Wednesday, 20 August 2014

M.E. - Wise thoughts with a Chronic Illness.

Ok... I'm in the blogging mood!

Today, I will be talking about occupying the mind. This helps a lot when suffering with a Chronic Illness but the phrase can also contradict itself when relating it to a Chronic Illness.

When every limb is screaming out with pain and every single muscle is just too fatigued to keep up with what your brain is telling you to do, it can be incredibly hard not to fall into some sort of depression.

I've suffered with depression in the past to the point where I wanted to end my life, luckily I was unsuccessful in my attempt but I learned a lot from it. It took me a good few years after that to actually learn from it however.

At just 23 years old, I feel very wise and mature for my age, probably why the majority of my friends are a lot older than me. I don't feel my age. Sure, I can have a good laugh and share things in common with others my age, but I feel I'm more on a wave length with older people. That's why relationship wise I've always been more interested in dating someone up to 20 years older than myself as opposed to someone my own age. Age is just a number at the end of the day. With all these illnesses striking us unexpectedly, surely age is the last thing we should be worrying about?

Anyway, I was saying I have learned a lot from my experience with depression and the link with occupying the mind. There was always a pattern that when my mind was occupied, my depression decreased ever so slightly. Finding new hobbies, even speaking to the right people helped incredibly well. I feel aiming towards goals are vital too whether long-term or short-term.

With M.E., it can be very hard to occupy our minds when we are so limited and so fatigued/energy-less. In myself I have felt better the past few weeks but health wise I've really taken a knock for it because I haven't given myself time to catch up with myself and dwell. When we dwell, we tend to attract negative thoughts... thoughts about the future/personal relationships/health etc etc. I've been hurt a lot in the past by selfish people, whether they be friends/professionals or partners. Dwelling on these bad experiences has previously been my down side. I've been led on, treated like dirt, not taken seriously and at 23 years old, I'm at a stage where I've started to think about myself more for my own benefit. These bullies made me into an incredibly shy/insecure person and I've gradually worked my way up to contentment so why on earth would I let negative influences affect my life?

God's opinion is the only one that matters, he has big plans for me and already I am starting to see some of them unravel before my very eyes. Many have said I cope so well with the illness which is a huge compliment, but that's how God has worked. I read bits of scripture and pray throughout the day that keep me ticking. I'm not "brainwashed" or "unrealistic" by any means, I just have a firm belief which in effect gives me reason to keep going... I know there are better times ahead.

Relating back to short-term and long-term goals, I have lots. M.E. has helped me to discover things I would never have discovered before... what I mean by that is if I didn't have M.E., I would never have explored things that I've found... I'm accepting the illness but I'm working around it. I know people who give in to the illness and I know people that won't accept it, neither ends positively. You need to find that balance which luckily I feel I have. Sure, I'm positive about a full recovery but I'm not waiting around until it happens. For the time being, I'm working around it. My goals... well, I've discovered a love for music... singing! I had never sung anything before I had M.E. and to be honest, I find it hard to keep up as it requires more energy than you think. But it's there for me to keep going back to and I have a teacher to help me work towards my grades. The same goes for playing the keyboard though it hasn't been touched much recently to be completely honest. Theology, I enrolled on an online theology course a year ago, I've only completed 1 module but it's gradual progress, again... it's something I can dip in and out of. There's also the website name I purchased for my personal training plans, it's a gradual process... I'm continually experimenting with exercise too which is going fairly well.

The short of this post is to not let others control your mind! You are in control of what you do and think. Occupy your mind if negative thoughts start to drift in and you'll reap the benefits. Be wise! :)

And... to finish off... here's my lovely boy, Smokey who kept me company after my hospital visit yesterday!

Hope you're all enjoying yourselves x


  1. Thank for letting me read your Blog Barry. You are so young to have your life disrupted with this illness. I was too- though I struggled through for years before I finally collapsed. I'm pleased that you are so positive and that God is your strength. I don't think I'd be here is it wasn't for Him.. Don't let anyone make you do things you know are bad for you. Listen to your body and follow your instincts. I wish I had done so years ago. Enjoy what you can and rest through the bad times- and keep Smokey close by. He won't ever ask you for more than you can give. Bless you xxx

    1. Thank you for reading Mary. :)

      It's great to hear you're a believer too... it helps a lot with this illness for sure! Thank you. :)

      That's why animals are so good, they don't expect much and don't expect you to explain yourself.

      Bless you too xxx

  2. What a positive and inspiring blog post Barry, really uplifting. I think it's so important to keep the mind active. I did a programme called The Gupta Programme, I don't know if you've heard of it or if it might help you. In it he stresses the importance of distracting the mind from negative thoughts and keeping it occupied. It didn't make me well but it certainly helped with the panic attacks and my general outlook.

    Lovely that you've got your animals. I haven't got any now, can't afford them plus as I'm on my own I wouldn't be able to look after them. I did have my son's dog for a week though while they were away and really enjoyed his company.

    Glad you've had a bit better time lately and are keeping busy. Cheryl xx

    1. Thank you Sherrie :)

      I haven't heard of it but I'll have to check it out!

      Yeah the animals are great, really good company.

      Up and down but getting through xx

  3. Hi Barry. Interesting insights that you write about. Always helpful, I think, to write down thoughts. I have suffered throughout my life with a cronic fatigue. Could never figure out why I couldn't keep up the the to speak. All my class mates/friends could go go go, and I couldn't. Not long ago, found out quite by accident, that I was very ill as a baby and nearly died. I suppose that could have something to do with it? Doctors never give it a second thought when I mention. Nothing much left to do but keep on keeping on. My Best to you....