’t know the beach at Aberdeen if may come as a surprise to find out that it is actually the most beautiful golden sand that you could wish for, the beach is wide and gently sloping giving loads of sunbathing and play space. If you have a car I would recommend not to go there, better to drive a few miles north to were Donald Trump is now building his golf course at Balmedie, the sand line is wider and backed by dunes which if there is a breeze you can shelter in as they form thousands of suntraps, but don’t forget to take everything you need as there are no shops at all! If Aberdeen had Spain’s weather they would make a fortune.

I spent the whole of that summer of 76 either working at the beach or partying with the friends, a perfectly idyllic life for a teenager. I still remember walking though the city every morning before six when it was still cool, but warm enough for just a muslin shirt, jeans and Jesus saddles, enjoying the clear air pre rush hour. Spending the working hours making candyfloss and selling ice cream, lunch in the sea and evenings building bonfires and getting drunk. If life could have been like that forever I think I could have been happy for ever. Summers like that are all too soon over and for me I would say it was the only part of my early teens I was happy. I think it is memories like that which not only stay with us for ever, but colour our view of our own lives as well. I have always wondered at the human ability to sideline or forget the bad times and with out thought bring forward the good times, I’m glad we do.

I’m sure that most of you are hoping that the next few months will bring temperatures like we had in ’76, most days in the 80’s or just below. I on the other hand hope we don’t, sorry to be a kill joy but I would really like to have some energy even just enough to sit here and write.