Sunday, 26 October 2014


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Recently, a friend contacted me with some bad news and it completely caught me off guard.

After I'd established that she was alright and the initial shock had subsided, it struck me that this was the first time in a long while that I'd checked she was okay.

I'm ashamed to admit that since falling ill with ME / CFS (or perhaps, truthfully, a bit before), I've been quite self-involved. In my pre-occupation with my own little life dramas, whether they be work-, relationship-, money-, or health-related, I've been steadily retreating further and further into a Faye-shaped bubble and losing sight of how those dearest to me are getting on.

There have been times when it has been essential for my health and well-being to take a step back but there have also been times when I probably could have done more for those I care about. It's easy to blame my poor communication and inattentiveness on ill health but really that's a bit of a cop out. With limited energy supplies, full-on conversations are exhausting and not always feasible, but a quick 'check-in' here or there isn't out of the question.

In the past, when this realisation has hit me, I've consoled myself with 'I'll be better soon. I'll make up for it then', but almost two years in to life with ME / CFS it's pretty obvious that that day when I suddenly feel 100% isn't coming too quickly. I'm not going to flick a switch and feel better overnight; it's going to be a slow process and take time. All sorts could be going on with those I love in the meanwhile and being ill doesn't cut it as an excuse for not being present at least some of the time.

Beating myself up about what I could or should have done up until now isn't going to do me or anyone else any good, but I can start making an effort to ensure that I don't reach this unpleasant realisation again in the future. From now on I'm going to be stepping outside my 'Faye Bubble' and keeping an eye on the people who have been doing such a brilliant job of keeping an eye on me. The 'check-in's may not be as regular as they would be were I fully-functioning, but it will be better than my recent absence. Over the last week or so I've started prioritising a few more energy beans or 'spoons' (see Christine Miserandino's 'Spoon Theory' ) to connect with friends and family and I feel far better for it already.

Monday, 20 October 2014



It's been far too long since I managed to sit down and write something on this little blog of mine. Life seems to have been getting in the way. Since I was here last, I've upped and left the beautiful Isle of Lewis and am back living in England. It's been a very long and drawn out process with all the organising, packing, travelling, getting the house habitable, unpacking, medical appointments etc, but I think we're nearly there. It's feels lovely to be set up at my computer, cup of tea to hand, with nothing (except a bit of fatigue) in the way of getting back on track.

There have been lots of things I've wanted to write about since I've been MIA but I know I don't have the energy to cover them all in one post. In the interest of pacing (an essential strategy when you suffer from ME / CFS), I thought I'd share some photos, courtesy of my incredibly talented friend, from the loveliest of days before I left the Western Isles.

Beachside open fire bbq barbecue friends farewell leaving party isle of lewis western isles outer hebrides dal beag
halloumi onions outdoor cooking beach side isle of lewis Dal Mor western isles outer hebrides freckles and all blog island life
black and white open fire cooking outdoor beachside western isles isle of lewis island life outer hebrides freckles and all blog
outdoor cooking pot on open fire outer hebrides isle of lewis island life beachside barbecue freckles and all blog western isles

When our friends asked us what we'd like to do as a 'goodbye' to island life, we jumped at their suggestion to have a barbecue by the beach. It seemed such a fitting way to spend one of our last days in the beautiful place we'd really grown to love. When we arrived, we found the tipi set up, fire lit, table laid and blankets at the ready. It was a lovely evening that I will always remember -I had the best time eating incredible food, in a stunning spot surrounded by people I love.

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