International MS/CFS awareness day (12.05.2011)

Category: By panda_eyed
Posted this to Facebook today:

In November 2005, I got a flu, which, try as I might, I never seemed to recover from. I seemed to be living with constant flu symptoms -- constant exhaustion, achiness, joint pains, a sore throat that never went away and bouts of fever and chills, just to name a few.

What I didn't know was that this was the beginning of my relationship with ME/CFS ( It took months and months of doctors' visits, numerous blood tests and hospital tests and visits to various specialists before I received my diagnosis. It took only 11 months for me to be diagnosed with ME, but, surprisingly this is a very short period. For some people, it takes years and even decades. Let's think about this -- that’s years of living life with a unknown illness, frightened because you don't know exactly what's wrong with you, of being labelled a hypochondriac by society because you can’t put a name to what you've got.

Today is international ME/CFS awareness day. Please help spread the message so that people with ME/CFS don't have to live with the uncertainty of having no diagnosis and, hence, no treatment. I was lucky – my PCT have a Chronic Fatigue Clinic and I was able to attend therapy sessions and get the support I needed in order to get better. Again, this is very rare. There are very few such clinics in the country, but hopefully raising ME/CFS awareness can change this.

I'm not asking for money, just a simple repost to help spread the word. You shall have my eternal love and gratitude :)

Here's an excerpt from something I wrote in September 2006, before I was finally diagnosed with ME/CFS:
I can't tell you how sapping this thing is, but worse than having to live with it, is having people around me doubt that there's anything wrong with me. I have lost track of the number of times that I have been told I need to get more fresh air or more exercise, that I need stop being such a hypochondriac. You may not be able to physically see my symptoms, but they are very real indeed. It’s upsetting that people I love don’t understand.

Sometimes I’m so frustrated that I wish I could transfer my pain onto them for just a few minutes, so that they can feel exactly what I feel all day, every day. How well would they deal with the constant tired, aching, weak muscles, bouts of exhaustion, muscle twitching, recurrent sore throat and illnesses that take weeks to recover from, joint pains, insomnia, dizziness and brain fog?

'This' is not me. I wish that I could wake up tomorrow and feel normal -- just like I used to a year ago. Some days I just want to cry. Some days, I do. But mostly, I just wish that they'll figure out what's wrong with me and make me better.

Stalking (14 Dec 2010)

Category: , , , By panda_eyed
I just did a thing that surely everyone must do at some point -- I stalked my exes on social media. Not because I miss them, not because anything is missing from my life, but just out of idle curiosity. A few months ago, seeing their pictures, activities and interactions with others might've caused me a pang of wisteria, perhaps even made me a little morose, but, interestingly, not tonight.

Just now, I flicked through some photo albums on which The Spaniard features on Facebook -- these have long since made private because, simply, it'd be a bit weird still having albums with couple-y pictures in. I used to look at these and feel some sort of emotion -- mostly memories of how I felt when the pictures were taken. It used to make me sad to look at these knowing that, at the time, I had feelings for him whilst he remained totally impassive. But today looking at it, it feels strange even to think that I was once with this man, and that I could possibly ever have felt anything towards him other than to loathe his utter selfishness. It feels so good knowing that I've moved on and, most of all, it feels brilliant not caring a jot any more.

It's funny how time and distance gives you such perspective. I wish I could go back to earlier this year and tell the then 'me' who was feeling so sad and lonely -- even before The Spaniard broke it off with me -- that she deserved so much more than the twat she was with and, that in a few short months time, she would find comfort and her smile again in a friend, if only she would look closer.

The funny thing is this. On the day that I got wind that The Spaniard was going to break it off with me, I was on a big group outing/celebration. I'd gotten TS's text that he wanted to 'talk', and I knew there was nothing else we needed to talk about (eventually, the whole break up process took about 2.5 weeks cos he was a spineless idiot). It had been a long time coming and, even though I knew that, I felt utterly alone, worthless and unlovable. But I didn't want to spoil the mood of the group, so, though it made my chest hurt, I contained my sadness. One person made that afternoon bearable, though he couldn't have known of my pain. Though I was a grumpy cow that day, verging on sullen, he stuck around and he made me smile and brought me comfort. That person was the Cute Nerd - the man I've been seeing for a little while. I didn't know it then, but we would go on to become firm friends, then flirt outrageously, dancing around the fact that we both wanted each other, culminating in a kiss on the platform of Piccadilly Circus Station.

So there you go. Life has a funny way of changing direction just when you're tired of the journey. It's by no means over yet, but it's certainly gotten interesting.

Frightened 18/11/2010

Category: By panda_eyed
I've been seeing someone for a while. I've sort of been keeping it secret because I'm afraid of jinxing it -- like I did with the South African when I waxed lyrical about him on this here blog and then soon after, got dumped.

It's bloody scary, this relationship stuff. It's alright at first when you're just 'seeing' each other, when it's just riotous flirting and a date here and there. But then, inevitably, feelings start creeping in and tangling things up. On the one hand, that's great, you know? It means that it's going well. But on the other hand, it's terrifying.

I feel so vulnerable. I think that's partly because the last few relationships have really knocked the wind out of my sails and left my self-esteem in tatters. It's also partly because, once more, my feelings - my ego, if nothing else - are liable to be very bruised if it all goes tits up.

I really like this one -- let's call him the Cute Nerd. But, because of the last relationship with the Spaniard and how that ended, every time it goes a little bit quiet or if I don't hear from him, I panic a little. It's completely irrational, I know, and it makes me feel a little crazy. With the Spaniard, not hearing from him was a barometer as to how he was feeling towards me. I know I can't use that to define this 'relationship' -- I don't even know if that's what we're calling it yet -- and so I'm just messing with my own head. I might feel better if I could tell him any of this, but I don't feel like we've gotten to that stage yet. He might see my insecurities and paranoia and want to run screaming. He might not, but I'm not ready to risk that yet.

As much as I don't want to risk getting hurt again, I know that it's not in my nature to be alone. Relationships, loving someone, is what I do best, and I'd like to see if this 'thing' could go that way, with time. I think I may have mentioned before that the thing that scares me most is ending up alone. And this time I know I must make sure that, if I stay in this relationship, it's for the right reasons, not just because I don't want to  be on my own. Luckily, right now, I'm having fun and the smile is being kept on my face. So time will tell, I guess. But that still doesn't make it any less frightening.

Reflections (18/10/2010)

By panda_eyed
I don't blog anymore, but sometimes I miss it. At first it was an outlet for boredom, then for things that were getting me down. Mostly, it gave me a place to talk and think freely so that I could better reflect on difficult or confusing situations. It allowed me to voice my frustrations and exorcise demons, without fear of being judged or reprimanded. I found amazing friendship and support amongst the blogging community, and I met some of my best friends I have today through blogging. Sometimes I come here just to read back old entries. They're the best indication of the person I was when I wrote them and of my state of mind at the time. Some of them I look back on and cringe because hindsight is a wonderful thing to have. But I won't delete them, embarrassing though they may be, because they are a reminder of the person I was and there are lessons to be learnt with every situation.

Take the relationship with the Spaniard for example. I read back on those entries and think, 'What the hell?'. I can see just how vulnerable I made myself to a man who really didn't care all that much, and all because I was so desperate to be loved and to find love again. I can clearly see now that I was in a place where, having ended one relationship that I was so happy in, I was determined to find something just as special to replace it. But life doesn't work like that, and I guess I learnt that the hard way. I spent months trying to convince myself that I cared for the Spaniard, when all I was doing was trying to hammer a circle through a triangular hole. And I didn't and couldn't see that at the time. I didn't blog about it, but we even sort-of got back together for a very short while. Now I look back and I want to slap myself for being such an idiot. I'd like to hope that I've grown up a little since then and learnt a lesson or two. But then, at the time, I thought I had too. Oh, the naivety... but, as I was saying, hindsight is a brilliant thing to have. I've said this many a time, but I'll say it again: I wouldn't change anything. It's been a painful journey at times, and I've been naive and wonderfully silly, but everything I've been through and the people I've met along the way have made me who I am today. And I'm still slightly crazy and making it all up as I go along, but I think I'm finally happier in myself. Here's hoping, anyway :)

I don't understand men

Category: , By panda_eyed
I don't understand them AT ALL.