I think we can all agree that being sick is rubbish. It is lonely, boring, exhausting, sore, frustrating… Need I go on? For most of us though, we are stuck with our illness and there is nothing we can do about it. We all have down days, weeks and even months. I’m not saying that we don’t all deserve a pity party every now and again. I just want to highlight some of the silver linings that glimmer through our cloudy existence:
1 – Lounge wear. We have the most fabulous PJs and we live in them. Millions of people spend their day dreaming about getting home, unceremoniously discarding their bra and putting on the softest, roomiest PJs they own. We are living that dream… kind of.
1.5 – Related to number 1, bras. Who even wears these any more? If I’m not going out, my boobs will be as free as the wind and it feels GLORIOUS to jiggle freely.
2 – Hairy legs. What used to horrify us is now the norm. It’s so liberating to look like a yeti and not give a damn. And when we do have our monthly leg shave, we feel like god damn super models. Razor blades cost a fortune anyway, it’s so much more economical to de-fuzz once a month.
3 – Pre-chopped vegetables. We are the only people who can feel justified in buying these. Everyone else is just lazy. Do you even know how many vegetables you can now buy pre-prepared in the frozen section? It’s genuinely changed my life. I will never chop a butternut squash again.
4 – Post. We are always in for the post man which is a good job as we order a whole bunch of crap online. It’s annoying when the post man realises this and asks you to sign for parcels for your neighbours, but this post is about the silver linings!
5 – Dry shampoo. Ten years ago, sick people often looked greasy and unclean. Why? Because the dry shampoo gods had not yet visited. Thank your lucky stars that you are unwell in a time where there is a super fine powder that you can clart your scalp in for a day, or two… maybe three days on a bad week, BEFORE you need to do a dreaded hair wash.
6 – You can be a really good friend. If being bored and lonely helps with anything, it’s that we will listen to anyone that wants to talk to us – provided it’s not to offer us yet more dietary advice regarding our medical condition that they don’t even understand. All of a sudden, it’s not a problem to listen to someone rant about their job or their spouse because it’s something new from beyond the four walls we see every day.
7 – Pooping in peace. Think about it. Many of us are housebound for the most part. Did you ever have to poop at work? It’s horrible. We all try to avoid it and rightly so, employers always buy rubbish toilet paper, if there even is any. Now you can poop in peace with your quilted luxury poop pillows. You can chill out on the bog for half an hour, surfing the internet… probably googling why your poop looks/smells funky.
8 – Disabled parking. Yes, we need it. Yes, we are entitled to it. Yes, it feels great that we have a tiny bit of the world that is just for us. We are allowed to be furious when idiots use the spaces wrongly. Just tonight, I scattered bird seed around the Audi who thinks the one disabled space outside is his super special VIP parking. It certainly cheered me up.
9 – Hoovering. Vacuum cleaners do not mesh with chronic illness which isn’t so bad, as not one sane human on this planet actually enjoys hoovering. Now we can forever delegate this task to family, friends and partners… and anyone else who visits your house, really. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to skite over the carpets for you! You won’t know unless you ask. Try it.
10 – INTERNET FRIENDS! There is an awesome, welcoming community of people out there who understand you. These people will be your confidante, friend, advisor and shoulder to cry on. You might never have met them but they will support you in ways that even your closest friends and family can’t because unless you live with a chronic illness, you can’t really understand it.
Some of these points might be silly, but sometimes it helps to remember that your old friends on Facebook who have the most exciting social life… Well… Sometimes they have to poop at work. Someone might be in the next cubicle, or it might not flush properly. I don’t miss dealing with that.