I can, but should I…

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.”

By my standards, I had such a productive day yesterday. And the internalised ableism that still rages inside me declared it A Very Good Day because of that. At one point, when I managed to do something Hard, I cried happy tears. Classic me I know but this relapse has really thrown me.

It’s hard not to want to keep that momentum going today. It felt so good to achieve what I achieved yesterday and so I want more of that feeling please.

But today needs to be a different kind of productive. I’m not allowing myself to read the emails that need reading. I’m not allowing myself to reply to my Social Worker (poor woman never gets a response in good time god bless her.) I’m not allowing myself to even think about the things I could try really hard to do to help Mr Tree Surgeon out around the house.

Because of how ‘busy’ yesterday was, I need to quit while I’m ahead, even though the bit of adrenaline from yesterday (and my desire to get that happiness hit again) is very much there.

I don’t need absolute rest; just to be mindful of all the energy and cognitive function I used yesterday. It may well come back to bite me you see – I’m still finding my feet with a new lower baseline.

In short, I likely COULD manage to do something like reply to my Social Worker’s email today. But just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

And I actually don’t feel too put out or frustrated by this today, because I’m actively reminding myself that I am not very well. I do not have to be productive in the conventional sense to reach a sense of achievement. Being able to stop and rest is an incredible achievement for someone with a chronic illness who lives in a society that constantly tells you that that’s Bad.

Thanks for listening to the inner ramblings of my mind this morning!

My knowledge > Your opinion

I am opposed to anyone who tells a person with M.E. that fear of exacerbating symptoms is what’s holding them back from recovery.

An example? Telling a person with M.E. the reason they’re not pushing their body to go for a walk is because they’re scared… How about the reason they’re not going for a walk is because they’re too unwell to go for a walk?

Oh but you (the person not living with M.E.) disagrees?! Irrelevant. A thousand apologies but your opinion holds no weight in such a matter.

If I am brave enough to tell you that a certain activity is beyond my limits (because of the restrictions M.E. places on my life) do not respond by saying you think I’m merely being pessimistic about what I can manage. I know what I can manage. I know what I can manage. I know what I can manage!

The other day I was told I was being pessimistic for saying I wouldn’t be well enough to do a certain something a couple of months down the line.

Pessimistic? Nah. That’s being realistic mate.

Sure, maybe there IS an element of preparing myself for the worst; saying “No” now so that I avoid the heart wrenching disappointment later on. But, regardless of those very valid side notes, I know my body best.

It is not fear that is holding me back. M.E. is what’s holding me back.

To be brave enough to admit to your ‘limitations’ only for the response to be that I’m “pessimistic”…well, it hurts actually.

But it doesn’t hurt enough for me to push myself to try to do The Thing you think I can and should do.

The 2020 ‘Blue Sunday’ tea party for M.E.

The 2020 tea party was on Sunday 17th May and raised over £6000 for M.E. causes! Despite it being an Online Only event, it was the most successful year yet. Likely a result of more people than ever being confined to their homes and experiencing social isolation. I am over the moon that so many people were able to join me on the day and break a little of the loneliness that we can feel.

Having it at the end of M.E. Awareness week gave a lot of us something to focus on during what can be a very hard week trying to educate those around of us of the realities of the illness that has completely altered our lives, and the lives of our families.

Due to the current Government guidelines in relation to the coronavirus, Blue Sunday 2020 was an Online Only event. 

The Virtual tea party for M.E. 2020 blog post has a collage of some of the photos that other people shared on the day.

The JustGiving fundraising page is still open. You can find it HERE. Once again, I asked for donations of the price you’d expect to pay for tea and cake in a café.

You can look through the Facebook Event page (Blue Sunday 2020 on Facebook) to see photos from those who joined in this year. Searching the hastags #BlueSunday2020 and #TeaPartyForME2020 will also bring up any relevant photos on Instagram and Twitter. 

It’s incredibly easy to join in next year and you can find out how HERE. If you don’t have a social media account you can still join in. Please click HERE to find out how.