Today I feel so at peace. I saw friends yesterday but was sensible using my wheelchair and I didn’t stay out for more than a couple of hours. I love those girls. Sometimes in life you come across people who you can be completely at ease with; that’s me and my group of friends, both from school and university. Illness has taught me to just be myself. I’m too poorly to try to be anything else. To have people in your life who not only accept you for who you are but love you for it too is a true blessing. They bundled the wheelchair into the car like it’s the most ordinary thing for us to be doing. (I’ve known this group of friends for about ten years. It’s only in the last few that I’ve been ill.) It doesn’t seem to phase them. They check I’m okay to walk up and down any steps but in a way that doesn’t cause a fuss or make a big deal out of it. They’re perfect really. They’ve always got my back. I didn’t have my camera with me yesterday, which is so unlike me, but one of the girls took a few lovely photos that I’ll now cherish. I’ll look at them with the biggest smile on my face and remember how wonderful yesterday was. Under two hours out of the house might seem like nothing, but to me it is my whole week, or fortnight, or month. My friends gave up their afternoons off to take me out. Me. The girl who often feels she has nothing to offer anymore. But they make me feel important and worthwhile and normal, as if nothing has changed. I don’t have to hide my illness from them. (A few of them have seen me during a sudden crash and they all got to see me as a blubbering mess one birthday!) To them I’m still just Anna Jones, even when I don’t know who that Anna Jones is anymore.
I’ve gone off track again before I’ve even started! Back to ‘business’…
So I take a lot of photos. Always have, probably always will. I take photos everyday and of everything and anything. They’re not good photos! I’m no David Bailey, but I like it. I think it’s important to be able to capture certain things, things that are seemingly ordinary, so that one day we can look back and reminisce.
You’re right, I’d probably save a bucket load of energy if I didn’t photograph every little thing and every tiny achievement. But on the days when you feel angry with the world or completely lost and absolutely useless, and you feel like you can’t live this life staring at the walls in your bedroom/prison, looking at the photos of the things you have been able to do throughout ‘The M.E. Years’ allows you to forget about the things that you haven’t been able to do. My short term memory isn’t wonderful anymore and so the photos act as triggers to remind me of the happier times. There aren’t many photos of my dining room days. I was just too hideously poorly to do such a thing. (It’s almost as if the dining room days were just a dream…actually make that a nightmare!) I do take photos of the bad days though. That’s so that, one day in the future, I can look back and see how far I’ve come and be proud of myself for never giving up.