Skip to main content

Energy

The other day on this Blog I talked about being bold and yet I've not once ever confessed my own situation on line in public for all the world to know about. So if I'm going to write posts about being bold, I think I should live up to my own words - so here goes:


I've always been a big doer in life. I was never a naturally talented student and so I always had to work hard to get anywhere in life. I was brought up in a single family home by my mother who told me that one should always work hard and never let your employer down, so I embraced this philosophy and did as she said. I worked long hours, worked hard to meet my employer's needs which of course kept growing as I tried to continue to meet them and I ignored any signs of illness. My head very much ruled and I didn't listen to anything my body tried to tell me.


Five years ago my mum became seriously ill and we discovered too late that it was cancer and she died three and a half weeks later. After her death, I kept working hard plus I had her estate to sort and her house to sell. As you can imagine it was a very busy time and I shoved my grief to the side and got on with things and stayed strong as I had always done.  However, I have found in life that there are things that you cannot avoid - grief was one of them. Almost a year after my mother's death, I simply found I couldn't function anymore. All I wanted to do was sleep. I didn't want to meet with friends, read books, be involved in anything too noisy and large crowded areas made me feel positively anxious. But if I could lay my head down and rest a while, I was convinced all would be better. And so this continued and then it continued some more and then it continued some more and I found I was losing large chunks of days yet still I was able to sleep all through the night. Sleep was my only distraction from a world that seemed unfair and harsh and that I was angry with. I visited my doctor at quite regular intervals and had a variety of tests and nothing was found. In fact he told me that from a physical perspective, everything was fine. I was healthy. So why did I feel like shit all the time.


Eventually after several more months of this continued fatigue, my doctor told me that I was on the edge of chronic fatigue syndrome. (I'm not going to even capitalise that - it only makes it seem important and I'm not going to heighten it's status in this post.) So I read up about it and found that people were suffering terribly from this condition. Some folk couldn't even walk down their own yards without having to return to bed for the rest of the day. I was so grateful that I wasn't in that situation. Over time, things got progressively a little better for me and now in the main I live a mostly normal life for a woman of 48. I usually have to pace myself and I do listen to my body now - although from time to time my mind tries to win over. If it does, I usually pay for it by having to take a few days out to recharge my batteries. From time to time the fatigue wins and I surrender to it as I have found trying to fight and resist was futile. There's a Star Trek joke in there somewhere :-)


So why am I telling you this and what's it got to do with writing you might be asking? Well, it was during the initial lapses of fatigue that I came to writing. I started journalling my thoughts and writing down how I felt and from there came a greater interest in writing. Later once I felt better I was writing stories, taking part in Nanowrimo, trying to write a novel, joining a creative writing group and am soon to have a short story published in a magazine.


Writing is always there for me. It is an undemanding and gentle partner. We are in a loving relationship and it is willing to work with me accepting the days I don't feel so hot. It doesn't require me to be ready to go at 9 am and work until 5 pm. It's not too strenuous and it says if you want to take a break, then take a break, I'll still be here for you once you're refreshed and ready. It wants me to create but at my own pace and in my own time. It's a good listener and it is kind and it makes me feel calm, reassured and relaxed.


And so I come to the end of this post and I'm glad I've put it out there and in some ways, I have to be thankful for the fatigue as it brought me to this place when I create, where I write, where I can be me.


Comments

  1. A very brave post and wonderful that you've found writing to be a healing process that brings you to new insights and creativity. Many people may share your experiences without commenting. I liked particularly that striving you describe so well, over-achieveness that is nearly a tunnel vision, excluding other aspects of reality that in some ways are more important than reaching the next goal! Write on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beth and yes you're right writing is a big part of the healing process. Thanks for your insights too. I particularly liked the idea of tunnel vision in relation to achieving the next goal. Once upon a time that was so true. I'm trying to let go of those reins and at least have reached a stage of holding them a little less tightly.

      Delete
  2. Good post. Writing is what ties all the pieces of my life together.

    A to Z participant at Between the Keys

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad to hear that writing is beneficial in your life too.

      Delete
  3. Writing is the secret joy of introverts. We entertain ourselves. And then gasp when we discover that we entertain others as well.

    I LOVE the name you've chosen for your blog, by the way. Best of luck with the A to Z Challenge! I'll be back.

    Laura
    For the Love of Storytelling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by Laura and glad you like the name of my Blog. Yes isn't it wonderful when others get it too - such a great feeling.

      Delete
  4. I'm so glad you shared this. I know this fatigue, and I've been thinking of writing about it, mostly in hopes that those who know me might understand that I haven't become antisocial by choice - I just can't plan anything in advance, not knowing if my body is going to cooperate.

    Congrats on the publication of your short story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deb, thanks for your comments. It's taken me 5 years to write about this subject openly and I'm glad that I finally did. It's very difficult for others to understand this issue as most of the time we look fine. It's not like we've a broken arm or leg and have something physical to show. Good luck with your onward journey.

      Delete
  5. This is such a heartfelt post.
    Thanks for sharing your innermost thoughts!
    You are so brave...
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting Michelle. It did feel brave, but I'm so glad I did it now. I certainly feel lighter as a result.

      Delete
  6. Angela, you and I have shared the same journey settling a loved one's affairs and on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I worked myself into CFS once years ago and could only recover through self care. This post is such a valuable reminder on so many levels. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tonia, thanks for stopping by and sharing. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have to be kind to myself, but in this world of rushing around and trying to get everything done, it can be easily forgotten. Good luck with your journey.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My non-book buying year

There is something powerful about starting fresh with a new challenge on the 1st of January. It's like pressing the reset button. And that's what I decided to do and here's what happened when I did.

An idea had popped randomly into my head towards the end of 2017 and it didn't seem to want to let go. I began to wonder - could I do this? It was a real biggie for me.
So what was the challenge?Well, the title of this post, is undoubtedly a spoiler alert, but I was wondering could I make it through the entire year without buying a book?
I know. Please stay calm. I can hear your screams: 'What? No book buying for a whole year.' Yep - that's the challenge I decided on.

Anyone I told, and who knows me well found this hilarious and probably doubted me from the off. When I mentioned it to my husband and some close friends, they just laughed thinking I was joking. And at first maybe I was, but then that little seed of an idea lodged deeper and deeper and I wondered was t…

She and I

"Can you believe it?" she tells me outraged in a transatlantic Skype call. "She asked me if I was a grandmother."

This is the culmination of a call with one of my best and oldest friends. We laugh and make scoffing noises, give a virtual shrug to indicate that this question was obviously not serious. We send each other hugs. We hang up.

And so what of it that someone asked her that question. We both turned 50 this year - within two days of each other in fact and yes, ok I'll admit I'm the oldest. Logically, she and I could both have grandchildren - apart from the fact that we both decided that children were not our bag. It's not unheard of - many 50 year old women do. Yet when I speak with her, I don't think of her as this age. I see and hear her as the 18 year old girl that I came to know when we both started secretarial college - see that in itself dates us. Do secretarial colleges even exist anymore? Can you still learn shorthand, typing and offi…

Something new and something blue

For those of you that know me, you'll already be well aware of my addiction to, sorry I mean love of all things stationery. It can be a notebook (oohhh, yes - I love a new notebook), a particularly beautiful stapler (I have my eye on the one in rose-gold by Kate Spade - we all need something to aspire to) or some fun paperclips that make me smile.  If it falls into the category of stationery, you can pretty much assume I'll like it.

And of course, I love a good stationery shop - large or small, niche or generalist. I can very easily lose an hour or two browsing amongst the loveliness; running my hands over the paper of a journal or testing out pens writing messages on those adorable little pads that are put around the shop especially for people like me. My enthusiasm for these shops and for the temptresses people who carefully curate them was recently captured in my article 'Stationery Encounters' featured in Issue 12 of Breathe magazine. You can read all about it, as…