I am a real-life time traveller.
I can go forward in time.
When I am having a hard time with this illness the days merge into big blobby dreams of duvets and discomfort, drowsiness, distant voices and a difficulty telling dreams from reality. Days can pass like this in a fog. I hate it when this happens, when I'm really unwell and I just can't account for the many days I've been in bed.
In the early days of my illness many months passed this way. But now I am lucky that this only happens on bad weeks or for a week or two at a time. How can I say I am lucky? Because for some severe sufferers they have been in this state (and worse) for years or even decades. Although it hasn't happened to me for a while now it happened both this week and
last; last week when my brother asked me if I'd been sleeping or if I'd
just been lying there all day I couldn't say. The truth was that I had
no idea. Time just seems to move forward, like the world has kept turning and I have hopped off. Several days may have passed by the time I have managed to hop back on board. Like I have literally gone forward in time, with no recollection of what passed in between.
I can stop time.
There are days when time slows almost to a complete standstill. I feel trapped in this never-ending world of illness and boredom, waiting for my loved-one to come home and see me, for something to change in this illness, for something to improve. Looking at the clock as I lie in bed unable to sleep but unable to get up. How can it only be an hour that has passed? It feels like a life time! Time to think. Hmm...
But even on the days which drag, the months and years disappear in the blink of an eye. I decided when I was well enough I would celebrate my 30th birthday with a big party, no matter how long it took to get better. I sometimes wonder if I'll be having my 30th celebrations in my 40s, looking back and wondering where those years went, the M.E Years.
Most of all- I can MAKE TIME COUNT.
Like all good time travellers, I have the utmost respect for time. You may think that being home all day without a job means that you have lots of time, but you'd be wrong. Because M.E means that you only have short windows of time in which to do anything, or, like on many days, the window stays firmly shut except from the absolute necessities (like going to the loo). On a good day when out and about or managing an evening at a friend's house you know you will suffer for it during the next and following days. So you learn to savour every moment. To spend your energy on the things and people that mean the most to you. To live in the moment.
Just before Christmas we had a night with some friends. It was the first time I had felt almost normal in over three years. We couldn't believe how well I had coped. Well it happened again, a couple of weeks ago for a friend's birthday. Out of the blue, like a gift. The first time was December. The next time was March. Most people measure their nights out on a weekly basis. Mine seem to be quarterly right now! That might seem terrible, but after having none it is wonderful and I am truly thankful. I just seem to be on a different calendar to most.