Saturday, 30 October 2010

Frustration, perspective and light

Fru Fru Fru Fru FrustRATION FRUHUSTRATION....Who else remembers Soft Cell?!! What a band! Marc Almond, what a genius. I don’t know why I was so into them when I was 14, in retrospect the subversive lyrics might not have been entirely suitable for a child of such tender years, if a child of mine was listening to that stuff nowadays I might be a little concerned about it! But there you go, and I still think they wrote fantastic tunes, like I've said elsewhere, I have eclectic tastes.
When I find myself feeling frustrated, (fruhusSTRAAAAAAETiiiiiiD), with my health issues, the word in my head always prompts the tune from my teenage years to start up - and it often makes me smile, remembering the old me and the world the way it used to be, it brings up memories of being an angry, posturing teenager who thought I would conquer the world with hairspray and socialism! Oh laughing, laughing, laughing, I love that I have so many hilarious memories to look back on and laugh about! I think I’m turning into a laughing Buddha type in my old age, when I stop and think about it almost everything amuses me, especially those ‘80s looks J. The human condition is just so entertaining.
Of course I am not always laughing, far from it, I spend a lot of time contemplating my navel, regretting my limitations, resenting what I can’t do and achievements I haven’t managed to achieve. Sometimes the tears of self pity well up and I end up in floods of tears about my situation, or just  being a little bit sad and disgruntled and sorry for myself. But to be honest, whenever I get a perspective on things, I have to laugh at myself, not in a scathing way but in a fond, amused loving way. Oh little me, with my little woes, kicking and railing against the universe and wishing things were different from how they are, silly, silly, little, darling human being! Raging against reality when in fact my life is a gift and every moment on this world is this wonderful teacher and illuminator, and when I actually stop and pay attention to it I see how beautiful and perfect it all is, though it’s not what I ordered, I’ve got SO MUCH to be thankful for!    
When I realise how many other people are so much worse off than me, I am humbled by the beautiful and courageous ways they are dealing with THEIR (much greater than mine) misfortunes, well I’m just blown away.
This week for example, I discovered that a lady I met recently who I’d been very impressed with, has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and has written about it beautifully, pragmatically and so bravely. It put my thyroid woes right into perspective.  
Then there’s my very dear friend who had cancer some years back, was told she was terminal, said goodbye to us all and was shopping for a wicker coffin and then made a miraculous recovery, who is now in the process of fulfilling her lifetime ambition and opening a deli in her neighbourhood in South East London, she is an inspiration.
And all those people in Haiti and Pakistan and other countries in the world facing challenges I can’t begin to imagine how I would deal with. My friends in Kenya who have gone through so much and yet still have so much dignity and are so brave and just get on with things and keep smiling.
Well I just think I need to get a grip really and celebrate all the good things in my life and start thinking about how I can reorganise things so that I don’t have to be a martyr to my job and stop defining myself by my career success or “failure.” Working 3 days a week is so far proving to be a lot more manageable and I am VERY thankful to be given the opportunity. BUT, I am still much more tired than I expected to be. I’m wondering if this may be something to do with the time of year. I don’t feel any more “down” so I don’t seem to fit the description of SAD that my lovely sister very kindly sent me, but I am definitely more tired again and this is exactly the time of year that my health completely crashed last year so I need to be mindful of that and careful not to let it happen again.
I don’t understand WHY the thyroid meds haven’t yet restored me to full health and vitality but I recognise that we can’t always understand everything in this life and that’s just the way it is. I will continue to try and reach that place again, keeping talking to my doctors and striving for the healthiest possible diet, supplement regime and lifestyle in general. I am going to try light therapy next (anyone got any experience of that you can share?) But I am also going to remember that this is just something that is happening, everyone’s life has difficulties, in the scheme of things, this is not such a massive cross to bear and I will do myself more favours by focussing on the positive, rather than dwelling on the negative.
Thank you so much for reading this. I'm so grateful for all the lovely comments I've had on here and elsewhere about this little blog. Let me know what you think ...about Soft Cell, fatigue, light boxes, how thyroid malfunction affects or doesn't affect your life, work life balance....any of it means the world when I get some kind of response to my ramblings.
love and light


  1. You may have a thyroid condition but you are blossoming as a writer. I am in awe of your eloquent prose and heartfelt description of your condition. All our love and blessings to you for a full recovery very, very soon. If it's of any consolation, this time of year always makes me feel very sluggish and prone to picking up bugs so I am sure this is the worst time and you will be feeling better very soon. Feel proud of the wisdom you can bring to your work and not the number of hours you put in. xxx

  2. haha...this just proves how young I am! I had to look up the song you mentioned, I had no idea what you were talking about!!

    One thing I have learnt from thyroid disease is, everything takes time. Give the meds time, Im sure once the levels are stabalised and they are at a level right for you, they will restore you to full health (or very very close to it).

    I have a tonne of stories on how thyroid misfunction has affected I wont bore you with all the details!!! hee hee!! But one thing I will say is all your posts seem to resonate with me quite well. It seems everything you write about (in regards to thyroid) I have felt.
    Take care...
    Nat :)

  3. OMG! Soft Cell? Takes me back to the disco days of the 80's Big hair, big shoulder pads...oh lordy, don't get me started! LOL
    Yes, life has a funny way of humbling us. I look back at those times and think now; 'Wow, if I could tell that young girl dancing what she was in for in the future with thyroid disease, I wonder if she would believe me or at least make the most of her days?' I don't think I would have believed the woman in her 40's that I was at 17 going to be a woman in her 40's struggling to just stay awake!

    Love reading your blog!

  4. It's a great song to sum up the feelings of long term illness, even if it has a bit more energy than the chronically ill have to offer! perhaps long term illness is a short cut to a deeper understandng forced on the sufferer since we no longer have access to more ephemeral diversions? who knows, not me, but I do think you conquered the world with socialism and hairspray back in the day, but only a very small part of it. However that's still better than

  5. :) thanks so much for those lovely comments!

    Zoe if I could write half as well as you can cook I would be very proud of myself indeed! thank you for your encouragement, it's much appreciated. I'm still on a sugar high from Saturday!

    Nat I am so happy to have introduced you to Soft Cell and that my experiences are resonating with you. I learn so much every time we are in touch, from your bravery and wisdom in the face of your own health challenges.

    Maria what a shame we were dancing on opposite sides of the planet, we would have had so much fun had our hairdos collided on a dancefloor somewhere circa 1986! must share more memories with you and celebrate what we had back then!

    Caroline I think you have a point, maybe long term illness is a way of forcing deeper understanding on us. Like Maria says, it's humbling, maybe that's no bad thing, when I think of what we got up with our conquering and general terrorising of anyone in our path, well it was fun, now we are in a different phase, learning all the time, and it's good to be able to laugh as well as sigh. xxx