I used to love to cook, I loved to bake, I enjoyed swimming, I constantly fidgeted. I loved fashion and was dedicated to my school work. I sang and I loved movies. Nearly all of these are past tense now, I used to love to cook, I used to love to bake, I used to love to swim, I miss fidgeting. I can’t watch many movies anymore.
Having M.E is a mixed issue, I have gained a lot but it comes with enormous sacrifices. I have changed as a person, I can’t do any more education and I can’t do the things I loved anymore. I am comfortable to use the past tense for my present. Those hobbies and the things I loved are no longer accessible to me and it grates on me when people use the present tense. I can’t do them even if I still love them.
I don’t want to feel like I am stuck in the past because I need to keep moving forward. The person who got M.E isn’t who I am today, there are unchanged elements within me but a lot has changed. I don’t know if I suddenly got well if what I loved in my early teens would still be how I chose to spend my time. Since being ill I have always wanted to make my body strong so maybe more active things would be how I chose to spend that energy.
Who I am and what I’m interested in today can all change. So trying to have a ‘goal’ to do the things I used to love in some ways seems pointless. There are so many barriers it’s not just about enjoyment or practice to get me back to cooking or baking. I can’t lift anything heavy, I can’t cognitively keep track of the recipe, ingredients and the cooking time. I feel like it would be like trying to squeeze myself back into that teen’s clothes. They won’t fit no matter how hard I would try.
If I do improve then I’d like to start from a clean slate. What interests me now and what I see value in exerting energy into. People change and that’s okay, I just want to look forward rather than recreating the past.