18 May 2017

May Days

Canopy of green leaves

It's been over a month since I last posted on The Secret Life of Maggie May. 

A lot has happened since then - Easter, and an amazing trip to Amsterdam, but also Mr Maggie May and I were struck down by a horrible bug that wiped us out for a good week each.

What else? Well, in all honesty, I've been feeling pretty miserable.

In the past I have written some fairly frank truths on The Secret Life of Maggie May: namely my denial over my diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, and my struggle with subsequent flare ups. Although sharing these stories can make me feel a little embarrassed {ashamed, even} I find that filling my online pages with these words can be very cathartic - and so I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to do it again.

Low mood is a strange thing. It creeps up on you very gradually, so that you hardly notice, and then bam. You're suddenly hit with a rush of negative emotions, which can be overwhelming if you're also battling with other feelings such as tiredness, stress or, ahem, a viral illness. You can't quite remember the things which usually make you happy, and if you do, you struggle to remember why. All of your thoughts are shrouded with a sense of bleakness, like they're having to push their way through a thick black fog in your brain. The world takes on a different appearance to normal; colours seem less vibrant, and your eyes pick up details which you'd never noticed before - dust motes drifting in the air, or the stitch pattern on your bedroom curtains. Why? I don't know.

You feel an overriding sense of guilt. You know that you're being unreasonable, grumpy and difficult to live with. You know that you're carrying with you a palpable sense of misery, and that it must be horrible for the people around you. You feel like you need to explain yourself, but you can't. So you just carry on.

You try to be positive, and remind yourself that things will get better. But what if they don't? Yes, every other time you've managed to pick yourself up again and rid yourself of the black dog. But what if this time, you can't? What if you're going to feel like this for the rest of your life? How will you cope?

You feel flat. You can't be bothered to do anything - and so you don't. Wake up, eat, sleep, repeat. You then hate yourself that little bit more, as you sadly watch your lazy self from afar, unable to do anything about it.

You wonder whether you should seek help. Should I speak to someone about this? No, it's too embarrassing. Do I need help? What can anyone do? There's nothing wrong with you. It'll pass. But will it?

One day, you feel better. You wake up and think 'Oh! It's gone. Great!' And then, you make a simple mistake - the sort of error we all make several times in any one normal day - and the clouds which you'd thought had cleared to show bright skies suddenly come crashing down like thunder all at once. You're in a worse state than you were before, because you thought you'd cracked it; made it through this dreadful episode. But no. It was just a short interval.

Will it ever pass?

These words may sound extremely dramatic to you, and I'm sorry if they do. You may read this and see nothing familiar, understand none of what I'm describing.

Or you may be nodding in agreement to every single statement.

I will get better this time. Of course I will. I already am getting better, slowly but surely  - and I know this for two reasons. Firstly, because I just typed those two sentences in bold. And secondly, because I finally got up from the sofa to write this post.

I promise to be cheerier next time I post. I have such high hopes and aspirations for The Secret Life of Maggie May - I want it to flourish and be filled to the brim with lovely stories about my life and adventures. I want to write tales of my exciting trips {I can't wait to talk about Amsterdam} and share with you all my hopes and dreams. But for this to be a true reflection of me, I need to share the fears as well.

Time for Maggie May to be a little less secret.

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