Having ME… the tiniest thing like finding and putting on some leggings can leave me so sicky and sleepy I need to lie down for ten minutes. It’s overwhelming and I am so conscious of my
capabilities and fight every day to meet the social expectations thrown at me. I find myself endlessly trying to convince people of my passion and desire to work, how I resent having to rest to feel normal.
I am forced at my body’s pace but long to break free. For me, having ME is a lot like walking in waist deep snow with everyone else sprinting past on tarmac and yelling to keep up. I feel guilt because I feel like I’m falling behind and I’m not much help but really, I’m working harder and on a more intense level than I’ve ever worked in my life. I push harder because I am determined to not let it hinder me, to try and be normal for a while. It definitely carries mental implications that have intensified over the years as I try to get to grips with how ME affects me. Here are some small things I want to remember and be proud of! PS for help, guidance and extra support with anything I discuss in this article I recommend visiting www.betterhelp.com to find more amazing resources, or throw me a message any time, I would love to speak to others struggling or going through any kind of difficulties.
1. Tackling things in my own way… the secret is in the small things, like writing in your diary, cleaning the floor, washing and slicing a peach, peeling the first potato for tea. They are 100% important, even if your mind tells you otherwise, don’t believe it! Every big thing is made up of lots of little things behind it, tons of little things going on behind the scenes that help to shape it. No matter how small the thing and how embarrassed you feel that it’s made you so tired… it’s more important than you realise. It’s good to take time to think about your little things, the cogs at work in the system. It takes confidence to not get dragged down by the big things because they are so intimidating! I am learning to break things down, that every little bit is itself part of a bigger play or force at work.
2. Admitting that I have limited resources to work with. Saying that gives me great power. It helps me to look at the resources I do have rather than fighting for what I don’t have. I suddenly have more than I realised, because I am seeing it differently. I acknowledge what I do have and can get creative with it. Admitting rather than fighting it brings a sense of calm and realisation. Sometimes you need to distance yourself from what you desire, to notice greatness that is there.
3. Having confidence in my own abilities. Knowing I am adaptable and my constraints don’t take away how I can enjoy life. I can’t believe I am an adult and didn’t know how to put up a picture frame. It’s kind of revolutionised my home decorating style, I’m going around pinning up wall art and cute hanging ornaments haha. Accomplishing new things helps me to realise I am not behind, I just have to pace myself. I can do anything I set my mind to and the heavy sacrifice of energy, a price to pay, makes it feel even more worthwhile. I must stop judging myself by others standards, for there is no rule for when things must be done by, none at all. I naturally advance at a slower pace.
4. Relishing the power of choice… we might find a great deal of power in tiny weeny choices. I feel that to be able to choose is one of the greatest powers and it is so overlooked, we have the power in our hands to change so much. Choosing a coconut muffin or trying something different with your meals, choosing to reach out to someone… things like that can bloom brand new projects.
I definitely don’t believe that happiness is a choice because that is far too simplistic, for me it leads to the belief that periods of depression or numbness are wrong and bad, and can even feed the cycle of guilt, as you feel it is your fault and that you are not trying hard enough – it’s actually the opposite! There are many unavoidable things we cannot change, it is okay and natural for them to be there, we don’t have to judge, react to or try to dismiss them. We can carve out a little margin of space after them, to choose things, however how small, that we can use to harness a little bit of power.
5. Sorting through old, making room for new… aka sorting my floordrobe and closet haha, surrounding myself with things that bring me joy. Lately I managed to donate a lot of clothes and felt so proud. It’s those small achievements haha, especially if they feel like a marathon!
These little things or truths are like gems in the rough for me, things I have discovered and learnt but haven’t fully mastered. Maybe we don’t need to burn ourselves out, but consistency, commitment, persistence and patience is key. This can be hard to remember when I tackle a few pieces of laundry and the rest just comes down on me because of potty training, no one warned me about this stage guys haha!! Have you ever felt guilty or ashamed about yourself, for something you can’t control? ♡