And suddenly I’m swamped, drowning in the muddy wastes of isolation. It’s not that I’m alone, nor am I not loved; the problem is the endless nagging of sundry aches and pains, the loss of contact with those I once considered friends as if it’s some kind of punishment for being exhaustingly unwell. Where once I was a social and political activist of a somewhat gregarious disposition, attending clubs, concerts, theatre, cinema, I’m now trying hard (although it often comes quite naturally) to be content with a lifestyle where all my entertainment has to be served at home, and campaigning becomes virtual via the internet.
I must admit to the blessings of TV, radio, CDs and mp3s but, they never fully compensate for the more participative experience of actually being present in the theatre, cinema, concert hall or jazz club. For much of the past ten years I’ve had neither sufficient stamina or confidence to think of attending / coping with the duration of a church service, although previously a regular attendee and house-group leader, especially if there’s a reasonably large congregation.
Much of the time I manage to accept these health imposed limitations without too much grieving, at others – such as today, a sense of frustration and despondency verges on despair. Perhaps the frustration really began when I didn’t feel really up to dining out with my beloved and her daughters; a sense of guilt swiftly ensued as I felt, albeit needlessly, that I was being anti-social. At times like this, I start to feel that I’m a burden on my beloved OH and family, although they reassure me that I’m not!
As I write my own report card the familiar words, “must try harder”, take on a marked significance. It’s so easy to be trying, even when it’s difficult to try.