My mum is a book worm and I’ve been looking at some autobiographies to buy her for Christmas. She loves that kind of thing but I struggle to read about other people’s experiences, particularly of adversity. They are either hilariously funny, seeing the humour in even the darkest situation which makes me feel depressed as my illnesses stole my sense of humour and haven’t given it back yet, or they’re marathon running sugar free plant based dairy free gluten free patronizing gits who pass judgement on anyone who isn’t prepared to give up every pleasure in life in order to ‘heal’ (even as I write that I’m thinking up excuses for my Snickers binge and wondering if my sugar “addiction” is the reason my EDS went to hell on a hand cart the second I hit 40. Then I want to slap myself or, more realistically, slap the patronizing gits for making me feel guilty about having faulty genes).
I even gave up reading charity blogs and Facebook posts, as all the positivity made me feel like I’d failed at being sick. Here were people doing fun runs when I can’t even bend down to put my trainers on, wheel-chair bound students passing their degrees when I have to write a post-it note to remind myself to have a bath, and perfect cooks making their own tortillas when most days I struggle to scrape a can of Chappie into my dog’s food bowl then shove a tray of frozen chips in the oven.
My cleaner comes on a Wednesday and by Friday my house looks like it’s been burgled. My car looks like it’s been off-roading in a mud bath and I still haven’t managed to put my garden furniture away for winter even though it’s snowed this week.
I am not on top of my diseases. I am not happy, clappy or zen. Most days I am knackered, grumpy and stressed and just lately either weepy or evil due to two months of insomnia, raging nipple itch and griping period pains thanks to my ever dwindling hormones.
I wasn’t perfect as a well person and I’m definitely not perfect as a sick person. I binge on Haagen-daz, eaten not with a spoon but with chocolate wafers. I drink tea, lots of tea. I eat beans from a tin. I sleep in a bed which contains leaves, twigs and the odd slug courtesy of my beloved pet. If my kitchen counters were tested for bacteria the Health Department would shut me down. I wear the same socks two, sometimes three, days running to save on laundry. It’s 11.30am and I haven’t managed to clean my teeth yet despite eating breakfast at 8am.
I try my best to pace my activities and my energy. I try my best to stick to my absolutely-no-fucking-fun diet. I try my best to be accepting of my situation. I strive to be happy. But I don’t always manage it. Some days I eat shite, turn my phone off, skulk under the duvet and watch Teen Mom OG instead of the 6 o’clock news. Which doesn’t make me a failure, it makes me a human being.
So to any of my readers who are also struggling to be perfect I say lets celebrate our imperfection. Let’s stick two fingers up at permanently serene sick people and anyone who eats kale. To be honest, I want to give the finger to anyone who eats any food from the lettuce or cabbage family because green leaves taste of absolutely nothing and should only be fed to rabbits. Let’s put the kettle on, make a brew and unwrap the Mint Matchmakers even though it’s 7 weeks til Christmas. Ahhhh, my day feels better already 😉