Monday, 15 July 2013

Sticky Nutz & Other Scenarios


Tha other day I walked into the lounge drinking my coffee when some dude on the television declared “Today I’ve got sticky nuts” .  As the coffee sprayed out of my nostrils, my first thought was “ yeah it has been rather hot today and I’m a bit sweaty too, but hey, not something I’d want to share with the nation”.

He then proceeded to pick up a packet of pecan nuts, shake some into a pan, & add some  butter & runny honey,   ”Oh, THOSE kinda sticky nuts?”



Its easy to  jump to assumptions, see what you want to see, hear what you want to hear, and none more so than when it comes to M.E.  As humans we have  automatic expectations so It’s very hard for us to understand differently to that, but having a chronic illness doesn’t mean you have to LOOK chronically ill, just as being disabled doesn’t mean someone has to be in a wheelchair, but its what we expect isn’t it?


Before I became ill myself I probably thought exactly the same way, so I do try to be forgiving of those that struggle to understand why I retain my humour, why I still try to look presentable & keep up appearances ( I’ll have you know it takes me ages to achieve the dragged out of bed look) …. & why I’m not in a wheelchair.

Today on this lovely sunny morning I walked to the local shops with my mother by my side, a 3 minute walk I’d say, but it could’ve well been the wall of china for the enormous effort it took, I made sure I looked presentable as I stepped out into tha world , because its about dignity and self respect, and while I have little else I do still have that.     
I nodded my head, smiled and quietly said “Morning” to those we passed, even those we didn’t know, just an old fashioned thing I picked Up from my parents back in the day.




Nobody would’ve known I have a chronic illness, partly thanx to tha wonders of self tan products & boots 300 electric plum lippy slapped on my face. But do we really know what anyone’s actually going through, do we ever look beyond what we can initially see ?  Its just a human trait that we need to see proof, so I know that asking you to rethink something that’s ingrained isn’t going to be easy, but then life is a challenge.

Before I became ill myself  I had a  music manager, a beautiful lady that reminded me of tha actress Rula Lenska, she was a true lady in every sense of tha word. Ten weeks after her wedding she passed away from Cancer. I knew of course, I remember tha day I got that letter from her “This is the hardest thing for me to tell you but…”  nobody would’ve known, even when it spread from her lungs to her brain she still made sure she looked a million dollars. I admired her greatly & I think despite age & life style difference we gelled because we lived by the same ethic, whatevers going on in your life, the show must go on.


Another example is of a big issue seller that I once befriended. Every week I would stop and say hallo and purchase a magazine from him & at  Christmas I would give a card & a little gift, all I knew was his name “Paul” and every week the people I was with would make remarks about me wasting my money, how the seller was fat so he obviously wasn’t going hungry & he was well groomed
so he obviously wasn’t that hard up, It used to make me so cross. 

Then one day I struck up conversation with Paul & he told me his story. He’d been a normal family man living in Scotland with his wife, he admitted he worked long hours on the railways maybe too long but a mortgage & living expenses weren’t cheap and he wanted to build a nice life for himself & his wife because he believed that’s what a man should do, & then he came back from work one day to find a note,  his wife had met someone else and gone. He sunk into a desperate depression, started drinking and not going to work, not paying the mortgage & he lost the house & found himself out on tha streets.

His Uncle had become poorly and was in need of a carer so to give Paul some purpose and try and help him back on his feet he moved back to the Hertfordshire area and unofficially looked after and lived with his Uncle, he didn’t claim any benefits, his uncle gave him a roof overhead,food & a bit of pin money in return for his care, but then when his Uncle died, the council told Paul  he had to leave  & because they didn’t even know about him he wasn’t entitled to housing, he’d have to go on a list, and fill out lots of forms, Paul was too embarrassed to say he was dyslexic and couldn’t read or write well, so he  went back to live on tha streets until the Big Issue came to his rescue, so he had a regular job and a bedsit and some dignity again.

He thanked me for always stopping and giving him tha time of day and not judging him like most did & I realised tha importance of that. See, just like “Sticky Nuts”  not everything is necessarily what it seems, we’re all individual people with individual stories trying to get by in life with tha challenges that are placed before us, if we could all be a little kinder, look a little further than tha exterior before making judgments , I know from my own illness that it would make a big difference.

   Thanx for reading, Stay Blessed, Back Before Elvis  xxx