‘I understand my illness is one of thousands of illnesses which cannot be seen, therefore not many people understand.’
As someone with an illness which isn’t visible on first glance, I struggle in many ways. I feel like I have to justify myself on occasion, to strangers in particular. Mentally I find it hard to adapt to this new pace of life now I have retired due to ill health. I find it lonely, as friends of the same age are at work during the day, so I find it a struggle to keep my self upbeat and not isolate myself.
I visit family to help me cope with this and have taken up a hobby. During the first week or so of ‘retirement’ I found it fun to be able to drop my son at school, then go home and watch the previous evening’s soap. However, eighteen months down the line, the shine has worn off – not that I don’t still keep up to date with the soaps!
I struggle with the physical limitations of my illness as I was once quite an active person, both in the sense of fitness and carrying out household chores. Now my husband does 90% of household chores, I feel a great sense of guilt. I know my illness affects my family and again this makes me feel guilty. I cannot take my son to the park on a regular basis, or teach him to ride his bike. Even at a young age he has already had to adapt to having a mummy who needs his help, and the thought of him having to care for me when he gets older weighs heavy on my mind.
‘Mentally I find it hard to adapt to this new pace of life now I have retired due to ill health.’
I understand my illness is one of thousands of illnesses which cannot be seen, therefore not many people understand. I feel sympathy for anyone else’s suffering, and always remind myself that somewhere in the world there is someone much worse off than I am. Whilst I’m limited, I’m grateful I still carry on, even if this is not how I imagined my life would pan out. I still believe life is for living and intend to until my number is called.