Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Reasons why I'm glad to be ill.

In an effort to prove being ill is not all doom and gloom, I thought I'd bring you a more cheerful blog this time, inspired by Toni Berhard's 'Top 10 reasons I don't mind being housebound'.

I've been trying to cheer myself up during countless hours home alone and also distract myself from wondering when the next brown envelope from the benefits office will drop through the door. I have been thinking of the plus sides to living with ME, working on the principle that 'Everything is brilliant, you just have to change your mind'. So here is what I have decided are my best bits about being ill.

1. No work stress.
Even though I miss being able to work, especially the bit where you get paid, there are many aspects of my job I am ecstatic I don't have to do any more. Before I got ill, I was a teacher and the things I am glad I no longer have to do are Parents Evenings, Christmas Performances, anything to do with Ofsted or new government initiatives, in fact the list could go on and on. I'll spare you the details.

2. I know my husband loves me.
Obviously I was pretty sure before or I wouldn't have married him but being ill has really made me appreciate how much he cares. After all, if he didn't love me he wouldn't stick around and put up with this nonsense. He's been absolutely fantastic and supportive the whole time I've been ill despite me telling him he should have kept the receipt and exchanged me for a working model.

Shoe collection is getting quite impressive now.
3. Housework is a thing of the past.
I used to be quite houseproud until I became ill. Everything in the house had its place, even if that place was shoved in a cupboard so no-one could see. Any arrival of visitors was preceded by a cursory trip round the house with duster and j cloth. Now, I have learnt to ignore the dust and the clutter. It simply isn't that important any more. When your priorities shift to whether you have enough energy to get out of bed and have a bath, doing the hoovering suddenly seems like such a waste of effort. I don't even nag my husband to put his shoes away any more although I do miss singing the 'three pairs of shoes' song at him till he complied. (He doesn't miss this.)

4. Becoming a nicer person.
It seems an odd thing to admit as I wasn't particularly terrible before, yet I have noticed I am definitely a lot nicer these days. I have more compassion for my fellow humans having experienced some pretty low times at the start of my illness and now try not to judge others as I realise we all have our own particular trials to go through.

5. The Internet.
All hail the Interweb
I love computers. I love the Internet. I love being able to search for and access whatever I want just with the touch of a button. I might be stuck at home but I can watch films on YouTube, message people I otherwise would have little contact with, post my witterings on my blog for all to see and generally make a cyber-nuisance of myself. Twitter has also been invaluable for helping me find other people with ME. The support and humour of these people has been more helpful to me than anything I've had from the real world. Thank you Twitter buddies!

6. Starting to write again.
Depending on whether you like my blog you may or may not agree with this one! I've always wanted to write and have, at times in my life, attempted to write different bits and bobs. I never had the confidence or the drive to finish any of it or dare to put it out there where someone could actually read it until now. It's not even that I think my writing has drastically improved, more a mixture of needing an outlet to vent my thoughts as well as simply not having anything to lose!

Sunbathing ME stylee.
 7. Bed
I spend a lot of time in bed resting and I love it for many reasons. I love getting cosy under my duvet when it's cold, I love the fact that resting in bed makes me feel less terrible. I love looking out the window and watching the clouds drift by. On sunny afternoons I love opening the window wide so I can sunbathe on my bed. The way I see it, I may be ill but at least when I'm resting in bed I'm in the best place possible.

8. Google images.
Although technically this is covered by my point about the internet, I think Google images deserves a merit just for itself. There are so many photos and images now hurtling round cyberspace that from the comfort of my bed I can be anywhere, see anything I like just by doing a quick search. A lovely image does wonders to cheer me up when I need a bit of a boost and for those so inclined, a search of your favourite actor/actress/rock star can be most invigorating. Just be careful with those search terms, people!

9. I can wear what I like.
Me in the early nineties wearing my favourite dip dye jeans.
When I started secondary school I used to get bullied for having the wrong shoes, the wrong coat, wearing my socks too high. Instead of making me want to dress the same as all my peers the opposite happened. I went out of my way to dress differently and took great pleasure in looking like 'an explosion in a paint factory'. Over the years, due mainly to work, my style has become a lot more boring with most purchases of clothing justified as being suitable for work. Now I can again start wearing all those bright mis-matched items lurking at the back of my wardrobe. The best part is it doesn't  matter if I look awful because no-one else will see.

10. Things can only get better!
Because when you spend most of your life alternating between bed and the sofa, the only way is up.

 I hope you like my reasons to be cheerful. I'd love to hear your own if you get the chance or the energy to share.

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