I like to think I'm a positive person, that I look for the best in a situation; but there are times when life feels like it gets to be too much and I get frustrated by everything. That's the way I'm feeling right now, mainly because of my cold. Despite knowing that once the virus shifts I'll feel back to my normal self, I'm still finding it difficult to cope. I just feel angry about pretty much everything, being ill, having ME, not getting better, not doing all that I want to be, seeing how much everyone else seems to be doing, how much faster they seem to improve.
I know it's stupid, I know it doesn't change anything and I know I have so much to be grateful for; but right now it's hard to feel that way.
I debated about doing this post, lets face it my whole aim in life is to help people enjoy life and not let things like illness stop them, so to admit that I'm not always bubbly and positive feels like a bit of a failure. It's not though - if you're living with an illness or disability, or whatever challenge you are facing in life, it's okay to admit to struggling, to acknowledge it's hard and painful, that there are days, weeks, or even months when life hurts, when it's hard to keep smiling. It doesn't make you weak, it makes you human and that's okay, it's normal.
Writing this doesn't make it better, it doesn't change things for me, it's not a miracle cure and I know that reading this won't change things for you. I just want you to know that if you're feeling like this you aren't alone. I know I've felt like this before and it passes, things don't really change, they don't magically get better; but from somewhere that you don't even know exists, you find a spark of hope, a sense of things getting easier and life feels easier to live. You start to enjoy things again. I know, it's happened many, many times since I first got ME and it will happen again.
So just hang on in there, keep on keeping on and all those other cliches, they're cliches for a reason - they just keep happening.
If you need to vent - do, if you want to hide from the world - do, just know you're not alone and that when it passes and you feel like you want more, life will be waiting for you. You will be able to pick up and start enjoying things again.
P.S. If you're at the stage of wanting more and are not sure where to start, check out the Live in Love in Laugh in group, it's a fun, easy way to start making friends and finding things to enjoy and look forward to.
If you're not ready right now, that's okay too, just know it's waiting for you when you are.
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.