Can that title be true? Can brain fog ever be a blessing?
Thanks to a huge effort on Growler’s part my application to renew my Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is finally completed and being posted today. A few weeks past my award ended but it’s finally finished. Brain fog, cognitive, memory, sequencing and communication problems have made it impossible for me to complete such a complex application on my own.
Brain fog also means I can’t quite believe that it’s now over 2 years since I first applied for DLA. Or that I was diagnosed with ME/CFS 7 months before that. Or that I’ve actually been ill enough for it to affect me day to day for at least a year before that.
My brain fog almost cushions me from the stark reality that I’ve been ill, every single day, for years.
I was going over some of my blog posts from the last time I applied for DLA. The posts from 2 years ago seem to have much the same themes as I live and struggle with now. How I live with them has changed a little, but the landscape looks much the same.
Some months after I got diagnosed a couple of people with ME said “the first year is the hardest”. It seemed a little damning. I didn’t want to be ill beyond a year for goodness sake! And here I am a couple of years on reflecting that they were probably right. Except the first year of being ill, AND then the first year of being diagnosed whilst having become so ill I couldn’t work or do anything very much, were both equally as hard.
I’m wondering whether the reason I don’t blog as much about life with chronic illness is that I feel I’ve said it all before. I’m just revisiting old ground. But I have to remind myself (and you) that you’re never stood in the same place twice in life, because whilst you can go back to the familiar you and the world have all changed a little since you were last there.
Maybe blogging about life with chronic illness does get kind of same-y after a couple of years – but that’s surely a reflection of what life is really like?
I got told this week that the way I deal with my illness is an inspiration (which from the person who said it was meant wholheartedly and not in a patronising way at all). I’ve been told similiar things by others.
The thing is we who live with conditions like ME/CFS come to learn that you just have to do the best you can with what you’ve got. It’s not about being brave or being amazing – it’s a lot to do with not really having much of a choice. You have to kind of get on with it, or give up.
I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have Growler to keep me on an even keel this would be a different story. There would be a lot more wailing and gnashing of teeth. So maybe I do in fact do a good job of living as positively as I’m able. Hmmm.
So anyway. Here’s to revisiting the same old ground on new days and trying to be chronically happy along the way.