I found some old photographs the other day, pre illness. In some of them I’m sitting in a festival field with purple hair and a paper cup of beer in my hand surrounded by crowds. I have a big smile on my face. I post them onto Facebook and someone remarks ‘you look so happy’.
That got me thinking, yes of course I am unhappy with my illness but I hadn’t really realised the extent of how much it showed in my face and how my eyes now didn’t sparkle and my smiles were much more muted. I don’t set out to look unhappy and in fact I don’t go around feeling miserable, I think I’ve just fogotten what it is like to be SO happy. To be with friends, enjoying myself with beer and music, which of course never happens anymore.
It got me thinking about Richard and how his happiness must have been affected, he was sitting in that festival field too, smiling. He doesn’t go to festival anymore, and he isn’t ill. he stays with me….
I guess our barometer of feelings is based on a sliding scale and that sliding scale adjusts…..
I don’t feel particularly unhappy but maybe I’ve forgotten what happiness feels like.
It had me in tears. I had such a similar experience recently. I scanned all of my old photographs a couple of years ago. Then last year uploaded some to Facebook. The husband of a friend of mine was obviously looking through them. I've known him about a year, met him properly just the once. He sent me a private message saying simply 'What happened to you?'. Asking what he meant he asked me why I used to look so full of life, even despite being depressed, but in my more recent photos and when he met me that spark is gone.
That's M.E.. Unfortunately that's what it does to us. 'What happened to you?' is a question that will remain with me for some time to come.