My Inconsistency as a Blogger & In Relationships

I’m sorry!  I finally started blogging again in April after a brief lapse and then I lapsed again.  For good reason of course, but still, how on earth can I maintain a relationship with my readers if I “disappear” sometimes.  Every relationship needs some level of consistency.  My interaction with my readers as a blogger isn’t just about increasing readership, it’s a type of relationship.

In April, I told you about my move and working on accepting help along with learning to take care of myself by not feeling pressured to blog as consistently.  Well May brought with it a whole new level of similar lessons.  In the first week of May I broke my foot, and a few days later my grandfather passed away.  Suddenly, I was quite literally dependent on others for almost everything and had a massive loss to face emotionally.  Before the emotions could set in, I focused on helping my mom (it was her father) prepare for the burial and memorial service in Oregon.  

Meanwhile, I’m in Los Angeles learning to get around (ambulate) on crutches.  It’s a pretty maddening experience which I am going to tell you ALL about in my upcoming blogs.  The most important thing to know with this aspect of my life is that everything takes so much longer.  I can’t really carry anything and walk at the same time since my hands are already occupied by the crutches.  Needless to say, a 30 second task can turn into 5 minutes…just imagine tasks that normally take 30 minutes!

After finalizing burial arrangements, attending the funeral in Oregon, returning home to LA, and mourning for seven days in my apartment in the traditional Jewish fashion, all on crutches…I was exhausted!  These events were spread out over three weeks, so you’d think I’d be ready to get back into things afterwards.  Well you might not think so actually, but the silly person that I am thought so!  Silly being the key word here.  Who was I kidding?  Just moving around my apartment is exhausting; how was I suddenly going to just return to normal life?

Getting back to work has been its own challenge, especially staying awake through the whole day.  Managing the pain is also draining since I can’t the good painkillers anymore since I have to work.  

By the time I get home I’m beat.  But then the little voice in the back of my head starts reminding me of all the responsibilities I’ve neglected over the last three weeks.  Item number one on that list: blogging!  I try each night and just fall asleep.  On the nights I’m able to stay awake my brain is already so tired from the day that I am not able to think logically enough to write something coherent.  

 Now of course these circumstances would be challenging for anyone but they are definitely exacerbated by MS.  Crutching around town causes an immense amount of fatigue and once the fatigue sets in, my cognition just completely shuts down.  

In all of this I have taken a step back and wondered, how does someone in my position maintain a relationship?  I mean I know it’s possible, I’ve done it plenty of times.  But if I can’t maintain a consistent relationship with my readers, how do I maintain a consistent relationship with a romantic partner, with a friend, or even a family member?  

If anything, what you’re seeing in the gaps in my blogs, is a parallel to my relationships.  I’m incredibly blessed that most of my friends “get it.”  They know that there will be times when I am the greatest friend they could ask for – I’m supportive, emotionally and practically; I’m available; I’m thoughtful; and I go out of my way.  They also know that there are times when I can’t be around and can only take care of me, sometimes not even that.  And most importantly, they know that there is no way to predict what my “relationship availability” is at a particular time.  

When I meet new people who I see value in as friends, I sometimes hesitate to forge a friendship because I’m not sure if they will actually understand my inconsistency.  I know that this phenomenon is not unique to people with chronic illnesses, we all go through different phases and levels of availability in life.  But I think that those of us with illnesses experience these shifts in availability more often and to a greater degree.  

When I was in high school I lost friends during a period of time when I couldn’t be there for them because of how sick I was.  And in a similar manner, I worry that I will lose readers without being consistent.  Ironically, if I don’t let go of that internal pressure I could aggravate my MS and be even less consistent in writing this blog.

Thankfully, I was able to let go of that thought this time around.  For the first few days of the chaotic month of May, I tried to schedule blogging time.  And then I finally just let go and told myself that after taking care of myself I would get to it…and only then would I actually succeed.  I proved myself right of course because I’ve now had a week to just rest after the storm and only now am I able to write…but at least I did it!  

I have grown a lot since I began the journey of writing this blog last Fall.  And I’m realizing now that it isn’t just the content that others can learn from.  Hearing the different tone in my blogs as I experience ups and downs, and noticing the timing of my blogs, actually provides insight into the life of someone with MS.  I sincerely hope people are able to learn from these aspects of blogging too.  

So, barring unforeseen circumstances (and I pray to G-d there aren’t any!), I’m back writing and will hopefully be consistent for as long as possible.  I make no promises but I will do my best. 

And I hope you’ll stick around to read my future posts!

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