* I've changed the blog address from www.sarahsworld.me back to the original (badly chosen, but I'm stuck with it) address of www.kiwikchat.blogspot.com .

This means that some links to older posts and old links from other sites don't work. :(

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Looking out for ME. The Break Up. Moving Home.

Sometimes you have to prioritise yourself and have a good hard look at what changes need to be made.   Simple advice but some that I had a hard time following.  Recently however life gave me the push I needed.

Some major life changes I've made in the last few weeks:

- I left my job due to ME/CFS
- My job was also my home, so I have moved back in with my parents.
- Did I mention moving back in with my parents
- Splitting up with my boyfriend of almost 7 years.  We lived and worked together 24/7 so it felt like twice as long!

I was very scared to make these changes and resisted them for a long time but in the end I had to look out for myself.  Even though it is hard to do this while sick, it was doubly important for my mental and physical health.   I believe that stress is a major negative for anyone with a chronic illness.

How these changes helped my health in immediately:

My boss has been really understanding about me/cfs but eventually it became obvious that I was unable to contribute and worse, that I had stopped getting better.   I thought I would feel 'cast adrift' and useless without work but instead of feeling lost, I felt relieved.  I was unaware of the tonnes of guilt I carried on a daily basis.  Guilt about lots of things; not being able to change the bedding, clean the fridge, do the lines, maintain a lookout, or cook dinner etc...  So having that pressure lifted was huge for my general well being.  

The second surprise was how splitting with my boyfriend felt so right.  I didn't want to hurt him and that held me back initially but when it's not right, it's not right.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, the relationship stress that had bogged me down is suddenly gone.   There is a lot I miss, but as cliche as this sounds, I hope we can be friends.

Moving back in with my parents wasn't something I was ever planning to do but has actually worked out really well, so far. 

Best things about moving home: (in no particular order)
- I have my own space in the form of a granny flat, which is absolutely huge compared to my old cabin onboard.  
- I have a wardrobe, yep a full size wardrobe just for me. 
- I can stack things when storing them, without worrying about them spontaneously falling and breaking, the house doesn't move.
- A queen sized bed to myself, which I can walk all the way around.
- Spending time with my parents and knowing that I will be around for their birthdays
- Mum making, yummy home cooked food specially for me and my fussy me/cfs diet.
- Dad helping me move in and totally getting my new energy limitations.
- Hanging out with my Bro who visits to keep me company when he can.
- Not missing birthdays or holidays!
- Lots of horizontal surfaces for crashing on.
- Reconnecting with old friends.
- I have a library card, and I intend to use it!
- Sitting on the beach watching surfers knowing I will get back out there one day.

So, now I am blogging from a comfy recliner chair in the living room in the comfort of my pj's and even though it is midday I feel zero stress.

Look out for yourselves, you owe it to your health!

What major changes have you made for yourself since getting ill?


  1. Good on you for being so brave to make those changes. It's hard, but in the end it's usually all worth it.

    I also had to make some major changes. I had to stop playing fieldhockey, I wasnt (and am still not) able to get my own place and I had to make huge changes in the way I studied. I now had to study from home, away from my buddies, it would takes ages and I became a complete zombie by doing so (it took so much mental energy). I was determined to graduate and I did. I took a month or 2 off and was determined to follow a next study (from home), but while my holiday continued, I started realising that slowly I didnt feel like a zombie anymore. I decided to take another 2 months off and at the end of those months I was able to take a walk every other day and to do some other minor activities. Nothing fancy for a healthy person, but huge for me. And I liked it! So I decided to concentrate on the 'physical' me for a while instead of the 'mental' me (and turn myself into a zombie again). I'm now 6 months on and like the fact of being able to do some little chores for my mum, to be able to make a 15min walk every other day and to be able to read (for fun!) again! I havent been to do those things for ages!

    So while I was first determind to do what society required me to do (school/study/graduate), I'm now determined to do what I want to do....so I can do what is best for me!

    Michelle (@Mies10)

  2. Good for you Michelle,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, it has helped me feel better about my decisions. I still find it hard, not being 'useful' to society. Small things like hanging out the washing or chopping veges seem to help a little.

    I finished high school by correspondence (not because of cfs) and I can totally relate to how isolating it feels studying at home. Combine that feeling with a double whammy of limited energy caused by me/cfs and I am impressed at how you managed to stick it so long.

    I'm glad to hear of your positive progress since starting a health break. It's so hard to make that decision and like you, I didn't do it until life pretty much forced it upon me. I think I will follow your lead in other ways too and try some walking, bit by bit. If only to get out of the house!

    Keep resting and healing.

    Take care
    Cheers K

  3. Ah! Such a lovely post, so pleased you are seeing the benefits of putting yourself first so soon xxx

  4. Thanks Kitty. It's still a daily health struggle, but I'm in a the best place I can be. I feel lucky everyday. Well that's not quite true I do have depressed days/moments but thats just another part of me/cfs. xoxo

  5. Oh brilliant post. I am at the stage where I will probably have to make the decision to give up my job along with the company car. My only concern is how I am going to cope financially as I do not have any family I can ask for help.

    It is a learning curve for me as I have always been, and had to be, very independent. Still managing to be as independent as I can with a little help on the side from my son and friends.

    Anyway nice to hear that I am not the only one out there who has to make these kind of decisions - helps to give me the strength to make these difficult choices.

    Many thanks xx

  6. Hi Violet Visionary,
    It's such a hard decision to make, and I really held out probably longer than I should have, I do believe that I will get better faster with rest. I am so lucky to have family to fall back on. I don't know where you are but maybe you could get government support. It might be better to be fired than quit, if you can arrange that. I used to be independent too, and will be again but in the meantime have learnt that it's okay to ask for help, again and again especially if you need it.
    Good luck with your decisions. xx

  7. wow, those changes are huge but good on you for doing them. In the long run they should definitely help you!

    Can sympathise with moving in with your folks, I did the same and it was tough. Also with the job...in the long term carrying on as normal can make it worse rather than better....

    I stopped working, spent most of my time resting and I feel like it helped a LOT so good luck and fingers crossed.

    thanks for visiting my blog, I'm really enjoying reading yours!


  8. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for reading my blog, I find yours very inspiring. :) I'm glad stopping working and focussing on resting helped you. I think I am already a little bit better. take care
    xx K