About Me

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Vegan. Ex-makeup artist. CFS/ME sufferer. Cares about human rights, equality, animal rights, conservation/climate change.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

The 'Life' of a Vegan 'Make-up Artist'

I've been putting off making this post for a long time. I wasn't sure what I would write. This blog got abandoned along with my hope, when I realised I couldn't stay in denial any longer - I am far too ill to work. 

When my Nan was alive, she came to live with my parents and I so we could help her with meals and generally look out for her when she was too frail and ill with her asthma. Even as her health declined, she still paid rent on her old house - she was adamant she'd move back in when she was well enough. We'd play along, but we knew she'd never be well enough again. 

Nan was the type of person who loved looking after everyone. Extremely house-proud, every ornament was dusted and facing the right direction, every surface was polished. She'd clean up your crumbs and offer you more while you were still halfway through your food. She'd iron any clean clothes she could get her hands on, socks and knickers included. 

Nan and I, around 1997 I think.
It was hard for her when she had to give up her cleaning job, but harder still was giving up her independence. Being looked after by those she had once bathed and fed, and bounced on her knee. 

I find myself thinking about her now a lot, how I'd underestimated exactly what she went through at the time, as her body began to betray her. I lie in bed day in, day out, having my meals brought to me by my parents, in the same room where she laid and had meals brought to her. 

When she died I was devastated, I loved her fiercely. But at the same time, a small part of me was relieved. I was no longer constantly worrying about her health and well being. I was glad she was no longer suffering, weak and ill and sad, though she smiled for us.

What happened to her in her eighties has happened to me, and I'm still in my twenties. I often wonder if, in the coming months or years I were to die, would my family feel that small sense of relief I felt for Nan all those years ago? ME/CFS is not a terminal illness, but it can certainly take your life from you. I pushed and shoved and forced myself to work for so long, because I simply loved it. I enjoyed my job and it was worth it, even if I had to turn down more jobs than I accepted. Even when I could only manage working two days a month, I cherished those days. 

In the last year, I became unreliable, cancelling jobs at the last minute because I couldn't make it through my routine of bathing and dressing before I had to lie down, weak and exhausted. The jobs I did make it to, I no longer enjoyed, having to focus on staying standing, concentrating on what I was doing while my limbs ached, and every part of my body was begging me to lie down. It was time to admit defeat.

So now I'm no longer a make-up artist, what am I going to do with my life? I have no frikkin clue. Here is a Venn Diagram explaining my dilemma.

That question mark has been plaguing me for a long time. I need a sense of purpose, I need to achieve something tangible. My mental health, which is shaky at best, has definitely taken a hit now that my days are just spent killing time and trying to quell my epic boredom.

What does the future hold for me? For this blog? I'll need to change the name if I'm to continue. The Life of a Vegan Bed-Dweller? 

I guess only time will tell. I have far too much of it these days.

Til Next Time,