Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

Chasing dreams, because I can

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Losing the me

Posted by Oli on Friday 5th October, 2007

So it’s been a rough week.  My mood over the last five or six days has been up and down more times than Billie Piper’s trousers in an episode of Diary of a Call Girl (which, by the way, is so atrocious I beg none of you to waste 30 minutes of your preciously short lives giving it your attention).

It’s a struggle to keep yourself moving forward when you don’t know how you’re going to feel, physically, mentally or emotionally, from one moment to the next.  Right now, for instance, I’m feel strong, confident and happy.  Had I written this earlier this afternoon, it would have been a completely different story.

Therein lies the problem, really – how do you deal with a physical and emotional state that’s ever-changing from hour-to-hour?

If I was feeling permanently down or upset, it would give me something to focus on, something to seek to improve or seek help with.  If I felt permanently tired and exhausted, or chesty and rubbish, I could get on the phone to my team in Oxford and get them on the case.  But I don’t feel permanently anything, other than permanently changeable.

The plus side is, of course, that with all the downs come all the ups.  I know that when I’m feeling miserable, I’m more than likely only a couple of hours away from feeling OK again and when I’m feeling chesty, I’m only a physio session and a nebuliser away from being comfortable enough to make a cup of tea.

It’s the endlessness of it that’s starting to wear thin, though – the relentless ride through peak and trough which starts to grind away at the inner reserves one builds up over time to deal with the regular lifts and dips of life.

I feel like I’m slowly losing a sense of “me” – like I’m losing touch with the essence of who I am because I’m being subsumed by a constant need to “cope”, to get by, moment-to-moment from each new challenge to the next.  I don’t have room to let myself breathe (no pun intended), to stop and just plateau.

I don’t know if maybe there’s a sense of a time-pressure that still hangs over me, like I need to make the most of things while I can in case the day never comes when I get carted off to theatre for my new lungs and new life.  Since, physically, I’m seeming to be able to support myself in doing a little bit more at the moment, is the frustration coming from not being able to do quite enough to satisfy myself that I’m making the most of things.

If I’m honest, I don’t think that’s true at all, but there’s so much going on at the moment that I’m not entirely sure what’s right, what’s wrong, what’s real and what’s imagined.  I can’t put my finger on anything that’s making things better or worse and I can’t identify what it is I need to do to stop these endless fluctuations of mood and manner.

I suppose, though, that no one does.  I’d be a rather remarkable person if I knew to solution to all of my problems.  Finding the way out of the mind’s maze is the journey that makes the end all the more valuable.  But when you’re staring at a hedge with no sense of direction, it’s not much comfort to know it’s a shrubbery for learning.


8 Responses to “Losing the me”

  1. Rob said

    Oli we know who the real you is and so does Livi, you were the first on her long list of “goodnights” and the last as well. Just by reading to her on your visit made her day and she wouldn’t stop talking about the “stories” and Uncle Oli when I got home from work. Don’t underestimate your strengths and abilities as more people than you could ever imagine take strength from what you achieve.
    PS – Still waiting for the cinema invite and so is Livi!!!

  2. Jac said

    I understand what you mean about not having the chance to just plateau and get used to a particular state of emotional or physical health. I think that is actually the worst part about this waiting game. Never knowing from one day to the next (or one hour to the next)how you will be feeling and what you can do, is immensely unsettling and its near impossible to stay focussed with the goal posts constantly moving! I don’t have any great advice, other than just to allow yourself to keep doing what you are doing – riding out the downs, and enjoying the ups.
    Jac x

  3. Toria said

    Have you tried talking to Christine/Christina recently? I know she’s helped in the past.

    It’s a tough situation because like you say it’s as much the unpredictability as it is feeling rough and low.

    I guess the obvious thing to say is to focus on the good hours, and ride out the harder ones, though in reality it’s not that easy.

    Smile through it darling, you’ll get there in the end xx

  4. Emily said

    This is the really crap part of the journey, you are so so close, but because there is no promise, no fixed date, you feel a million miles away.

    The day of my call I was feeling terribly poorly, lounging on the sofa, with a friend looking after me. I felt absolutely no closer, no inkling, nothing.

    This is about the only positive element I can find out of the uncertainty of your situation, that when the call comes, it is out of nowhere, a total unexpected turn.

    Thinking of you chuck, it’s damn hard work, but you can do it xx

  5. Sandy Dunfey said

    Sorry to hear that tour up and down alot at the mo Oli…. But your strong minded and try focusing on the ups even though its tough during the downs…
    Keep Trucking x

  6. suzie said

    All behind you here Oli hang on in there chuck. Sending the old message of much love and many positive vibes and meaning it totally.


  7. elaine said

    the pinultimate (ooh check out my big word! knew that english A level was good for something) paragraph sums up pretty much how i feel right now too…obviously from a completely different perspective..but mentally that’s about spot on for me…i think i might be imagining half my life at the moment..and just not doing a very good job of it..

    But still, that’s no way to be thinking now is here’s to onwards and upwards..(although not literally, i haven’t grown in years..)

    i’m not sure if i wrote this for your benefit or mine, either way, i hope things start looking up a bit for you soon!

  8. elaine said

    also…here’s to finding the you VERY soon, lots of people are rather fond of that you…

    that was marginally better worded…

    perhaps not

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