I am hoping that this does not become a bad habit; it’s 12:08 am. But the slight tap of the keys as I type seems to soothe even the busiest of minds. I can sleep pretty well for someone with M.E/CFS. This might come as a shock to most, but some of us unicorn rarities sleep more than we should. But the enormous copious amounts of sleep leaves us no better off. Sleep feels non-restorative and before you know it you feel like a Cullen vampire; pale? Check. Haven’t slept in thousands of years? Check. Haha.
Life doesn’t always seem the way it does at first. Social Media has promoted the idea of the Fear Of Missing Out, known as FOMO. Always feeling like you should be more active in your social life. Everyone has better clothes, holidays, Significant Others and lives to put it lightly. This is all commonplace for most users of any form of social media. I always think, imagine how it feels to have not only that normal fears of the grass being greener on the other side, coupled with the fact that there isn’t that much you could do to change it. That is I on more than one occasion; I suddenly panic about all the endless lists of what I genuinely have missed out on. I also freak out at the sheer thought of the time that hasn’t been used ‘effectively’ whilst I’ve been ill. Nearly a decade on, I still worry about the hours and days spent either on the sofa or in my bed.
I try to squeeze what life I can as my capability allows but more often than not, it seems woefully inadequate. Without sounding conceited I know that I’ve packed quite a lot in times of duress. Is my story that unique? No, there are thousands of us silent ghosts who still feel like they just haven’t accomplished anything because of societies desire for academic and all-round polished success. I can say that I took one GSCE twice and still failed it twice, sadly for me it’s a core subject, but my brain just couldn’t compute it. Yet that was the single one I didn’t pass. Only one failure but yet the several courses I passed still don’t feel enough due to quantity. I should celebrate the sheer effort I put into every paper, every minute of learning things that made me want to stab my eyes out exhaustion. Yet, the set view of accomplishment makes success harder than I ever thought.
Sometimes getting out of bed and down the stairs feels like climbing Everest after completing a marathon. Does that mean I deserve a medal? Nu-uh. If I can see that as a big event in a single day surely pieces of paper should come easier that took years to of work?
But the little voice inside simply doesn’t want a participation trophy just to ease the sting of life.
To paraphrase some famous person: “If we treated our dearest friends as we do oneself, we would never have friends.”
The overwhelming lesson I need to learn is to stretch myself, but also to do it kindly. I think I would be more effective with less baggage to carry around. Be kinder to yourself and see what you can do, one choice at a time. That’s all you can do. Don’t follow the party, be the party. Who knows how many times your words or your actions have positively impacted on another individual. There is a Dr Suess quote that means a lot to me “To the world you may be one person. To one person you may be the world.”
Take a deep breath and maybe not check social media quite so much. Accomplishments are what you make them, if that’s making a cup of tea then you’ve achieved something today.