I was asked what wellness is to me when I visited the CFS/ME clinic recently. On a scale of M.E to full health and normality where am I hoping to reach?
Unimaginable awfulness____me________________Full health
I answered that being able to work for a few hours a week, cook my own meals, leave home, live independently, that’s what I will consider to be ‘well’.
In all honesty though, that was my positive answer. If I am really honest with myself the answer is that wellness and healthiness is a return to illness-free life. Why wouldn’t it be?! I want to get to the end of the scale; to full health. I long for the day when I will be symptom free. I want to get through a day without the need to rest or give in to my poorly brain and body. I don’t want to be anything special, I just want to be normal. To be able to nip out to the supermarket or the petrol station, to make my own meals, wash and iron my own clothes, blow dry my own hair, Hoover my own room, do up my own laces…
I know nothing in life is straightforward and everyone has their cross to bare, but sometimes I wish this wasn’t happening to me. I just wish my life wasn’t as complicated as it is with this condition.
In reality, I am advised to alter my definition of wellness and healthiness. To alter such goals is a part of fully accepting my chronic illness. Now it should apparently mean getting through each day without having to return to bed. Wellness to an M.E sufferer should apparently be being well enough to see friends, or walk 100 metres, or paint their own nails, or dress themselves…
My goals have changed. My main aim in life is to have a shower and get changed everyday! Hahaha! I wish it was still second nature, something that marks the start of a productive, normal day. Now, it IS my day. I suppose my days are split into two halves: building up to having a shower and getting changed out of my pjs, and then recovering from having a shower and getting changed out of my pjs.
For the most part I am happy with my lot. Worse things have happened to better people and all that. I count my blessings daily. But sometimes it really does suck that wellness can probably no longer mean normality and an illness-free life.