I was ill for a long time as I have said in previous blogs. I recently reconnected with an old friend who asked me, “When you were teaching me all of those years ago where you unwell?” “Well yes of course I was” I said. I asked her if I was any different and she said “Yes, I had a lot more energy”. A fibre myalgia client said to me that people just do not understand how ill one is with this illness. Fibre myalgia and M.E. are similar illnesses. “If you had a hand or arm missing people would see your pain and difficulty. Because the pain you feel is internal they can’t see it and so don’t understand the levels of physical pain you are coping with”, she said. This is very true and I would support that entirely.
There is a mental fog that is attached to this illness and the sufferers mental thinking is diminished for the duration of the illness. Some days it is worse than others of course. I found that the things that were so easy in the past were difficult on every level. Anything physical was hard and anything that required my mental capacity was also difficult as my brain just would not work properly.
I am a trained artist and designer and all of my life from my childhood I have used my creative capacity. When I was ill it was almost impossible for me to do anything creative. For about half a decade I did pretty much nothing but sleep. I could not paint, draw or design and it all felt lost to me. I read a lot during those times when I had a break in my illness. That reading took my on a new path. One that I had contemplated years earlier, but had set aside for my first love art.
My love of art started when I was a baby. My mother drew for me a cat. I must have been no more than eighteen months old as I know I was still being carried by her. I never forgot that day she drew the cat. There are times, days, circumstances, people and moments that touch us. They are the jewels of our life. Illness diminishes our capacity to engage fully with life. Both illness and life are experiences. My experience with illness has changed my life. That experience now helps me to connect to others who are going through the same or similar and help them on a road of recovery. For many people illness is a temporary inconvenience. For some it marks the end of their life and for others a road that has to be accepted and endured. Illness can be embraced, endured or fought. It is up to the individual and their circumstances what path is taken. There is no right or wrong way to emotionally deal with illness. The individual decides. I fought my way back to well health. I looked for those answers that would enable me to go home back to myself.
That road home challenged me on many levels. It took me from my own temporary resignation to my horrible situation to a deeper understanding of the human body, life, spirit, soul, and the forces of nature and the universe. Would I change anything? That is a difficult question to answer. I hated being ill and loosing every aspect of myself and self-respect. It is difficult to live with oneself, in illness. I looked in the mirror and I did not see Lynette for years. The strong feisty lady who rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it had gone. The struggle she endured during those ill years was immense on all levels, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. It was a hard horrible time.
I came through it stronger, wiser, and clearer in my understanding of many aspects of life, more knowledgeable and more skilled. So my difficult time gave me something. It took something and gave me something else in return. So, would I change it? Probably not on balance, I think. I am still here with a somewhat different outlook on life. To be honest I am grateful to the universe for all it has given me over the past sixty years of my life. What is a little bit of fog between the universe and I?