At some point along the way I have forgotten how to ‘just be’.
After four years of illness I entered into my first relationship since being ill and I am still learning how to be an M.E. sufferer in a relationship! It’s not as straightforward as we sufferers would like.
Until 2015 my family were solely responsible for my care. They were the only ones who saw me in my everyday, unwashed, greasy-haired state. When Mr Tree Surgeon came along I got up the courage to let him see me like that as well. I’ve spoken about appearance before here and here, but many will agree with me that this is not the look you’d choose when dating someone new!!!!
So I’ve been wanting to look nice, or at least look clean(!!!!), but I have also been worrying about him getting bored. And therefore been putting way too much pressure on myself when my health is stressful enough already. I’ve been fighting feelings of uselessness when he is left doing all of the housework. Of course my family, primarily my mum, have been doing exactly the same as Mr Tree Surgeon is now, but it somehow feels different. It’s hard to explain but I know that some of those in the same situation will know what I mean.
I am trying to be and do too many things. I need to give myself permission to be ill. I have not been having proper rest (Purple Time) as much as I should have been. If I’m truly honest with myself the words Boom and Bust come to mind when I look back at some weeks.
I can’t stress enough how this is all me putting pressure on myself. It’s not coming from anywhere else. I’m not sure there are many people in my situation who get asked NOT to do any housework. Instead I am told to spend my precious energy on things that make me happy. There are never any guilt trips about how I’m able to spend my energy on certain things but not on the huge pile of washing up that builds up or on hoovering the house or cleaning the bathroom. And yet I feel like I SHOULD be pulling my weight. Such a dangerous word for us chronic illness sufferers; should.
Well enough is enough young lady! The Activity Charts are being dug back out so I can keep track of how I am spending my energy. I have been trying to run before I walk. I have been on enforced bed rest and house arrest for a few days and I am aiming to get back into a proper routine.
|Starting as I mean to go on|
|The colouring itself counts as activity and can be exhausting for my poor little arm but I’m hoping I get on okay with it|
|Colour coding each 15 minute time slot|
I am still learning how to not feel guilty about all that I cannot do in this relationship and how to trust that Mr Tree Surgeon really is more than okay with the Anna that I am now. I need to relearn how to just be and to remind myself that I’m chronically ill and that that’s nothing to feel guilty about.