A LIFE LESS PHYSICAL

A change in season, a change in pain

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Is it possible to itch to death? I want to say yes. For the past few months it felt like I was holding my breath whilst I tried to get through Christmas, a wedding, and a particularly busy time at work. Now, as I start to exhale and adjust to the rhythm of daily life, I can feel my little quirks rearing their ugly heads.

Quirks. I prefer that word to ‘symptoms’ or ‘pains’ or ‘things that make me want to scream’.

My legs have been getting heavy, my neck’s been getting tight, I feel tired, and I am so itchy absolutely everywhere that I just want to stand under the shower for all of the hours in all of the days. The worst places are my armpits and my eyeballs. I wake in the night not sure which to itch first, so use one hand to itch my eye and one to itch under my arm – it’s like a disturbing version of that game where you pat your head and rub your belly at the same time, except I’m trying not to gauge my eyes out. All this when all I want to do is sleep.

 

The change in season always marks a change in my pain, but this month it’s also having an effect on my ability to mentally focus.

I’m curled up on my sofa in my leggings and house cardi (a cardigan so comfortable but so old and ugly that it can never be worn in public), the fire is roaring and I have a toasted, buttery, hot cross bun on the plate beside me – my favourite seasonal snack. It’s the perfect picture of calm, relaxation, and rest – a hygge dream.

But in my mind, oh… my mind… it feels like there is so much to do. There are things to clean, buy, fix, paint, tidy, read. Everything needs something doing to it, none of it is actually that important and so all of it feels pointless and pressing in equal measure.

Lists are my friend and so I figure the best approach to this madness is to create three columns. 1) The jobs that need to be done like install the cat flap, get the cats micro-chipped, sort out my repeat prescriptions; 2) The jobs that I want to be done, like framing and hanging pictures, painting furniture, sorting through my wardrobe; and 3) The things that are not even necessary, but they’re taking up space by with that nagging feeling that makes me search for answers in the most ridiculous places, asking myself questions like, what should I do with my hair? Do I have the right clothes for my holiday? What am I reading after my current book?

None of these things are big things, obviously, but each thought – regardless of the column it sits in – takes up space in my mind. And when my mind feels like it’s getting smaller at the same time these things are multiplying, it makes for a challenging time.

Last weekend we were out in the garden for the first time this year. The weather was mild and we were able to potter together as we pulled up weeds and cut back last year’s dead branches. This pop of colour was the first sign of Spring, and a good reminder that beautiful, simple things appear amongst the chaotic overgrowth.

I’m going to have an early night and try to work out what on earth I’m blogging about this year. I feel like it would be nice to have a bit of a plan for 2017, if only so that you could decide if it’s worth sticking around. So far I can tell you this corner of the internet will include a write-up of our three weeks in Canada, some thoughts and pictures from our wedding, coping tips for fibro flares, and no doubt a fair few activities for those looking to lead a life less physical. Hang on in there, the fog will clear and it will be Spring before we know it.


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