If you could draw your health, what would it look like?
Strange question, possibly, unintelligible, maybe.
But think about it for a moment. What does it look like?
Over the last week or so I’ve started to visualize, imagine my health as a separate being from me. She’s my Health-me.
This has happened because in making often subtle decisions about my housing, the first and foremost thing I’ve started to think isn’t what was going on for the first week or so – “is it cheap enough, will they accept someone on Housing Benefit? They do? Take it then.”
It’s been: “OK it is the right price, it is live-able in, they will accept someone on Housing Benefit, I could live there. But…..”
The BUT has been,”It’s got to be good for my health.”
My ‘Health’ has take on a personality. It has an outline, it lives, it breathes, and I’m taking care of it properly and I’m going to admit it – for the first time since I’ve had MECFS, I am actually taking care of it like you would your child.
Health-me has joined those other thoughts when I’ve been looking at properties. Will my health-me like it emotionally and physically? Will she be safe there? Will she be warm there? Will she be able to call it home? What does health-me need? Even more weird, if that’s possible, I can feel her near me when I think about my health.
So, by now there have been 2 flats that I could have accepted and the landlords would have taken me, but I’ve decided not to proceed.
Yes, as I did so I also said: “I might live to regret this decision..” but I don’t think so. I turned them down because that little instinctual voice inside me told me to.
I almost chose somewhere this weekend, but the agent told me to wait until today to contact her again about it. She meant wait until after the Bank Holiday weekend but it gave me time enough to realise that no flat is worth living in if the things that I love and surround me and are important to me, can’t fit through the front door because of an awkward turn in a lobby.
You might think that beggars can’t be choosers and I should have taken it regardless. I’ve had endless conversations with friends and family about my attachment to these things and whether I should let them go in order to have a place to live, but the truth is that I wouldn’t be happy living in a place if I didn’t take some of the things that are precious to me with me.
In the meanwhile time was marching on and as my last day in this place is 30th September, all the properties being advertised started to have a move-in date after that point.
God, last week I was as bitter and ratty as anything. It was really getting to me. My spikes in fatigue were getting longer and deeper and I was forgetting things left right and center. Recovery periods were getting longer too.
I felt pressure, I felt hopeless, I felt like I had to take the first place that would take ME, because I had to get out of here fast.
Then I had a conversation with my silver surfer Dad. It’s been rumbling away for a while but today we agreed, that I will go to his place at the end of this month.
All of my stuff, what’s left of it after the Big Cull, will be stored in his garage, then I tell the Council I’m no longer needing Housing Benefit ( because the rather stupid rules are you can’t claim Housing Benefit if you are renting from a close relative…I mean, come on…) and I will wait.
I will wait for the right place to come along. The place where all the pieces fit properly. I will give myself that time to recover properly and to be honest, the break in not having to worry about bills and how I’m going to feed myself and whether I can switch the hot water on to have a bath and whether I can be warm will also be worth it.
So that’s me. Decision made.
Then today I found the flat I wanted. It was PERFECT. It was the right price – £950.00 pcm, the right location, it was ‘gas everything’ and it was well decorated and well maintained.
I got up very early for me, I dressed smartly and at 9:05 am I was in the estate agents talking to a fresh faced youngster called Alastair who heard everything I had to say, agreed it ‘should be OK’ and said he’d talk to the landlord about me.
Over the 3 and a half hours afterwards I got the sinking feeling again. Eventually I phoned him.
“No,” he said, “the landlord won’t take someone on benefits. Sorry.”
There will be a home out there, I know it. It will happen.
In the meanwhile Health-me is thanking me for making a decision that makes her safe and warm for the next few weeks, where she can be taken care of a bit and is safe while her owner makes the right decision.
© Lindy 2015