Gratitude 101: be grateful for small mercies

11 Oct
A walk in Sussex. Photo by Jess B.

A walk in Sussex. Photo by Jess B.

As bad as I have felt these past ten days or so, I am grateful that it is not worse. Because it could have been. As much as I hurt, ache, burn, throb, melt, freeze, spin, crave sleep, cry and many other nasty things besides, I have to stop and acknowledge that it could be worse. ME/CFS could have flared even more. I am grateful for small (very small it has seemed at times) mercies. Although a quick shower has left me having to lie down for fear of my knees buckling and legs giving way, at least I’ve still had the energy and gumption to shower.

I am grateful that the flu vaccine didn’t send me down with full blown flu. I am so very very grateful for that. Joint pain, myalgia aching muscles, headache, temperature craziness, sore throats, zero energy, sheer physical and mental exhaustion, sleepiness etc etc is doable compared to all of that plus raging bad cold, cough and all the other viral nasties of proper flu. Touch wood, pray hard, flick the light switch three times (I’m not a superstitious person at all…) that this is it. That the flu buck stops here. I’ve had the vaccine. Had after effects but now I’m protected. I damn well better be!

I am increasingly grateful for a sexy little thing called compression stockings. Okay, so they’re not sexy (especially not sexy when my ‘less than optimally toned’ thighs are squeezed into them) or so little (little wouldn’t cover the aforementioned thighs!) but they are amazing. When wearing them the throbbing in my ankles and calves is reduced to a dull ache. It is still there but it is not as acute. I still get the weak feeling that sends me to a horizontal position on the sofa but it is not as extreme. When I walk in them I feel a little like I’m walking on water I am so supported. And the dizziness and ‘head lifting’ sensation on standing up or turning round is reduced. And when I take them off after a day of wearing them, the pain instantly cranks up and I’m like ‘ah the effort (and it is effort, to begin with it took both my Mum and myself 20 mins + to get them up my legs, a great mother daughter bonding experiences…tho not one I’d recommend if you don’t have to!) of putting them on is so worth it’.

I am very grateful I saw sense and didn’t attempt to go out for lunch on Sunday with Mr B’s family, as much as it pained me to stay at home. It was most definitely the right decision. After 30 mins or so chatting over coffee (which Mr B made not letting me get up out of chair) with them I was wilting. I could feel the fatigue setting in. Mr B’s Mum saw this and ushered everyone off to lunch. I am grateful for that understanding and acknowledgement. Whilst they all tucked into roast lunch I had a quick bite to eat (rice cakes and guacamole, Mr B said he felt very sad leaving me to eat that but honestly I didn’t mind) and then fell asleep for an hour and a half. Yes I’d have done myself no good and been utterly rubbish company if I’d gone out for lunch. So for once common sense prevailed!

On a lighter note, I’m so grateful for good TV at the moment. I’m spending a lot of time horizontal on the sofa. I can only read for a little while (like 10 minutes) before the words start to swim on the page and the fatigue curtain falls over me. But I can tolerate TV for much longer (about 30 minutes). Though I have to keep the sound quite low as that has a tendency to hurt my ears…. I’m not watching endless chat shows and other day time TV fillers though. I know some people love that stuff but for me it sends me straight down the fed up depressed path; somewhere I’d very much rather not be. So I am grateful for the Autumn/Winter programming schedule to be in full swing with shows such as Great British Bake Off, Master Chef Australia, Strictly Come Dancing and XFactor (awful but somehow we still watch it) to entertain me. Β Our Sky+ box means I can record all these things and then watch in short bursts as and when I need a light activity to occupy my time. I am also loving Friday Night Lights. My sister sent me the boxset as a surprise. I’d never watched the show before and I am loving it! Sadly though I am already onto the fifth and final series so shortly I am going to have a FNL shaped hole in my life! But hopefully by then SHE who MUST be OBEYED (a.k.a ME/CFS) will have got back in her box and this flare will have calmed down enough for me to resume other activities.

TV aside I am also grateful for it it being Autumn. I love the crispness and chill to the air which hits me when I open our window each morning. I just love the freshness. It feels cleansing some how. And that’s despite it being pollution filled London air! I’ll pretend I’m at the top of a peak in the Swiss Alps breathing in clean, fresh, beautiful air!

I’m grateful for the blue skies. Yesterday when I ventured outside for the first time in a while I was struck by watery sunshine that was surprisingly warm. I went for a little (very little, all of about 5 minutes, but hey that’s progress from not being up to making it out of our front door as had been the case up to yesterday) walk just around the communal gardens of our apartment complex. I sat on a bench for a few minutes to give my aching burning legs a little rest and marvelled at the glorious blue sky and the auburn orange brown leaves scattering the cobble stone walkways.

I am of course also forever grateful for Mr B’s love and support. His actions and words mean everything to me and he still continuously surprises and amazes me at how selfless he is being in looking after me. I am also forever grateful for the love and support of my Mum, Dad, sister and closest friends. The list of what I’m grateful for from these loved ones is long but I appreciate every little thing you all do for me so very much. This all goes without saying I hope.

What are you grateful for?


26 Responses to “Gratitude 101: be grateful for small mercies”

  1. dawnhosking October 11, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Blue skies and Masterchef – I love those. I hope you are feeling a wee bit better Jess. Take good care, easy does it ((hugs))

    • myjourneythrume October 12, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      I am, thank you Dawn, hope you are too. Have a lovely weekend x

      • dawnhosking October 12, 2013 at 10:45 am #

        That’s great to hear, I’m still battling the pain and hoping my appointments arrive soon. Still smiling though. Have a great weekend x

  2. Jenny Barber October 11, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    What a lovely post, there’s a lot you couldn’t be grateful for, but instead you’ve focused on all the good things, and you’re so right!

    I’m grateful for bed and great British Bake off, plus my great family too!

    Hope she who must be obeyed gets back in her box soon!

    • myjourneythrume October 12, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      Glad you liked my post. Oh yes I’m grateful for my bed too!

  3. currankentucky October 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Yesterday evening just before sunset I took a walk round the garden and had a standoff with a rat on my bird feeder, he was cute, he was stubborn, I won though, he moved off first! It was a lovely evening to get out and enjoy it, even if for just ten minutes!

    • myjourneythrume October 12, 2013 at 10:20 am #

      I’m glad you won the rat stand off! A little fresh air does wonders doesn’t it. It was pouring with rain yesterday here but I was getting cabin fever from being inside for so long so I went outside and stood under the porch for a few minutes. It was very refreshing. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

      • currankentucky October 12, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

        Last week during rain I opened our sliding door, pulled a chair to the edge of it and sat inside while the rain smelled and fell outside, it was so nice!!! Another trick i do is sit on a window ledge with the window cranked open for a few minutes. Getting the outdoors in when I cant get out. Fresh air is a must! Back at you re the weekend! xx

  4. The Chronic Situation October 11, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    I like your approach to gratitude, it is a very positive way of looking at things and psychologically healthy. Hard to keep up when you’re feeling down, but useful if you can manage it.

    BTW, I’m also a big Friday Night Lights fan, I finished the fifth series sometime last year and missed it when it ended. I was interested to see Landry turn up recently in the final series of Breaking Bad, though as a completely different character. FNL is really great and addictive.

    • myjourneythrume October 12, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      I haven’t watched any of Breaking Bad, have heard good things about it, I must get onto that!

      It can be very hard to be positive when feeling bad, I don’t always manage it but when I can I do and it does help.

  5. BONNIE JOHNSON October 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #


    • myjourneythrume October 12, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have a lovely long weekend. Cool refreshing air all the way πŸ™‚

  6. Ami Hallgarth October 14, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Love your positivity Jess πŸ™‚

  7. Claire October 15, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Well done for pacing yourself so well with the birthday lunch! Previously I’ve always gone overboard if given half a chance, and learning to err on the side of caution has been my hardest learning curve. But waking up symptom free is worth it!
    I’m grateful for the small improvements. This week I am unloading the dishwasher as part of my graded exercise – I am so grateful that I can be useful, even in this tiny way!

    • myjourneythrume October 15, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      Funny you mention the dishwasher, that’s my nemesis! I have to leave it for my partner to unload when he gets in from work which means all day I’m itching to do it but do stop myself, I’ve learnt the hard way! Good idea to incorporate it into graded exercise tho. I shall keep that in mind.

  8. Julie Ryan October 15, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder to be grateful for the little things.

    • myjourneythrume October 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you for reading and taking the time comment. That makes me smile πŸ™‚

      • Julie Ryan October 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

        I’m including this post in my “Sunday Inspiration” post on my blog. It’s been a great reminder for me to be thankful.

  9. thehomeschoolingdoctor October 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I am grateful for God’s love.

  10. Michelle October 18, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    thanks for reminding me to look for small things to be thankful for even in flare up situations.

    • myjourneythrume October 19, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      You’re welcome, hope it was a nice reminder πŸ™‚

  11. E. Milo October 21, 2013 at 2:06 am #

    Lovely post! I have just started watching Breaking Bad, but FNL is on my list. I rewatched all The Sopranos this summer, which was great.

    My adventure with compression stockings sounded like yours! After the 20 mins they took to get on, I wrote Jackie a message and was like, “are you kidding me!?!” Haha My heart rate is always over 100 putting them on and taking them off (although I still haven’t noticed good results from them like you have).

  12. Donna Grant October 21, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Lovely post and what a good outlook to have. I am grateful that how I feel at the moment has been caused by a horrible virus. The level of exhaustion and pain has been unreal at times but I am so thankful to know this will end and I will get better. It has made me realise I am very lucky to function as well as I do normally.


  1. Sunday Inspiration: Procrastination, Gratefulness, & Getting Support - April 23, 2014

    […] Be Grateful for Small Mercies – remember, no matter how bad things are they can always be worse. So, look around you and find the small things to be thankful for. It seems trite sometimes to say that we should “be be thankful for the little things” or that “it could always be worse” but they are true statements. And, when we focus on the things we are thankful for it lifts our mood, puts a smile on our face and can quite possibly completely turn your day around. So, as I write this I’m thinking that one of the best things I could do is start and end the day with a moment of thankfulness.  […]

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