It’s okay to be overwhelmed

It’s okay to be overwhelmed

I think everybody looking for work or thinking of changing job feels anxiety around it, I think the current uncertainty around Brexit is definitely heightening that at the moment. I’m certainly feeling it as I come towards the end of my degree, everyday someone asks me what my plans are and honestly I’m no clearer than when I started university. I’ve been telling myself to keep open to do anything when I finish, to be honest most of the time I take a ‘what will be will be’ stance. However since falling ill with CFS/ME, it’s like I’ve watched each door open to me slam shut as I would struggle to do those jobs.

It’s been really strange going from being so career driven and spending my whole life working towards a career, and all of sudden the idea of a career feels so far fetched to me. Realistically I’ll be able to work part-time, or full-time but with a couple of days at home, it’s really dawning on me that I won’t have the career I’d always imagined myself in. It’s really difficult to not feel inferior to everyone, and in no horrid way, I see my friends with these great careers ahead of them and they have so many options open to them, and I am so envious of all the amazing things they’ll get to do.

It might not make sense to others, but i’m finding it really hard to understand why an employer would want to hire me when they could hire someone who was fully able, then I get this crippling sense of having to prove myself and guilt because I have no energy to do anything about it, and it’s simply a vicious circle I find myself caught up in. I’m sure that’s absolutely normal for anyone suffering with an illness, and in the rational side of my brain knows that I can’t be discriminated against, but still there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t worry about my job prospects.

All of this realistically feels very far away and I still have to finish university, but it’s coming round a lot quicker than I like and it’s the one thing everybody wants to know about. I’ve always planned to take a break after university, and I know I won’t be able to walk straight into a job as I’ll need some recovery time, but I still feel overwhelmed at what’s inevitably around the corner.

See you next time pals x

2018: The year that changed my life

2018: The year that changed my life

It seems strange to be posting about 2018 when we’re already mid-way through January, but I felt I couldn’t return to writing without wrapping up my year in some way. 2018 without a doubt has been the hardest year of my life, aside from battling CFS/ME, I lost three grandparents within 9 months. Don’t get me wrong the year was not only bad times, I made some incredible memories, however I know I won’t remember this year in a positive light. If you had told me this time last year the position I would be in now, I’d have struggled to believe you. As strong and positive as I’ve felt throughout the year, it’s impossible to ignore the impact losing my grandmas and granddad has had on me. I am extremely fortunate as I grew up with all four grandparents living only 15 minutes away from me, aside from when I am away at University, I saw them on atleast a weekly basis. I am so grateful for all the time I had with them, however it has made losing them such an adjustment to my life as I feel the gap they’ve left.

At the end of March I lost my Grandma Fox which completely turned my world upside down, we had always been so close as a family, but all of a sudden our daily life changed as we went from seeing her nearly every day to not at all. Although nothing can really prepare you for loss, we were somewhat prepared, we were aware Grandma had a terminal illness so really got to cherish our last months with her. I still find it hard walking into Lincoln Hospital knowing she has gone after going so much to visit her. The saving grace throughout this loss was my Grandpa Fox, we became so close to him over the summer, especially Cal and I, he was so strong and positive but also not afraid to express his sadness. I think his attitude really kept us all going as he led the way in carrying on.

Only 7 months later my Grandma Siva passed away, it felt like being thrown back to the start of the process as I’d barely begun to come to terms with losing Grandma Fox. The only comfort in losing Grandma Siva was knowing she was no longer in pain and suffering after months of battling cancer. Again, although we weren’t unaware of how ill Grandma was, I still felt as though I had been robbed of time. This made it quite hard to accept and I felt such a conflict of emotions from guilt to anger to just utter sadness, I know now this is allnormal but at the time it felt like I was losing control of my emotions. Going through grief is a really strange time as you wish the you could stop everything and just allow yourself some time to recover and be sad, but the world carries on around you and you just have to learn to adapt.

That feeling really came into play over Christmas as my Grandpa Fox passed away extremely suddenly a week before Christmas. I don’t think I will ever forget my phone call with my mum when she told me as I was just plunged into a state of disbelief, even though it’s been a month there’s still a part of me now that doesn’t want to believe he’s really gone. The last time I saw my Grandfather, my mother and I left his house saying how healthy he looked, he looked content despite everything that had happened over the past year, three days later he died instantly from a sudden heart attack. I’m still incredibly devastated at the loss of him, I still have moments of feeling angry that he’s been taken from us, however he didn’t suffer or even know what was happening which is what he’d said he wanted. The night before my father actually had an extremely vivid dream that there was a couple in our house and he watched them walking out the door, we know one of the last things my Grandpa did was buy and write a card for my parents thanking for them for all their support throughout losing my Grandma Fox. I can’t help but think my Grandma came for him, maybe that’s what my father saw, I don’t know what my beliefs around death are, but for now I’m finding comfort knowing they’re together.

I feel such a huge hole in my life at the minute without them all, however I know in time that will heal and it’s a credit to their characters. My Grandpa Fox used to say to us that everyone keeps telling him it’s going to get better but it isn’t, as heart-breaking as this was, my mum and I would say ‘It probably won’t get better, but it will get normal’. This feels realistic to me, at this point it’s hard to imagine feeling better about all this loss, but I know in time it will just become a part of life. It’s been so hard watching my family, especially my parents, keep going through this pain knowing there’s nothing I can do to take it away. You wish you could just wrap everybody in bubble wrap and protect them from anymore hurt. On the other hand, I got to enjoy 21 years of love and memories with my grandparents, which a lot of people don’t get to experience. So here’s to 2019 not necessarily getting better, but getting normal.

See you next time pals x