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Saturday 27 July 2013

Delayed Payback

One of the worst things about living with M.E. isn’t the pain and exhaustion I get from doing anything (physically/mentally/emotional), but the fact that these symptoms don’t always come straight away.  This is something that is the hardest to explain to others.

The problem with this is that I can end up doing even more when I think I haven’t been too badly affected by living my life, and so it can build up until suddenly I am bedbound and screaming in pain. Yes, this is an extreme example but it has happened to me in the past.

On Tuesday I was able to go to the cinema with my sister – this is one of the things I miss, and so a very big deal for me – but the really awful symptoms didn’t hit until Thursday, causing my sister to say ‘but you didn’t do anything yesterday’ which was sort of true, though I had spent longer on the laptop than I knew I should have.  I do seem to be getting better at resisting the urge to do everything at once when I have a ‘good’ day, but it is still a struggle for me.

Friday 26 July 2013

Friendship: Memories That Have Made Me

So much has happened in my life already, and a lot of those experiences have stayed with me.  They are not all monumentous, nor are they all life changing.  But every single one of them (and the countless more that are buried deep within me) have made me who I am.
 I hope others will join in with me and post their own memories on their blogs (or in the comments).  I will be posting mine every Friday, but it doesn’t matter when you write yours or if you wish to do them fortnightly or monthly – your writing should fit with your schedule.  If you do join I ask that you link to my blog with this link: (until I’ve worked out how to create a button for you to display) and that you will link your POST (not just your blog link please) in the comments each week (until I’ve worked out how to make a linky thing for you to add your links to – I’m really not very tech-savvy!).

A few years after finishing High School and Sixth Form, a couple of my closest friends from school were eating in the same restaurant as me.  When I finished my dinner I did the polite thing and went over to say hi and see how they were doing.  One of them started replying, but at a look from the other she stopped and they both physically turned their bodies away from me.  Now, I know that I wasn’t the greatest friend when in school, but I am still baffled by that response as I honestly have no idea what it is that I did wrong (and even more so as I’ve had perfectly civilised conversations with those I considered ‘enemies’ in school since then).

I knew I shouldn’t dwell on being snubbed so badly, but it turns out those feelings of anger and hurt aren’t that easy to turn off.  It is now years later and I finally feel that I’m over it.  I still struggle with knowing that the group of friends I was a part of in school still all get along and hang out – just without me.  I often wish I hadn’t been such a bitch in school, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it now.  I would love to apologize to that group of friends, but knowing that they won’t even listen makes it that much harder.  Instead, I look at our prom picture (that I’m planning on hanging in my room soon) and feel blessed to have known them when I did.  I honestly hope that everything is going well in their lives.

The whole experience taught me to value friendship for the incredible amazingness that it is.  I am grateful to those few who have stayed in contact since High School, and who have always accepted me.  And every day I feel lucky that I now have a close group of friends who I see as my second family.  I might not get to see them all that often, but I know that I will be there when they need me and vice versa.

Are you still friends with those you went to High School with? 

Sunday 21 July 2013

Sunday Shout Out: Black Matpe Beans

Lately I have become a little more adventurous with food.  Part of this is due to Pinterest (honestly, I dare anyone to see all the amazing recipes on there and not be inspired), but a very large part is due to the fact that all the corner/local shops around me stock foods I've never even heard of.  My favourite store has an entire aisle of dried beans/pulses/legumes etc which is something I always want to use but never seem to be organised enough to do it (after all, there's that whole thing where you have to soak them overnight and boil them or they'll poison you); as well as pretty much every spice and herb you can think of.

So anyway, I took a chance and picked up a packet of dried black matpe beans.  I am already on my second packet which I think says it all.  These beans are quite small, dark in colour (though when soaked and boiled they turn the water a really disgusting green) and incredibly tasty.  So far I have used them for a pasta bake and a 'shepherd's pie' and I know I will be finding more and more uses for them as they are versatile and one of my favourite foods right now (the other would have to be sweetcorn which I have also fallen in love with).

I am so excited that I live in a time when I have access to every food under the sun, and more recipes than I could ever use; and am looking forward to continuing my discovering more foods and food ideas.

How adventurous are you with your food habits? Do you eat the same thing every week or do you like to try new things?  What's your favourite food at the moment?  Let me know in the comments.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Needing to Apologize

I am ashamed to admit that sometimes I let my anger, pain, frustration, depression, guilt etc out on innocent bystanders.  Those who know me well, know that I can't always contain those emotions, that I come with a warning on bad days.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for everyone else, such as those I  talk to online.

Usually when conversing online I try to be as civil and nice as possible.  After all, I don't know what kind of day they are having so I should try and make it better not worse.  Today I failed at that and it's not the first time (though no other instances spring to mind but I expect that's more because I don't want to remember).  I know that online we have the luxury of time and thinking things through before we hit 'send'.  But in my experience that is an 'in theory' rather than the reality.  I don't usually stop and think before replying with anything longer than a paragraph - I type it out and hit send and it's gone.  Of course, it's too late once it's sent and the only option is to apologize.

Many would say it's best not to do anything to apologize for, but again, the reality isn't that simple.  Perhaps I should be more careful with what I send out in future, but it cannot change the past.  So I apologize and hope it is accepted, simply because there's nothing more I can do (if I'm wrong, please correct me in the comments).

This post is partly a public apology to the person on Swap-bot I hurt by being rude (even if it was unintentional).  I know that the fact that I'm having a bad is not an excuse, and I don't want it to become one.  So, once again, sorry.

But this post is also written with the hope that perhaps I'm not alone in allowing our feelings to hurt others who have done nothing wrong.  Perhaps that is a terrible thing to say, after all, I'm saying it so I can feel better about myself.  Mainly, though, I'm saying it because I believe it's human nature to fuck up, and I want to show you that I'm just as human as anyone else, and that doesn't necessarily make us bad people (despite the many, many things we tell ourselves).

Sunday 14 July 2013

Sunday Shout Out: Sunshine!

Sun and Clouds by Rebecca Barray

I am a winter girl - I like being able to snuggle up in lots of layers, have a hot drink, and of course there's Christmas as well.  In general I don't like the heat, not to mention that I burn easily and never tan.

The weather in the UK for the past week and a half has been hot; summer has finally hit.  Of course most people are still complaining about it, but that's just what we do.  For once though, I am not one of those complainers.  Yes, it's a little too warm for me, that's why I bought an electric fan; but I can't say that seeing the sunshine streaming into my flat all day is a bad thing (though I would rather it didn't wake me up really early and keep me awake in the evening).  I have in general been more positive and happy. Now I don't think that's all to do with the fact that the sun has come out to play, but I'm sending it a little appreciation regardless.

What about you? Are you a summer or winter person?  Do you love the heat or hate it?

Monday 8 July 2013

Emotional Switches

Why is it that I can go from extremely happy and excited and hopeful about my life, to hating every second and every part of it in a few moments? 

For the past few years my emotions have ruled me, and I have ‘happily’ clung to them as they were so far from the numbness I felt for most of my teen years.  Lately I haven’t really had to worry about how I was feeling as it was all positive and therefore even more than I had hoped for given my circumstances.  Today reminded me what it used to be like, switching from one extreme to the other with barely any provocation.

Sometimes I wonder why I still hold on to the emotions – what’s so bad about wanting to avoid feelings anyway?  Admittedly I only ask this question when everything is out of whack in me; and from experience I know that it is better not to focus on those sorts of questions just because they pop up when I am in the throes of my hysterics.  That doesn’t make it any easier to leave my questioning to a time when I am calm and rational.  But I know I have to.  So for now I’m just going to focus on breathing and getting to the next moment, before I allow myself to wallow in philosophical confusion.

I do need to ask though, is this just me or does anyone else experience what I can only imagine (and hope) are hormonal imbalances that screw with your perception of yourself and everyone and everything around you?

Tuesday 2 July 2013


Yesterday someone sent me a tweet, letting me know they feel I am brave and patient (thank you Joanne, it was much appreciated).  This was a little of a surprise to me, as I have never been considered ‘patient’ before – at least, not that I’m aware of.

Honestly I don’t know if I am patient or not, though I am a lot more patient now than I used to be.  I am happy to wait in line at the check-out (assuming I am physically able to of course).  I don’t usually feel I have to rush anything.  And since I’ve moved, I have found myself feeling a lot less stressed for the first time in over a year, simply because finally I know I don’t have to worry about where I’ll be in the future.

While naturally I can’t wait until I’m well enough to go to work (or even go for a cup of coffee with a friend), I am not in a rush to sort my life out.  I know that with my health right now, trying to speed along to the happily ever after will only throw me further back.  Perhaps that makes me patient, and I like to think that maybe I am; after all, certain labels have always held an appeal and something to strive towards.  What’s really amazing to me is that it doesn’t even matter

It doesn’t matter whether I am brave or patient or forgiving – as long as I am giving my body and life the chance to recover.  It is the actions and not the labels that make us who we are, and right now I’m happy to be me and I’m proud of who I’m becoming.  And that’s all I need to know about myself for now.