Severe M.E, TV and a Side Order of Jealousy: A Memory:
Back when I was housebound due to Severe M.E and POTS, I could only handle watching TV for 10 mins a day. Any longer than this would be sensory overload, which would exacerbate my symptoms, and leave me feeling more ill than I did already.
I was grateful for my 10 mins, as it was a nice – albeit brief – bit of escapism from staring at the wall or window, just willing my body to get through the day. However, as I watched, something really sad would occasionally happen:
I would find myself getting jealous. Jealous of all the healthy, vibrant, energetic actors on the screen – taunting me with their ability to stand up, walk, talk, listen, think straight, engage with their surroundings and have actual lives. I didn’t care that their lives were imaginary, because it was still a daily reminder that outside my front door, there is a whole world of REAL LIVING that I was no longer a part of, and no longer able to access. It was a reminder of everything I had lost, the future I would never have, and of the people who’s lives had moved forward without me.
And fuck me, that hurt.
Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about every single tiny thing I am now finally able to do again. I can still only watch TV for about 45 mins a day before it becomes too sensory – but I don’t care; I don’t want to spend any more of my energy on it than that. I want to be doing things, going places, seeing people. I want to make up for lost time.
My health is still loaded with limitations that affects every single thing I do; HOWEVER, despite this – I am so thankful to say, my health has improved enough to finally be able to walk outside my front door and be part of society again. Finally … I am living again.
(Albeit vicariously through my son, who has taken over my new lease of life with lego, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and a bedtime routine that would rival Cirque du Soleil!)