How ‘Blue Sunday’ began . November 2012.
I have only one memory of my 22nd birthday. It was only three days after my diagnosis and I was so unwell after the appointment with the Neurologist who diagnosed me. My 23rd I’m not sure about either. Try as I might I can’t form a memory of what that birthday was like.
But my 24th I do remember! On the day itself I was at home alone with everyone out at work or school. With the anniversary of my diagnosis just days before, I wasn’t really looking forward to another birthday where I was unable to celebrate or see my friends and family. When I was diagnosed I was told to have “a quiet Christmas and see how you are in the New Year.” So I felt deflated to have another year of chronic illness under my belt after the implication that it could be a short term illness.
Knowing it might be a lonely and strange birthday, we decided to ask my family and friends to join me in toasting my birthday from wherever they were, just so I wasn’t completely alone.
So over the course of the day photos popped up on my phone or via social media of the people in my life celebrating my birthday with me from as far away as Australia and Cuba! Everyone had made the effort to have a little birthday tea party of their own and had shared photos of it with me.
This album is full of those photos! It was such an unexpectedly lovely day. By then I had met many others online with the same diagnosis; many of whom were far more isolated than I was. With wanting to do my bit for M.E. Awareness too (I had just started my blog ‘M.E. myself and I’ to raise awareness and help the people in my life understand the realities and complexities of M.E), recreating that virtual birthday tea party seemed the perfect way to break the isolation that too many people were feeling! At the time, there wasn’t anything accessible that I could get behind to mark M.E. Awareness week. And so we created something so that I could.
You can read more in the ‘Blue Sunday’ on the blog or in my Instagram story highlight.