A jealous person is a horrible person, right?! 

A jealous person is a horrible person, right?! 

I’m a jealous wife. I’m a jealous friend. I’m jealous of the stranger on the street, the put together mums on the school run, and the frantic ones too. Im jealous of stay at home mums, I’m jealous of working mums. I’m jealous of my hairdresser, the lady in the fish and chip shop and the garbage man. In all honesty I’m jealous of pretty much anyone, well no, not anyone. I’m jealous of the healthy. I’m jealous of the able. I’m jealous of those seemingly better equipped to cope with chronic illness or disability than me. 

To admit to being jealous is a scary thing for me to do. People assume that if you’re jealous of someone you automatically harbour resentment for them. You wish them to fail, be ‘brought down a peg or two’, for them to be miserable. A jealous person is a horrible person, right?  For me I hope, that is not the case. That’s not how I roll. 

Just because I’m jealous of you doesn’t mean I wish bad things upon you. Honestly I am the biggest cheerleader when my friends and family achieve something, I’m always incredibly proud. I just wish I was able to live like ‘normal people’ do. 

It’s hard not to hate yourself when you have a trickle of jealousy running through every adult relationship you hold. Particularly on days that trickle becomes a raging torrent, sweeping away your sensibilities and spewing forth over whomever unwittingly triggered it. Usually this happens on a hard day, a day full of pain and exhaustion, but that’s no excuse. 

I think I find dealing with the jealousy I hold towards my husband the hardest to deal with. My husband is my carer. He does so much for me, and our children. To the point he’s given up work to keep me safe and as well as possible, losing his social life somewhere along the way too. So what do I have to be jealous of? Well, I will tell you…

I’m jealous of the fact he is the main carer now, not just of the kids but of me too. I’m jealous that he can get up on a morning and function, he can do the school run and shopping and anything else needed. I’m jealous that he can run around with our children and make them squeal with sheer delight. I’m jealous that I’m often stuck in my bed and missing the children growing up whilst he’s in the thick of it. I could go on, but you get the idea. What makes things worse is on top of the jealousy, there’s the thought that to be jealous of someone who does so much for you, you MUST be a bad person. 

So I’m letting it go. Not the jealousy, I know from years of experience (and counselling) that whilst ever I’m this ill jealousy will factor in my life. I’m giving up feeling bad about it. 

My jealousy is my own. It’s my cross to bare. I’ve come to realise I’m not jealous so much of what you can do, more because of what I can’t. If I have to choose, I would rather deal with feelings of jealousy than feelings of self loathing. I’ve been there, it’s no fun. So I’ve accepted my jealousy and I’m not going to feel bad over it. As long as it remains a trickle most of the time, and I can still live and be happy for those around me, then I can live with that. On those bad days, well I’ll do my best and I’m not above apologising if I’m in the wrong. As for my husband, he knows me well enough to realise how much I truly love and appreciate him. 

Besides, whilst ever I’m jealous I have the extra impetus to keep trying. Pushing forward. Moving on. Living MY life to the best of my ability. 

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Where’s my spoons?!

Where’s my spoons?!

Many people with disabilities which affect evergy levels have adopted the Spoon Theory as their mantra. Indeed when I first read it the words they struck a chord with me. So much so I posted them on social media and asked friends and family to take a look. I wanted them to better understand me. That may have been a mistake. You see, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Spoon Theory doesn’t fit my life. 

Firstly, for those not in the know I shall give a brief description. The Spoon Theory is a concept whereby energy is equated to spoons. Basically as a chronically ill person I would have a finite amount of spoons per day. Each activity I do would remove some spoons until eventually I had none left. The point of it is that we don’t have endless reserves of energy/spoons. 

This is very very true. In basic terms the Spoon Theory is an excellent way of describing life with a chronic condition. However I find I just can’t embrace it. 

One reason is on a given day I have no clue how many spoons I will have any given day. For me there is no set amount to wake up with. I cannot bank on having six or twelve or even one spoon. The theory states that going over your energy reserves on Monday, will take away from Tuesday. This is certainly true. But I can have a completely restfull day, and still have nothing in the tank for the next day. Until I open my eyes and take that first wakeful breath, I have no idea what kind of day it will be. Even then, I can never be sure. 


Often I wake in a morning and think ‘Yes! Today is a good day!’. Then, within hours, or even minutes, the tides have turned. Maybe my spoons are ninjas? Maybe the borrowers have been rifling through my stash? Whatever it is, I can go from having just enough energy to less than zero quicker than a scrambling fighter jet. Sometimes it’s due to a weather change, sometimes it’s stress. Often I have no clue whatsoever what’s happened. 

On top of this. The amount of energy activities take changes on a day to day basis. I cannot plan my day around how much energy things will take from me. Because I do not know. A shower may be doable on Monday. On Wednesday it may feel like bricks are pummelling me rather than water. My joints may feel stiff and rusty. Everything could take ten times more energy. I cannot count on being able to do tomorrow what I managed to day. 

Finally there’s another complicating factor. Pain. Let me tell you now, you can have all the energy in the world, but if you feel like someone just drove a dumper truck over you you’re not going anywhere! Pain entwines through my entire body in a daily basis. I never know how tightly it will grip. On a good day I can hide it. On a bad day it consumes me. 

So yes. The Spoon Theory is fantastic. But unfortunately it gave people the wrong idea. They thought if I rested I could then plan activities. If I worked my day so I didn’t have more than one thing on, then I could do that one thing. They had the impression that I had some vestige of control. I do not. I try. I try not to let my health rule me. But at best, I’m flying by the seat of my pants through an ever changing roller coaster of pain and fatigue. At worst I’m being pulverised by a Hulk type monster with PMT. Either way, it’s a whole lot more complicated than simply rationing my Spoons. 
PS The original Spoon Theory can be found here http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/ 

Though I’ve come to realise it doesn’t fit me, it’s still worth a read!