Thursday, February 23, 2012

23rd February

Ok, hands up, I got it wrong, though I’m not exactly sure what! I almost couldn’t get out of bed this morning I was so ill; when I did make a move it was getting on for 10:30am and that’s not like me at all. I managed a few chores before collapsing into my chair for a few hours, struggling even to read my book. It’s only Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I know and I’ve really had enough of this blight upon my life. I just want to get on with living ‘normally’; I can’t be doing with it. But what has brought about this, hopefully, temporary relapse? It’s so easy to presume that making the extra effort required to go swimming yesterday was the trigger, but I’m not convinced. The condition is far more complicated than that and I really believe it was more to do with the underlying stress I live with at the moment. Just coping with normal everyday activities is more challenging than I expected, as I never appreciated how valuable it was to ‘unpack’ the day in conversation with Jane.  So quite recently my son had his temporary employment contract extended until the end of June and I can’t tell Jane this good news. And my oldest grand-daughter had a really good school report and again I have no-one to tell. My son-in-law has a hospital appointment sometime soon to discuss a procedure to deal with a hole in the heart and I’ve got no-one to pray with anymore. Yes, basically every relationship I have, with family and friends, involves success alongside concerns, to greater or lesser degree, and I have to deal with this alone now. I don’t like it. I even forget to ask about some serious things which leaves me feeling rather guilty. Should I have made a ‘fuss’ of my grand-daughter’s hard work in some way? I’ve no idea as Jane didn’t leave me a rule book on that type of thing. She’d know. I don’t.

Although I don’t claim to understand any of it in depth, I was exposed to a certain amount of teaching that Jane had at University. Her first degree was a Creative Expressive Arts course and it seems to me that there is therapeutic value in expressing the frustrations, concerns and unsolvable problems that we all live with. So, rather than bottling them up to ferment into toxic thoughts, it always helps to share in some way… ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ goes the saying. Obviously that doesn’t work if it is used to gossip or malign a third-party in some way as that simply spreads the problem! But nonetheless we each have to find our own coping mechanisms for life’s challenges. For me it was simply sharing just about everything with Jane… given the intimate and at times embarrassing conversations over years, I can’t believe we had any secrets. We allowed nothing to come between us. I no longer have that privilege and wonder how much of an effect that has on my health. A few years ago I started dabbling with watercolours and began to find that very relaxing, therapeutic if you like. I can’t pretend anything I did was at all accomplished, but I did learn to enjoy the process, I guess until Jane began to go through more severe health problems and I got distracted. I think I’ll go get my pencils and paints out now so I might give it a go tomorrow… oops, I’ve just remembered it’s my grand-daughter’s 10th birthday then, so I need to pop round there as well!

1 Peter 5:7 ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ (NLT)

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