when your magic beans are missing

Chronic illness results in paradox - longing not to be alone but too exhausted to reach out; feeling isolated but then being drained by too much social activity. We - and it is 'we', for there are many of us - live in that difficult balance. It's a balance that even the most practised of us often lose, because although in adapting to our situation things can get easier, they never get easy. www.lucy-mills.com
Tulip bud frozen under snow and ice

“So, I am ill” – that was the first sentence of my last blog post and it irritates me that it is still true.  I crept back up, sort of, from the second virus, but not very far – consistent tiredness is plaguing my days.  And now I have a chesty-thing that seems to have lodged itself. Ot perhaps it has never unlodged; it is just becoming more noticeable.

I had intended to have some bright, compelling content on this blog, especially in the months following the publication of Undivided Heart  but the truth is I have barely had any strength for writing at all. I am managing my editing work and church roles (just) but my brain is too tired to put the mental boundaries in place so I find myself dealing with constant ‘leakage’ – thinking about the things I am supposed to be having time off from! – which doesn’t help preserve my energy.

I have been trying to get back into gentle reading although it is hard to focus. I have to give up and watch some TV – Once Upon A Time  on Netflix is about the level I can cope with at the moment, when my brain has turned to sludge!

Speaking of Netflix, I recently watched Unrest. I knew it would be a ‘hard watch’ – focusing on ME and its impact on those who have it as a constant in their lives – especially those who have it in its most severe form. Although not in that ‘severe’ category, the touchstones are close enough for me to feel very raw on viewing it – a condition that is in so many ways a thief of life.

I wait for wellness, but I don’t know how long that wait will be.  And when I say ‘wellness’ I am thinking of my previous baseline of health which, of course, is much lower than someone who is generally healthy and without a chronic illness. My normal is not the same as theirs, but I would like at least to get back to my normal; going downhill is disheartening.

Chronic illness results in paradox – longing not to be alone but too exhausted to reach out; feeling isolated but then being drained by too much social activity. We – and it is ‘we’, for there are many of us – live in that difficult balance. It’s a balance that even the most practised of us often lose, because although in adapting to our situation things can get easier, they never get easy.

I wanted to record some discussion videos for my book; I had good ideas and at least a few magic beans of enthusiasm; but someone has stolen my magic beans (oh dear, I really am watching too much Once Upon A Time!).

If you have read the book, and feel inclined, it would delight me if you were able to write a review on one of the online retail sites, etc., as I am struggling to do any kind of promotion myself and it is still in that all important first six months. I feel embarrassed asking, but asking for help – in whatever form – is something that becomes necessary when your magic beans are missing.  THANK YOU to those who have supported me already in this way – and others – in this journey.

I have ideas but they are currently buried under a rather heavy blanket of fatigue. I hope that, like the daffodils emerging undaunted from under our recent heavy snow, they will finally be able to grow.

By Lucy Hannah Mills

Lucy is a writer and artist. She is author of Forgetful Heart and Undivided Heart - published by DLT books (UK) and Augsberg Books (US/Canada). She is a mixed media artist with a particular interest in acrylics and feltmaking.

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