Ageing & Chronic Illness

Ageing & Chronic Illness

Ageing is a good thing right? If we’re ageing in a way it means we’re surviving, living. Or something like that. Someone will have muttered something along those lines in a #MotivationalMonday quote on the gram.
But what happens when ageing’s not so ok?


I actually think the art of ageing is something quite beautiful. The defining of bonds, the growing of self and the changes I see in others. Do I care for the same visual ageing in myself? Perhaps not so much. And it’s not that I don’t think ageing isn’t beautiful or that I buy into what the media would have us perceive as beautiful: only youth. I truly do.
I guess it’s an emptiness within myself.


You see, I’ve missed out on so very much in my chronic illness fight. My adult life has truly been existing for more years than it has been spent living and that’s a tricky emotional and mental burden to bear.
At times I look in the mirror and I don’t recognise the woman staring back at me. I look at my face, the lines around my eyes, the deepening in my forehead and I want to shout ‘wait for me to catch up’! Because the truth is I’m ageing, I’m ageing visibly but the me who doesn’t get to spend the years living just wants me, my body, life, to slow down and let me catch up.


Of course, this little Amy trapped inside this body doesn’t often get her say, if at all.
So it leaves me with a tricky relationship with ageing.
I’ve lost too many years of my life, yet I can’t slow it down. Some days I want to end sooner for the suffering is so bad, Some nights I go to sleep wishing it would pass quicker. Yet I long to live.


In reality, if I was cured tomorrow I doubt I would care less how I looked, in fact I know it to be the case. Because the chance to live outranks everything.
So I guess it does and it doesn’t matter. Right now it’s a reminder. My aptly nicknamed ‘pain wrinkles’ a bearer of my post nightly news.


Even with all of this I would not wish to be young again. Would anyone? I like the wisdom my growth has earned me, just not the suffering it has bought to boot.


Do I care if people have Botox or filler? God no. Each to their own. I’ll probably have some myself one day (and definitely have Botox for migraines soon if my endless fight with neurology ever ends in fruition).
Ageing is personal. What we experience is indeed personal and how we deal with it and the choices we make are down to us.


Of course, this is only one aspect of ageing with chronic illness that is affected. My yearning to be a mother knowing that time ticks on. Watching as friends marry, their families grow and of course I couldn’t be happier for them; I just want time to stand still for a while so that I can catch up. It’s like living in a parallel universe, living in limbo.
Amy sits on her bed in front of vintage vogue prints
I often sit, well lie, in my day bed, my makeup room, enjoying the beauty of my vintage Vogue covers and vintage makeup adverts, admiring that beauty, their art, however the  deception and discrimination of age and ageing that the beauty industry has and indeed my love and relationship with that industry is not lost on me. It is an industry that has excluded anyone who doesn’t represent ‘youth’ for far too long and is only now, very slowly beginning to tap into the vast need to expand and represent the true variety of age of its consumers. It is a complex relationship to have.


I guess for now I’ll try to accept myself as I am. Me in my journey with chronic illness and how that makes me feel. I’m sure the Amy stuck inside my M.E ravaged body, forever screaming to get out, will still look upon her face longing for it to slow down and wait for her to catch up.


In the meantime I’ll be OTT with my skincare routine and hope for the best 👌🏻


I wrote a poem about ageing and chronic illness, I often find writing a way of managing my thoughts.


I Remain Still
I see those lines surrounding my eyes where once there were none,
Somehow signalling a passage of time now gone. 
Yet I have remained still. 
I see my friends lives have grown, 
So much change, So much still unknown.
Yet I have remained still. 
I see the grey growing in my hair, 
Reflecting back on a time when there was none, when I was free of care.
Yet I remain still. 
I hear the world turn outside my window, 
Louder at the break & end of each working day with a crescendo.
Yet I remain still. 
My face ages, my body too, everyone around me changes.
Yet I remain still. 
Two decades pass and my illness remains unchanged. Undefeated. Top of the class.
Keeping me still.


Thanks for reading ❤️


Here’s a post I wrote about living in limbo which you can read here.
My Spoonie support instagram can be found @myillnessmythoughts
and if you love a bit of makeup and all things beauty mixed with some Spoonie love, then my blog insta is @amyschapter
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