This week’s post follows from a very interesting half hour or so on Twitter last week. I was watching one of my ‘such fun‘ favourite Miranda Hart’s videos and she struck my heart as she spoke at length and very sincerely of her support for people with chronic illnesses. She’s such a talented lady and she has such a large heart when she speaks in her “charming ramblings” or as she calls it, her “Chambling“.
She spoke of the current situation of course (which seems to overtake every single second of our days at the moment) but also of her life and how she had been lucky to follow her heart in her career.
It struck me because I had been lucky enough in my own life to follow my heart – twice. Firstly with nursing which I’d wanted to do since I was a little girl and when that came to an end, with teaching. (even though teaching kinda fell into my lap as a suggestion from my then husband to take it up to help us with the childcare 🥴 )
However my teaching career came to be, it soon became a career that I adored. Helping young adults reach the end of their school days with a positive experience and as much of their potential possible reached, was a true honour and and privilege. I spent 15 years teaching them, listening to them, advising them and counselling them. I’ve made good friends in my nursing time and in all of the schools I’ve taught in and am still in contact with many of the pupils I was lucky enough to meet.
So even though the end of my teaching career came as a complete shock and was heartbreaking, at least I had had two careers that I loved – I was able to follow my heart. As the poet Mary Oliver said in her poem “The Summer Day”,
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
“With your one wild and precious life”
I was lucky; I could do what I’d planned to do with my “one and precious life“.
But now I’m part of the chronic illness and disability brigade; we live our lives quietly and often behind closed doors. And often are unable to follow our hearts or our plan for our precious lives.
And in this very difficult time, for many chronically ill and disabled people, this lockdown is no different than our normal lives.
So what is our normal?
Not being able to leave our homes?
Not seeing friends or family?
Not having any transport available to us?
Not being able to exercise?
Not being able to get to the shops or get an online slot?
All of these are normal to us. There’s no ‘exit strategy’ or end time; this is reality for many, week in, week out, for months, years or even forever?
This is where online forums, chats etc are so important. Places where we can interact with each other and find fellow sufferers with whom we can empathise, sympathise and find support.
Eventually, the Government lockdown will end, things will return to normal and all, hopefully will be well. But for chronically ill people, the raising of lockdown won’t make much of a difference.
As Miranda said in her video…..
“People are now maybe going to realise that for people with chronic conditions and illnesses, that this is what classes as ‘normal life’ and that when the Coronavirus terror declines and fades, we will carry on being isolated and housebound.
There’s disappointments and frustrations around every corner, there’s no end date to chronic illness, it’s an endless battle which never ends?”
God, she’s brilliant isn’t she…….!! 😆👏💕🌈