The start of the week was one of the nicest times I’ve had all year. My crippling exhaustion and dizziness has lately subsided and I actually felt pretty good for once, or at least I would have done if I hadn’t woken barely able to move my head or left arm having done something to the top of my spine in my sleep. But other than the burning pain of that and the fact that a week on I still can’t lift my arm, I’ve been tickety-boo 😉
Last Sunday my bezzie and I decided to go up the Lakes for lunch and to have a smooch round a huge garden centre filled with all things Yuletide. It was lovely, even if I couldn’t afford to buy anything, and I ate salmon with a creamy cheese sauce which was to die for (sod the histamine, it’s Christmas!).
Monday I’d tried to organize a half day photographing birds of prey as a present to myself. I’d asked along a lovely friend from my Camera Club whose husband was giving her the day as a Christmas gift. However, the owner of the bird centre had really messed us about and when by 5pm the day before he hadn’t even bothered to confirm the event with me I rang and left a message to cancel it. There was no way he was getting £150 of our money for four hours if he couldn’t even be arsed to give us directions to his farm! So we ended up going to one of our favourite spots and photographing Red Squirrels instead. It was brilliant. A freezing, sunny, crisp winter’s day with an overnight temperature of -11C meant that everything was ice covered and spectacular and afterwards we went to a gorgeous restaurant for pizza 🙂
Tuesday I’d been invited to a friend’s house for lunch, along with 9 other people. My friend lost her husband this week last year and wanted to thank us all for our support, which was so kind of her. She has Parkinson’s Disease yet had put on the most fabulous spread and we all had a fun and laughter filled time. Tuesday night I gave a lecture on Composition at the monthly beginner’s photography class, which I enjoy even if going out in the evening makes me ill. I always drive home, however, crippled with self-doubt. It’s monumentally difficult to talk for over an hour when you have a brain which feels like it’s full of cotton wool and I worry that I’ll get muddled, make mistakes and not realize, or generally make an arse out of myself. It was reassuring, then, that one of the attendees had told my friend that the talk was excellent and I was good at what I do. We all need encouragement and validation sometimes 🙂
By Wednesday I was flagging but I still made it to my Camera Club’s Xmas social, despite the beginnings of a thumpy migraine and a swollen and inflamed throat from all the talking the night before. It takes a huge amount of adrenalin for me to go out at night and I am as high as a kite when I get home, consequently it’s often midnight before I can finally unwind enough to drop off to sleep. Then at 4am I was woken suddenly by Bertie making some weird noises. At first I thought he was being sick but when I turned on the beside lamp I realized he was actually having a willy licking session, before scratching about making a nest and dropping back off to sleep. Which was fine for him but I was now wide awake and had the dubious pleasure of watching the sun rise!
With all the activities and lack of sleep I spent the whole of Thursday feeling like the un-dead. It didn’t help that I was pre-menstrual, had period pains, backache and my head thumping had reached hammer pitch by lunchtime which made me sick to my stomach. I was in no mood to be lectured at by some stranger on the internet. It’s often not what someone says to me online which gets my dander up, but the way in which they say it. There are those people who SHOUT at me to get their POINT across like I am retarded. There are those who talk patronizingly at me like I am five years old not fifty. There are the people who never write a kind, supportive or positive comment and only ever pipe up to criticize me (I do wonder who died and made them perfect). There are those who think that because my views or experience differs to their view or experience that I am somehow wrong and they are right and that my views must be challenged and debated until I am won over to the other person’s viewpoint, which I find really stressful. What happened to just allowing people to be different and letting me express my own views on my own blog, or sometimes just vent for heaven’s sake? There are those who love to point out their superior knowledge and my lack thereof, missing the point of my blog entirely which is that I am on a journey of discovery about my health and life, learning as I go along and sharing this with you warts and all. I’ve never claimed to be perfect and I am allowed to make mistakes, after all that’s how we all grow. And then there are those people who are just plain rude and ranty, taking their shitty moods and chips on their shoulder out on me. I wonder if they ever read their comments before pressing ‘Send’? Would they go up to a complete stranger in the street hobbling along on crutches and looking decidedly unwell and start having a go at them, because that’s exactly what they’re doing to me online. I’m always totally blindsided by these encounters, because although you are reading about my life and may think you ‘know’ me I only actually know a handful of my 600+ followers in real life. You are mostly total strangers to me, so for someone to suddenly get in my face with no preamble feels hugely confrontational. Not to mention pointless because no-one responds well to being patronized, lectured to, criticized or treated like they’re stupid so whatever point the person was trying to make, valid or otherwise, is completely lost. So the moral of the story is to read back what you write and pretend that a total stranger has walked up to you on the street and said that to your face out of the blue – are you still willing to press send?