Hello my lovely loves!
It's been a little while since I've been able to write a post beyond a few words, and I miss it more than I thought I would!
This last month has been intense, and, to be perfectly honest, I was a bit nervous about how I'd get on, but it's actually gone pretty well!
October's always pretty busy (it's my birthday on the 6th, so there's usually a lot of excitement, and often visits from people), but this year was extra intense. Visits from family, a wedding via Skype (plus the emotions of not being able to go myself), a home visit from one of my many medical professionals, Christmas card making and Halloween Costume Funtimes meant that I had to be very, very careful indeed.
I had to make sure I didn't have my my usual hypnotherapy and counselling sessions for the whole month, just to make it even slightly possible. But, to my surprise, I managed every single thing bar one family visit, and hopefully that'll be happening soon!
I'm not going to discuss the month in too much detail (and you already know at least part of it, as I've already posted about the charity Christmas cards I've made), but the main things were; I turned 30, I had a home visit from my ME specialist nurse, and I had my anniversary of getting sick (which I usually call Sickmas) on the first of November. I feel like those all tie in pretty closely, because they're all things that make me look back on my achievements in the last year or so.
Last year, all of these things made me feel pretty awful. Although I had managed to stop my ME/CFS worsening, that was pretty much all that could be said. I had to cancel creating Christmas cards to sell, which made me very low, and, while I'd won the Midsomer Murders Cluedo competition, that couldn't stop the first anniversary of being housebound, and the 3rd year of being ill, hitting me pretty hard.
This year, I've managed to achieve a lot, lot more, and it feels wonderful. Don't get me wrong, I still had a few rounds of tears; while my friends do amazing things in their careers, visit wonderful places, get married, buy houses, and have children, I'm stuck here unable to leave the house, and on occasion my bed, and that feeling of being left behind hurts like nothing I could possibly explain.
But comparing this year to last year? (Which, by the way, is otherwise known as comparing my sick self to my sick self instead of to my well self, or other people.) In that case... I'm kind of rocking it.
Mum and I made a list of everything I've achieved this year. It's not been easy, and of course every single thing has had Payback following it, but I've managed it.
I've had some scary moments where I wasn't sure how I was going to make it through the Payback (after my birthday, which I dressed up for, I had a day where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to wash or not, and that was absolutely terrifying), but... I did get through it. And all without leaving the house.
So... well done me. And thanks to you all, for supporting me. There will be more posts to catch up on most of the individual things, but until then, I hope you enjoy looking through this list.
Bounced back from blood drain relapse
Embroidery for Catie and Ben
Making Tiny Hannah
Making Tiny Hannah introductory video
Sending TH on adventures to Edinburgh, Derby, London, Richmond and Venice (posts to come)
Joining Elevate, the local ME group, via Facebook
Taking part in Millions Missing (blog post to come)
Interviews with newspapers for Midsummer murders Cluedo (fame!)
Taking part (and winning) top vintage competition and therefore...
Winning my friends a honeymoon to Venice
Managing to create Christmas cards
Writing a poem for my friends wedding (blog post to come)
Writing an article for the Telegraph (fame again!)
Being quoted on BBC radio Scotland (fame some more!)
(Getting a request from the Jeremy Kyle show - and avoiding it)
Being featured on The Mighty (that fame, it just keeps on coming)
Writing a post for the ME Awareness blog, that then got featured on the ME Action website
Creating a Maleficent Halloween costume
Finishing and giving the Dear Ethan project books to Ethan and Kerry
Becoming more positive
Helping to design my mum's studio
Spending one night on my own in the house (bigger deal than it sounds)
Learning to make corn dollies
Successfully having one visit per month from a friend
Skyping my friend's wedding
Watching the whole of How to train your dragon 2 (in stages)
Advised other sufferers of ME
Joined the Chronic Illness Bloggers via Facebook
Did a product review, like a proper blogger
Worked on my blog
Worked on my calligraphy and lettering skills
Used the sewing machine once (without wearing ear defenders!)
Dropped down my antidepressants by one quarter
Had one shower (they became extra difficult after the Blood Drain for some reason, so it was sink washes and weekly/biweekly baths for some time)
Dressed up for my birthday
Carved my first pumpkin since 2013!
Read an actual book
Learnt to say "no"
Learnt to say when I'd had enough and trusted that my friends would be happy with this. (Thanks, guys.)