Reflections on the Longest Day

As I sit here listening to the dawn chorus, I realise that it is almost the longest day of the year. For me, personally, it most likely will be a long day with little sleep at night. Last year at this time, I had only an hour of sleep before my legs woke me up -- a very strange turn of events! Try as I might to rest, I eventually gave up the fight and finally got up around 3 a.m.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is an awful medical condition. Also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (use this name to throw a curve ball into your disability application!), it not only robs you of your nighttime, but your daytime too as you are recovering from the night before.

Struggling with self-acceptance

I find myself addicted to the Internet, especially in the wee small hours. The goal is to distract myself long enough to give my top-up medication chance to work, thus allowing me to fall back to sleep. I trawl all the social media sites, making new friends along the way.

A lot of the people I follow are plus-size models. They wear the most gorgeous clothes that I have no chance of ever affording, but they look stunning anyway. With plus-size fashion often comes advertising focused on self-acceptance: We know that we should be happy as we are, that the world shouldn’t judge us on our shape, and that we look gorgeous, no matter what! But that doesn’t mean we can accept that these statements are true.

Dealing with rejection from others

I never realised this before, but the same goes with invisible illnesses. For a start, just because you cannot see them, does not mean they are not there! I can quite honestly say I would give my entire medical catalogue to someone for 24 hours if they would just stop saying, "Oh, will you stop going on about your problems!"

We don't choose to be ill

RLS is included in the invisible illness stable, as are so many other conditions. Do I look like I want to resemble death warmed up? Having such black eyes you resemble a panda from lack of sleep, being unable to answer the most basic question due to the fact your head is in a fuzz, is obviously not the life I was going for! I mean, please, people -- we do not have these conditions for the fun of it!

Take good care of yourself

My personal tip: Always check on your vitamin D levels with conditions such as this, that keep you indoors much of the time. The majority of the body's vitamin D supply is derived from sunlight, and if you are always indoors, you may need a boost. A lack of vitamin D can also affect your bones.

And my challenge for you today: Go out and enjoy life, no matter what it has thrown at you. Using canes, walkers, wheelchairs, someone’s arm, whatever you need for support, just remember, this day is out there for you, too. Grab it and make the best out of it, even if all that turns out to be is drinking tea in the garden in the mid-evening, as you have only just woken up.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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