At the risk of sounding repetitive… where did the last month go?! I know it’s easy to say that February is short but I’m not sure two or three days make quite so much difference. For me, a lot of the last twenty eight days has been whisked away with routine and rest and perhaps that has had an impact on my perception of time… I’ll let you judge.
This has been a really good month for many reasons health wise. First off, I’ve been having far more good days and glimmers of feeling like my usual self here and there which has certainly helped my mood. My bad days are pretty bad (my nervous system isn’t always a great fan of my usual self, apparently) but they are seeming to be less frequent and with an attempt at pacing I seem to be able to limit them a little more than I have in the past.
I’ve also had good news that my local CCG has granted me funding to access specialist support in a neighbouring borough and I have a neurology appointment booked in. These are both avenues I’ve not been granted before so, albeit with a healthy dose of cynicism, I’m hopeful I might be able to get some more focused support to tackle my M.E this year.
My word, this month has been a busy one. Along with behind the scenes work at The Mix, I’ve also spent much of the last few weeks observing and delivering volunteer training for their helpline. It has eaten up many evenings and most Saturdays but I’ve been enjoying reconnecting with that part of myself – training and facilitation are one of my absolute favourite things to do.
(PS – a shameless plug – do keep me in mind for any similar work you may have or know of. See more about my background in facilitation here. Ok. Plug over.)
Last month’s life updates were about events but February holds more of a focus on creativity. I’ve loved sharing more of my work with the world and putting myself out there a little more this month.
At the beginning of February, I set up a shop to sell my first illustrated zine – the A-Z of being a spoonie. You can read more about this here or grab yourself a copy in the shop. I’ve been so pleased with the response, with not only friends but also complete strangers buying a copy. I’ve even been asked if I would be happy for it to be included in a library of zines as part of a touring exhibition on chronic illness. So damn cool.
Mid month the wonderful Dear Damsels published my poem ‘Confession’, as part of their theme on secrets. This is the first time I’ve let one of my poems loose into the world since I was a teenager so it was a little nerve wracking but I’m so pleased with the response.
I also shared a tiny flash fiction piece with the ‘Translating Pain’ project at Lancaster University, which went live this month. The project asks for pieces of no more than 150 words on any aspect of the experience of living with chronic pain. Mine explores physicality and pain and you can read it here.
… and that’s about it for my February! Bring on March and the first golden glimmers of spring.