Back in the 1950’s the strength of lasers was measured in gillettes, based on how many razor blades they could penetrate. On Friday last an OAP nun from Ireland completed a skydive to raise funds for Aware (a voluntary organisation founded to assist those directly affected by the illness of Depression) but she had also gone diving on the Great Barrier Reef 4 or 5 years ago.
Every fibromyalgia fighter has a story about it interfering with your memory and cognitive skills. I’ve said it before in this blog that I once watched a match and later that day had no idea whatsoever what the score had been. As a result what lodges in my brain throughout the week can be hit and miss. Unfortunately it is impossible to choose which pieces of information I retain and which pieces are lost to the wind.
But back to measuring lasers. I follow OMG Facts on Twitter and whether all their facts are 100% accurate or not doesn’t bother me, most of them are fairly entertaining. Somehow the tweet about laser measurement stuck in my head and I couldn’t shake it. It set up basecamp beside the memory of Manchester United’s team-sheet from the 1994 FA Cup Final. As I said we can’t choose which things we remember.
I saw the tweet about the lasers on Tuesday and I was wondering why I had retained that information. Then on Friday when I heard about the flying nun raising funds for Aware my ongoing battle with depression meant I took a big interest in the story. Somehow yesterday, given a little time to relax, I managed to draw a line between these two disparate stories but not before linking a story from my own life to them.
During last week I did a big grocery shop but getting the food from the boot of my car inside can take plenty of trips. The last thing left in my boot was a 6-pack of 2 litre bottles of water. I was hot, sweaty, exhausted and a little dizzy when I got back to the car so I opened one of the bottles and sat sipping that while I got my breath back.
My reverie was interrupted by a young lad playing football on the green with his mates. He had seen the jersey I was wearing and asked who the team was and did I play for them. I told him it was the jersey I’d worn for my schoolboy team but that I didn’t play anymore. Without missing a beat he asked me if I wanted to join them for a match on the green. I would’ve loved nothing more but I was still a bit dizzy and I knew my joints and muscles wouldn’t allow me to join in so I just told him the teams had even numbers already and I didn’t want to mess that up.
So how do I link these stories?
Not being able to join in with the game of football annoyed me and continued to race around my brain. Slowly but surely through the latter part of this week it began to upset me more and more. It was a simple situation but it only served to remind me of all the things I’ve had to give up since my fibromyalgia diagnosis.
You see for me the line between good mental health and despair is as fine as a razor blade. A natural question of a young lad asking an older footballer if he wanted to join in revealed every other struggle and battle I go through each day. Once that gap is opened, even if it’s as fine as a razor blade, every insecurity and loss piles through and suddenly I’m distraught.
Thankfully for me though, a flying nun skydived in to my week and offered me some perspective. Yes I’m not feeling well this weekend but I’m not alone. Listening to her talk about the great, and vitally important work, done by Aware encouraged me to share my story. It just happened to be my parents on Friday night but everyone in my support network has at one point or another offered an ear for my troubles. I told my parents what had happened with the football game, I told them how lost and down I felt and I had a good cry for myself.
So I’ll continue to take my medications, I’ll try to remember to talk through my issues and build my defences so that such a relatively small incident doesn’t have me crying to my folks on the couch. That’s the plan but f**k it, if I need help I’ll be asking for it. I’m not too proud to say I get overwhelmed at times but similarly, I’m learning not to be too proud to ask for help.