It hardly seems like a week has passed since I wrote my last monthly review and yet, once again, here we are. It’s been quite a month, with a much longed for dose of warmth and sunshine and a lot of happy new memories made.
Here are my highlights.
I’m reluctant to follow in February’s footsteps and jinx myself again, but I have to say… this has been a good month. (BRB – just need to go touch every piece of wooden furniture in my flat.)
It’s hard to express exactly what it feels like to have a good spell, especially after so much struggling, and also because my good is really just most people’s normal. How do you describe the glorious sensation of having energy and zero pain when that’s how things should be? For me, right now, the opportunity just to be normal is extraordinary. Having a good day feels like coming up for air, it’s like waking up from a bad dream and realising the world feels right again.
A good day (which is usually more like a good series of hours, but who’s counting?) means reconnecting with yourself. My condition so often steals moments from me and this month I stole some back. When my symptoms are raging, I feel so weak and so powerless but when they lift it’s like everything feels possible again. I can think clearer and imagine what it might be like to have my power back for longer – to do what I want, to be who I want, without the fear of repercussions.
One week I managed to be active in some way every single day, I managed to work, to socialise, to get out of London and by the end of the seventh day I still felt OK! Admittedly, this was swiftly followed by a two day crash – curled in bed with cool packs and painkillers – but it was worth it. I think sometimes it’s just knowing that good days are possible that makes the difference.
As April draws to a close, I am now entering my final month at The Mix. It has been a quieter month, focused on volunteer recruitment rather than training, so I’m looking forward to meeting and working with new volunteers in the coming weeks.
I’m currently lining up my work schedule for the summer months and will be available for work from the end of May, so do keep me in mind for any projects you may have, whether that’s writing, facilitation or consultancy.
As I said, life has been good to me this month, with a lot of plans and quality time with friends. I’ve also been continuing the creative theme that seems to be at the heart of my year, first of all by hitting the 20,000 word mark for my novel which was an exciting milestone to reach and secondly by using my rest periods to design some brand new zines, ahead of two very important awareness weeks coming up in May.
M.E Awareness Week (7th-13th May)
Inspired by a question from a near stranger after I had briefly explained my M.E, I created this zine with input from other people living with the condition.
The bulk of the zine focuses on some of the most common things people say that upset or frustrate people with M.E (and why that’s the case), alongside a little information on my story, facts about M.E and a list of phrases to adopt instead.
The zine is available to buy on my shop for £3, with £1 from every sale going to Action for M.E
Mental Health Awareness Week (14th-20th May)
This mini zine briefly touches on my experience of depression, as well as offering information on how to seek and/or offer help.
I’m selling the zine on the shop with 50% from each sale going to Mind. Buy one for £1 or get a pack of ten at a steal for £5 – perfect to share with friends, family, colleagues or anyone you please.
And that’s it! If you need me, I’m off to cross every finger and toe that May proves to be just as full of joy, creativity and energy as April.