Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sense and Sensibility

According to English 306

Sense is "possessing judgement and intelligence" whilst sensibility is "capacity for refined emotional response to feelings and experiences, involving delicate sensitivity to moral and aesthetic issues"

I am not that familiar with the text of the book, but when reading about it this quote jumped out at me;

“My illness has made me think… I considered the past; I saw in my own behaviour since the beginning of our acquaintance with [Willoughby] last autumn, nothing but a series of imprudence towards myself, and want of kindness to others. …My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself, by such negligence of my own health”.

and another version of it;

"My illness, I well knew, had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, it would have been self-destruction.” 

I know that I run myself into the ground most days instead of taking care of myself and being sensible about what I can and can't do and putting the needs of others before my own.  I always worry about what other people will think of me and what other people need from me, but then complain about feeling so ill, but having no choice but to carry on.  At the same time I can't assess everything before I do  it and work out what things are best use of my limited abilities.  Then how am I supposed to deal with things that only I am around to do or have the time to do, but not the energy or ability?

 I should know after 20 years of being ill how I react to things and that I should be more sensible.  To anyone else I will say rest, forget about things, your health is more important etc, very sensible, but why can't I say things like that to myself.  Nor is it helped that we seem to live in a culture where people have to do as much as possible and juggle many responsibilities and leave little time for rest and relaxation.  Which is ok for a fit and healthy person, but even they need a break sometime, but that is acceptable as they are so busy and productive.

How  can I do the sensible thing, whilst meeting my own needs and other people's needs?

Sensibility can be defined as; 
"Mental or emotional responsiveness, especially in being offended or in having one's feelings hurt" (Free dictionary) is often the way we react to what people think or say about us .

In ME many of our senses seem to be hyper sensitive and I think our emotions often are too and we become very sensitive to this that are said and often take things the wrong way and are very sensitive to things happening around easily being upset or distracted especially by emotional issues even if they don't affect us directly.  The "acute capacity to respond to blame or praise." (free dictionary) or "of being readily affected by external influences" (free dictionary) which makes every day life quite draining.

These definitions of shyness, also in the novel, I can relate to;

"I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness."

"Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other.” 

Finally this quote;

"It is not what we think or feel that makes us who we are. It is what we do. Or fail to do...” 

I am not sure I completely agree with this as what we think and feel does shape who we are and how we behave, but other people will only notice what we do or don't do and judge us by that without knowing anything about us or what we think, feel or experience.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I have seen a few interesting ME theories this week and can relate to many of the things mentioned, they can be found on the following links

It remains to be seen if anything comes of the research, but they do sound interesting and along the right lines.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pride and Prejudice Pt2

Well it's been a stressful weekend with awful events happening affecting people close to me and although I am not directly involved or affected it has been very distressing and makes me feel so helpless and annoyed with myself for complaining about my own issues which seem quite trivial in comparison.  It also makes me push myself to do more as I feel I have nothing to complain about.  I know I am not well and need to rest, but when I try I can't settle it's a bit of a nightmare really, but I just have to do what I can.

I feel guilty as I want to do something for myself, but because of all the things happening and priorities changing I am not able to.  It was quilting at the weekend and I really wanted to go, but there were no places, and as it happened I probably wouldn't have been up to it so I ended up stuck at home again.  Tomorrow night I was booked to do a bath bomb making class with Emily, I knew it would be difficult, but really wanted to do it, but just today it got cancelled.  It was a relief and a frustration as I know I won't get another chance at it.  Then I beat myself up for being selfish when other people are suffering much more.

We are still trying to get Emily's new room finished off, it is a struggle for me as it is up two flights of stairs I can only go up if I rest after one flight and have to limit how many times I do go up there.  It is all taking shape and we should be happy with what we have done and be proud of it, but I feel more embarrassed and don't want people to think we are showing off or spoiling Emily.  Most of the work has been done by other people so is not ours to be proud of except that we enabled it and paid for it of course (more embarrassment).  Now it's down to us to get things in place and the rest of the house back to normal.  I am ashamed that I can't get more done and that it is taking so long instead of being proud of the bits I do manage to get done or persuade Rob to get done, embarrassing nagging wife!

As many of you know I dabble in crafty projects, but never think my things are good enough or have any pride in what I make and it takes away the pleasure in what I do.  I also feel guilty for doing something I enjoy when there are important things to be done or other peoples needs to be met.  I don't want people to think I sit around having fun all day.  A lot of the time I struggle to do anything because of pain, dizziness and cognitive problems.  I started my blog to have a record of what I make, so I can see what I do achieve and also to make notes about where I got things from and how I made them and to share ideas, not to show off.  My makes are usually quite simple as I like simple things and they are easier for me to concentrate on anything complicated or fiddly fries my brain!  But then I see other people's makes or magazines and I think my stuff is so basic and too simple for anyone to like it, then I get put off and make less.

I feel like I have to swallow my pride so much as I have help in the house and need a lot of help from Rob for every day life to tick over.  It should be me who does those things, that is what Mum's do, don't they?

They say pride comes before a fall according to English

 "Possible interpretation: If we are too proud about ourselves or something, we will probably meet with failure or disaster. When we are too self-important or conceited, something is sure to happen to make us look foolish.
Note: pride (noun) = an excessively high opinion of oneself or one's importance | A variation of this proverb is: "Pride goes before a fall."
Origin: This proverb is a contraction (some would say misquotation) from the Bible (Proverbs 16:18): "Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.""

What about those of us who are not self important or conceited, but yet still end up looking very foolish?  Then our pride (dignity) and self esteem is dented even more.  

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”   ( Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam)  This word pride is very confusing.

You should take pride in your appearance and you're house etc, but too much is showing off, not enough and you are thought not to care.  Is there a right and wrong, how do we find the balance?  This seems to be a question that I come across in so many situations.  How do I do my best to create the right appearance and do the right thing without showing off, or appearing not to care or worrying or doing too much, too little etc, etc. whilst keeping within my limited energy.  I never wear make up and can't do my hair for myself, I wear comfy warm clothes and shoes from necessity not because I don't care.  I often hate the way I look or the state my house is in and other such things, but we can't always keep up appearances.  For those who are old enough to remember the programme I feel more like Daisy than Rose or Hyacinth!!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Pride and Prejudice Part 1

No, I am not on a trip to the library, but as usual trying to juggle everyday life and illness.

The book title kept popping into my head, I think because of the daily internal arguments over what I should be doing, could be doing, can do, can't do and what is best for me and other people all of which conflict making choices impossible.  There is no concrete right and wrong but for each choice there is a consequence for my health or my conscience.

I have just been looking at definitions of pride. How can one word mean so many things, many of which conflict?!  How can the same word mean "Consciousness of one’s own dignity." For example; he swallowed his pride and asked for help" or  "but, have you ever had anyone try to make a mockery of you, try to take away your dignity, your pride, your own self-worth?"  Whilst at the same time it can mean "The quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance: for example "The ancient Greeks had a word for it - hubris which means excessive pride, arrogance." or "I had committed the cardinal sin of pride and this was my punishment."  Quotes from Oxford dictionaries.

Often we say we have our pride meaning our dignity as we are ashamed of our needs and feel that people will be prejudiced against us.  Prejudice being; "Preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience": for example "Some prejudices (preconceived opinions of an individual based on opinions about the many) have names such as racism, sexism, or ageism." (Oxford Dictionaries)

Why for example am I sitting here typing a blog when I feel really ill and know it is not good for me? Partly because I hate not doing something and I am very limited at the moment to what I can do, but mainly because I don't want to be thought lazy!  Who is going to think I am lazy?  There is only my daughter here and she is happily playing on the computer and for once not making any demands on me.  There is the guilt that I have been at home all day when my daughter and husband have been at school, and work and working hard and my husband is not yet home from his 12 hour day and his train is running late, but he is probably sat doing nothing on the train or even asleep, except when he gets texts from me!  And I feel like I have to go and tidy up the kitchen following mine and Emily's tea which was of the throw in the oven variety because Rob wasn't here to cook and I can't expect him to clear up a mess he didn't make even though it has cost me dear to make the simple meal.

It's not the sort of puffed up pride that I think I am too good and can't let other people do things, it's the shame of what I can't do and the shame of asking for help the need to keep my dignity intact sort of pride.

There is a lot of prejudice against people with ME, they are considered lazy or making up the illness and afraid to try things.  So how are we lazy when the simplest of tasks can make us ill, but we are too ashamed to be seen as lazy or making it up so we try so hard only to be knocked back and made more ill.  We are trying to save our pride.  On the other hand if we accept our limitations and ask for help or claim to be disabled then we get the prejudiced view that we are not disabled or that somehow disabled people are lesser beings, so either way we can't win.

I am so ashamed when I take my daughter to and from school that I have to be allowed to park in the school car park instead of being proud of the fact that I do take her to school myself, but that's mainly because I am too proud to ask for help, confused? Yes me too!  Today took another blow to my pride and had to use my walking stick even for the short distance from car to classroom because I could hardly walk and was feeling really dizzy, but I only gave in after quite a long argument with myself thinking that people would think badly of me or think I was looking for attention or sympathy.  In reality people probably didn't even notice, but I felt ashamed and useless whilst I should have been proud of myself for my achievement or was I just too proud to ask for help when I needed it?

My other issue is my hearing loss and the fact that I have hearing aids.  I won't admit that I can't hear or explain to people that I need them to speak clearer or speak up, I just let myself look stupid or ignorant which is not very dignified and does little to save my pride and I end up avoiding situations or conversations which also makes me look ignorant.  I am sure that it would be much more dignified to admit the problem, but then people won't talk to me because I can't hear or they will treat me like I am stupid, again it's a no win situation for me.

Having a blue badge allows me a little bit of pride and dignity in that I can collect my own prescription or park near the entrance to a small shop or the library.  Then my pride is shattered by those who don't think I should have one as I can walk a little and I become ashamed of my need and my pride in doing something for myself is taken away and replaced by guilt.  Take my blue badge away and have lost my small amount of dignity and pride in the small tasks because I wouldn't be able to do then any more.  Being unable to do these things would make me ashamed and guilty as I would have to swallow my pride and ask for help and would get the prejudice label of being lazy.

Well I do need to swallow my pride now and admit that I feel really tired, sick, dizzy and in pain and accept that I need to sit and do nothing or go to bed.

Watch out for Pride and Prejudice Pt 2 and also Sense and Sensibility which are currently spinning around in my head waiting until I can get them down on my blog!

As I am currently away from Facebook, where I share and promote my blog, please could you share this blog if you have found it interesting or useful.  Many thanks

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Facebook withdrawal!

Well I am on day 7 without Facebook as my my Give It Uptober.  I don't miss it except for something to keep me occupied as I have a tendency to overdo it if not distracted by Facebook as I need to be doing something.  It is a bit weird not knowing what people are doing and not telling people what I have been doing, but it is all quite pointless and a waste of time and precious energy.  I also share my blog posts on Facebook, so not sure how many people will see this one.

Last night a friend messaged me to ask why I was on Facebook, I wasn't, but due to having the messages come into my phone, if I am using my phone I appear as available on Facebook.  Rob thinks he has sorted it and I haven't been cheating!  Facebook emailed me to say I have 5 messages, but I have no idea who they are from, I don't normally get many messages, wonder if some people are trying to catch me out?!  I am wondering whether to disable my account, but to do that I have to go into Facebook!

I am still spending too much time online, looking at news which is usually depressing and scrolling through Pinterest, which I don't normally do a lot. I have pinned a lot of nice clothes and recipes, but I know I won't get the clothes or use the recipes, so yet another waste of time. I have been looking for Christmas present ideas, but have no idea what to get for anyone.

I have been trying to do some craft bits, but by the time I get things out and have run out of energy or inspiration or can't concentrate properly.  As usual I have lots of ideas and not enough time and energy or I lose confidence and don't think things will be good enough so avoid doing them.

There is a lot of sorting out to do in the house now that building and decorating etc is finished.  It is hard work though and I can only do small amounts and it's a long way up 2 flights of stairs especially as 1 flight is bad enough, so I have to limit how much I go up there and have to have a rest halfway!!  It makes me feel so useless.  The room itself is great, but Emily hasn't fully moved in yet.  We need to crack on to get things sorted out so we can see what we have and get our stuff back from storage which is costing money.  I am so ashamed of how much stuff we have and much of it doesn't get used.  There is so much craft stuff and books it's embarrassing and it's no wonder I feel overwhelmed and can never decide what to do.

I was thinking about all the stuff and about Christmas.  As I said I have no idea what to get for people and whilst there are always things I would like, much of it seems pretty pointless; shoes, clothes, craft stuff and books are lovely to receive but rarely get used and have to be kept somewhere.

Well time to go, getting quite dizzy and tired, I had little sleep due to Emily being upset last night and sleeping in with me and because I have been doing too much.  It sounds mad saying I have done too much when it feels like nothing ever gets done and there is so much that needs sorting out.  I am also waiting for the Audiologist to come and adjust my hearing aids, I had them turned up at the weekend, but they are too loud and that is making me dizzy too, but if they get turned down I can't hear speech, it's rather complicated and not much fun having them set up and adjusted, it makes me very tired and dizzy and makes my Tinnitus much worse and then I have no idea what I can hear and what I can't hear!!

As I am currently away from Facebook, where I share and promote my blog, please could you share this blog if you have found it interesting or useful.  Many thanks