A Right Barrel Of Laughs

barrelThe DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), in reassessing whether or not I still have MS, is like a huge, malevolent vacuum cleaner.

It’s sucking the absolute joy out of everything.

I go to work under a cloud, come back under a cloud. I’m miserable, fed up and terrified about the future.

The depression rate for people with MS is three times higher than the national average. Throw in a Dickensian and brutal reassessment and I’m in no doubt it’s even higher.

I feel as if I’m teetering on a very high tightrope (note to DWP: no, I don’t do this in real life), and I can either use every bit of my self-will and inner strength to stay on that rope or simply free-fall into the abyss.

I’m trying hard to reintroduce some sense of normality into my life, plus a dash of humour. It’s incredibly difficult, especially as, freed from the routine of having a Teenager at home, I’m now able to give into the heightened fatigue, nerve pain and spasms. So I go to bed early as the darkness only makes me feel worse.

With all this in mind and the season of Goodwill to All fast approaching (haha), I’ve started a little list, where I jot down the happier and funnier side to my life at the moment.

Top of the list is of course, The Teenager. He really has taken to Uni like a duck to water and we text-chat every other day. The pride I feel in him and his achievements will never be dented by the DWP, no matter how much they try. He’s 100% ring-fenced.

Here’s my list this week:

  • When The Boss picks me up for work, he makes sure there’s a cup of coffee ready in the van. Bless him. No donuts though.
  • I went to my evening class this week, after calling in sick for the last one. Result.
  • The cat brought home a (dead) rat the other day. I’m not quite sure where the humour is in this, but I was brave enough to schlep it in to a bag and dispose of properly.
  • Speaking of the cat, I had to get her to the vets again for her Flea Bite Allergy (a real thing!). Despite the steroid injection curing her extremely quickly and giving her bags of energy, I was nevertheless disappointed to see that she didn’t have the side effect I usually have from steroids, i.e. cleaning the house.
  • The joy of discovering my next Book Club book is very short.
  • I laughed until I cried at ‘Motherland’ on the BBC. Genius.
  • Sitting in the works van a lot, I’ve managed to get through a very long book, ordered Christmas lunch for me and The Teenager and browsed Pinterest for decoration ideas I’ll probably not get round to doing, but the intention is there.

So life is a precarious balancing act right now. Pleasure is fleeting, fear is endless.

But I will keep writing my list, until I can’t. And then I’ll know I’m in trouble.

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14 thoughts on “A Right Barrel Of Laughs

  1. Nicky Broyd says:

    Love your list.
    I’m really enjoying Motherland too – some genuine lol moments 🙂

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I adore it! I’ve been at the end of the PTA crowd and it wasn’t pleasant. I did try my hardest, to no avail, as I was … divorced … and therefore likely to snare any errant husband. Of course! x

  2. Liz says:

    ….always pleased to read your blogs B : there is no bright side to what we share, though there will be before too long, surely…!

  3. Carina Muss says:

    Dear Barbara,
    It is funny you should mention the tightrope idea because I recently wrote a poem on exactly this subject which I submitted to the DMSG (German version of MS Society) in a competition they had. I would like to send it to you since I know you understand German. Have you got an email address I could use? I do not want to publish it here because no one would understand it…….:-)

  4. Beth says:

    I’m right there with ya…well. Without the hideous forms. Christ. Things that make this even harder are so not cool. I’m gonna tell you what I always tell myself. It’s not always going to be like it is right now. I don’t always believe me either. But I try. Xo

  5. Annie says:

    I love that you have ordered the Christmas dinner? … I’m not quite there yet, still at the browsing brochure stage. (Isn’t it quite mad) As for you not being able to write… NOT GONNA HAPPEN!!! Believe ❤️

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Yup, I ordered it from ‘Cook!’ – so hopefully all we have to do is put the oven on 🙂 It’ll just be me and The Teenager.

      • Annie says:

        Sounds perfect ? I’ll be going for a similar option x 4 … no peeling or chopping involved ?X

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Absolutely! I sliced my finger the other day, and it gave me the impetus to be done with all the hassle. The Teenager will no doubt wolf down his dinner in five minutes anyway – doesn’t seem worth the stress 🙂 X

  6. Keep the list going cos it’ll keep you going (shit that sounds trite and trivial but I think its true).

    You make my problems seem miniscule, just hang on in.

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