Behind That Smile

I thought I would start this year with a fairly personal post… I know I’ve already done that in a way with Hello 2017 but this time I’m going to be really quite honest, not just with you, but with myself as well.

I’m not perfect.

It’s obvious, and very true, but I still feel like it needs to be said. So many of my friends think that I have my life all together, that I’m so organised and that I know exactly who I am, what I want and what I need to do to get there. They look at me and think I’ve got it all sorted.  And to an extent, they’re right. I’ve always been the one who’s known exactly what she wants to be when I’m older, exactly what she wants to do with her life. Until I got glandular fever, and after that everything changed. My life took turns that I never expected, and changed my life in ways I’d never imagined, some good, some bad. For example, I never expected to meet the love of my life at just 17, but I have. But I also didn’t expect to only be in my second year of Uni at 21 – I’d expected to have graduated last year.

And all of that is okay, I’ve accepted all of that, and honestly, I’m pretty happy about the way things have turned out. If they hadn’t happened like this, I would never have met the absolute best friends a girl could want. I wouldn’t have met Angus, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today.

But I wanted you all to know, I haven’t got it all together. Honestly? I have NO IDEA what I’m going to do when I finish Uni. It worries me that I have an illness which means that I struggle to manage 10 hours a week at Uni. I’ve always wanted to be teacher, and it upsets me that I’m no longer going to be able to do that. It worries me that if I can’t work properly, that I’m not going to be able to earn enough money to live on my own without a student loan or my parents help. Over the next couple of years, I’m going to be spending a lot of time trying to think about all of these, and think of solutions to prepare for life after University.

That is what is going on behind that smile.

That is what is going through my mind when I look like I have it all together.

What I really hope is that, by writing this post, it not only helps people to understand and appreciate what it is like to live with a chronic illness, to know that life is not going to turn out like you’d hoped, but also to help those of you who do have a chronic illness, and for you to know that you are not alone in this. There are so many of us who have no idea what the future is going to hold – will I get worse, will I get better, will I stay exactly the same? These are questions that all of us have, almost every day of our lives. But know that everything will turn out alright in the end.

I try not to worry about it too much, I could spend a lot of time and energy going over it all in my head and getting stressed about it – it’s in my nature! And being the perfectionist type, as many of you with ME/CFS will be, it is easy to get upset about things not going to plan. But I just take a big step back, and hope that it will be ok.

I put on a big smile, and get on with my life, focusing on the present moment, working towards what I hope one day will be a future that I am happy with.

Behind That Smile.png

Amy xxx (1)

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16 thoughts on “Behind That Smile

  1. This is all true for so many of us. The good news is you can pace yourself now while you are young. Maybe you can teach a special subject a few times a week. You can Skype tutor as well. You might be doing 10 hours at uni per week but did you factor in studying? I have a strong feeling you are already doing more than just 10 hours per week. It will work out. Just take care of yourself and put one foot in front of the other. An unknown future is always scary. The fact that you can go to uni at all is a miracle. Celebrate that…it’s inspirational! 🌸

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    1. Thank you for your comment! I definitely do more than just 10 hours a week, and although it is scary, i have faith that everything will turn out in the end. I hope that this post can inspire others to look past their illness and not worry about the future! xxx

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  2. This is a beautiful post that resonates, I’m sure, with so many people that struggle with chronic illness. I am a bit older than you, but hold any of the same worries behind my smile. I had to cut back to 30 from 40 hours a week at my dream job that I love, but it was worth it to be able to do this as long as possible. I am confident you will still have a beautiful, full life. It just might look a little different with chronic illness, and be a little–sometimes a lot!–harder, but I am confident it is worth the fight.

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  3. Girl, you know likewise I suffer with ME and this post made me tear up a little. Not with sadness, but relief, you don’t know how refreshing it is to hear someone say the things that have been in your mind for the last 2 years, but you can’t express. So thank you. And also, your strength and motivation through this all is honestly inspiring, I’m quite the perfectionist and get worked up on things not going my way. And you’re right, we just need to keep our chins up and move forward because what else is there to do really? People can’t see the struggles we face behind the scenes, which is one of the most painful parts, but to see you’re comfortable and happy is amazing and so heartwarming. Stay strong lovely and I’m always here for a chat if you need it ❤ xx

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    1. Aww Em! I thought it was time that I said how a lot of us are feeling, so we can all support each other, although I didn’t mean for you to tear up! Thank you so so much for your lovely comment, it means the world to me ❤️ xxx

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    1. Thank you for you’re lovely comment! I’m sorry to hear you gave up Uni, I did at first and then returned the following year once I’d spent a year concentrating on my health. Thank you, I hope you enjoy 2017! X

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  4. Very brave post! This makes me feel better slightly because I’m 21 and also feel I don’t have it all together. I’m a media student and I know what areas of media I am interested in, I just don’t have a set idea of what to do after Uni. (P.S. I found your blog through your channel on Campus Society :D)

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  5. It’s so frustrating when a chronic illness impacts so much on our lives and starts to dictate our futures, it makes me feel powerless and afraid at times. You might not feel like you have your life together but when you consider what you are working with I think you are amazingly together. You are finding ways to adapt and to live in the present, you are sharing you struggles and you keep on smiling; none of that is easy so give yourself a bit more credit! This is such an inspirational post and really helpful to others trying to live their lives the best they can with a chronic illness so thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much Natalie, your comment means the world to me! It can get very frustrating but you’re completely right, it’s so important to remember how much we can achieve with a chronic illness and feel proud at what we are able to do! X

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