*waves at 2017 as it dashes out the door*

LifeME/CFS

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Oh, bye 2017. Seems you are in a rush to leave, I feel like I’ve barely spent time with you at all.

This year has just vanished.

I’m lying under the aircon now that we’ve actually hit summer (the year has gone so fast it seemed that summer missed its cue and has only just burst onto stage) and just thinking about the year.

There’s definitely been ups and downs. I haven’t done any of the things I hoped to do at the start (go on a proper holiday to somewhere that isn’t Albury, write more, try to get a little more movement into my routine to maybe lose a smidge of weight, feel more socially connected, read more).

But I have done some stuff. Particularly a lot of stuff at work. Work has been insane. Sometimes that has been good, other times I’ve been too busy to really notice whether it is good or bad (which is kind of good in a way, because I like being busy – to a point – and it is a good distraction from thinking about being sick… as long as I am not so busy I am sicker), and on a few notable occasions it has definitely been a bad thing (like when I experienced something that felt perilously close to a breakdown for a few weeks earlier this year). But I’m trying my best along with my boss to try to not have any repeats of that, so hopefully things will be positive going forward.

I did move into the manager position earlier this year which has generally been good. I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping on top of things and keeping us organised. I now supervise staff, which is a new and positive thing, though I always experience some anxiety and worry that people won’t understand my illness, and will just think I’m lazy if I’m ‘passing things off’ or disorganised if I get behind on anything. So there’s areas where I need to improve, like delegating and setting limits/boundaries. We’ve also had a bit of change in people, and have kept growing, which is good but has meant things don’t feel quite as tight-knit as they used to. I also do miss more analytical work, it’s a lot of staying-on-top-of-a-million-small-things rather than much actual thinking. But overall a positive thing.

I also moved house, which after nearly five years in my old place, is a very good thing. A nicer more modern place, in a quieter area, with mod cons like the aforementioned aircon and a lovely leafy outlook (see header photo) is definitely a good thing. I’m still waiting for my housemate to rock up (… my sister) but that will also be a good thing. It was an extremely touching thing to have many people help me move (I truly could not have done it without them). And I did feel a sense of achievement from managing to pack up nearly all of my old place on my own. The stairs, which were my main concern about this place, are definitely the main challenge. Most of the time I am fine but get short of breath, but if I am exhausted it can be pretty difficult to go up and down much so I feel a little trapped at those times, like some kind of chronically fatigued Rapunzel in a tower. But most of the time it is OK, though the glory of ME/CFS means I am getting no fitter nor stronger from this new piece of incidental exercise, because those functions of my body just do not seem to work properly. It also makes me acutely aware of my bigness and unfitness.

Purging things during the move was a mix of emotions though. Clothes that don’t fit (I’ve also pledged to buy less crappy fast fashion because a lot of it is pilled/scrappy etc very quickly). Hundreds and hundreds of dollars of expired supplements that I had bought in hope of improving my ME/CFS. Things I bought that I didn’t necessarily need because I was just depressed about being sick. Abandoned craft projects because I can’t do repetitive activities anymore without pain. Hundreds of receipts from doctor’s appointments. Things that I had from before I got sick when I was trying with extreme stubbornness to lose weight (weird low-carb flours and snacks, gross tasting meal replacements). Notes from my masters degree, carefully written but unlikely to ever be glanced at again. Redundant technology. And things I love that I haven’t used in far too long — most notably, my passport.

It was a weight off to get rid of some of this stuff, but it was a reminder of how much things have changed in my life since I moved back to Canberra into that flat in early 2013. And a reminder that I don’t really have any big plans anymore, and that in itself is a big gaping hole in my soul that very often grieves me deeply. So I hope I can get more clarity in the year ahead… and maybe do some of the things I wanted to do this year!

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