Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The importance of being important

I've been musing a lot lately about the changes in my life since I became ill. Obviously there are major changes that I've touched upon in previous posts but the ones I have been thinking about are more subtle - the finer details of my day to day existence. You see, it's all a question of importance. The various things around you have their own levels of importance based on need, usefulness or just plain aesthetic value and I have noticed that many of the objects I couldn't live without as a healthy person now hold little to no meaning any more.

For instance, here are some examples of what 'healthy' Charlotte considered important.

Like most normal folk, I would never leave the house without my house keys, car keys and wallet. Being a lady who likes a nice handbag, I had also managed to amass a small collection of bags in which to put everything in. I've always been a bit OCD about my bag and contents and always liked to make sure I knew exactly where my essentials were. It was a bit of a standing joke that I would have my bag on me at all times - on the dance floor at clubs, bringing it up to the bedroom with me every night in case burglars should decide to visit. I even insisted on having a handbag on my wedding day as I couldn't bear the thought of entrusting anyone with my phone and keys. Looking back, I think it's fair to say I was a smidgen over the top although in my defence I have never lost my wallet, keys, phone or had my bag stolen so there was some method to my madness.

How times have changed. I can't remember the last time I used my house keys. My car keys only get used by my husband to make sure my car battery is still alive. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'd be better off selling it. As to my lovely handbags, I just don't need them. My wallet stays largely unopened as I only spend my money on bills and online food shopping. My Dad would definitely now make a joke about how it remained largely unopened before I got ill - something along the lines of moths flying out.
Tracy Emin's latest work - 'Coat Rack'
As for shoes, they are largely a thing of the past for the time being.  I spent months trawling Ebay to find the limited edition Reebok Freestyles in the photo. I was over the moon when I finally found pair to go with the five other different types of Reebok Freestyles I already owned - I admit I'm a bit of a trainer geek and now I don't wear any of them. I do still love them dearly however they have lost all importance for me other than something nice to look at. Similarly, my coats and hats stay largely untouched on the coat rack resembling more a piece of modern art than anything of actual use to me.

So these days, I have my new collection of things I can't do without. I have them near me at all times and they each serve an important function in my new life as a full time ill person. They may not seem exciting to you but they make my life just that little bit easier to bear and so in that respect they are far more important than any possessions I have owned in the past. Here they are in all their glory. 

It's pretty much self-explanatory. The earplugs and ear defenders are to help with sensitivity to noise and the sunglasses for sensitivity to light. I wear a combination of these pretty much all the time as too much stimulation of any sort makes my brain hurt and go into 'fight or flight' style meltdown. This includes hot flush, sweating, muscular aches, heart palpitations and more. Sounds great doesn't it? Even with all this paraphernalia I tend to get to this point after about 40 minutes and have to retreat to a dark, quiet bedroom. If I get over hungry then again, meltdown approaches hence the emergency cereal bar. This isn't even a new ME thing - my hunger rages are the stuff of legend. The smartphone (other brands are available) is my link to the outside world and pretty invaluable. Thank goodness for modern technology otherwise I would be completely isolated during the day. I can blog, email, tweet etc all from the comfort of my bed. The only downside is too much online time makes my head hurt and meltdown imminent and it's hard to limit myself as much as I should because I get so bored!

It's strange to think these days my happiness is largely reliant on two little bits of foam I stick in my ears but that's life, I guess. We never know what's around the corner or what will become important to us as circumstances change. I'm hoping that as I get better, I'll get a new set of things I find important to muse over. In some ways it's kind of exciting not knowing how my life will pan out in the future. Before I got ill it just seemed I'd be doing the daily grind until retirement or death but now who knows what will happen? I like to think that it could be a brand new start and that in some ways, anything is possible. Let's hope so anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Pre M.E I was very much like you, items in my wardrobe, shoes and accessories were all things I loved - and still do I just hardly get any use out of them these days! I still find myself browsing online shops and seeing so many lovely clothes that I want to buy but I know deep down that by the time I get to wear any of it, it will be 'so last year' or the wrong season for it! My top everyday items are iphone for outside world communication, laptop/tv to fill long boring days, fluffy socks pain killers and an emergency supply of energy foods :D