Living through fiction when chronically ill

blog fiction

Within the first year of living with Fibromyalgia my life changed. The first things to fall away were my Church based extra-curricular activities. I gave everything I had to my job. As they were paying me, it morally seemed the right thing to do. Next my working hours dropped before finally, after a triple flare-up, I had to give up my job. You can read more about it in the post about being dismissed. Before I knew it, I lived through fiction.

Virtual Network

I have a close relationship with my husband. I also have a great virtual network, via social media, with other people living with Fibromyalgia and similar conditions. This allows me to touch base with others and ensures I don’t become isolated. What it doesn’t provide is something to get my teeth into and this is how I live through fiction.

Inspired by Parents Ambitions

I think my brain got the idea from fiction to begin with. I have watched various television programs over the years where something has happened to a person in their life. Their unfulfilled potential lingers with them, then before they realise what they are doing they are putting all that pressure on their children, to achieve what they couldn’t. It rarely ends well because only the person whose life it is can drive the level of sacrifice needed to fulfil an ambition. You can read more about this phenomenon at Everyday Health.

Living creatively with fibro | An image of a set of Russian Dolls with the words oops I've turned you into me!

Cruelty Free option

I don’t have children so I will never know if the changes in my life would have caused me to become one of those parents. I’d like to think it wouldn’t but I also know how hard it has been coming to terms with the fact I am no longer climbing a career ladder. Being driven is no longer a positive way for me to live. Planning has turned into hoping. Dreams have a reality cap.

Living through fiction

It has always been my nature to invest myself in whatever I am doing and this includes reading a book or watching a series. Now, this sensation has amplified. All the aspirations I had for my life are now being directed towards one character I am watching or reading about. I can never quite tell which character it will be. Sometimes it will be the protagonist other times a less obvious choice. But I really care, I believe in them; I invest myself and sometimes even question how the writer treats them.

Living Creatively with Fibro | An image of two children holding books in a forest with the words Living through fiction can take you anywhere

The fulfilment of escapism

Since I realised this is happening, I have read a lot more and also watched more. I still enjoy my creativity and genealogy in bursts, but they both require a certain level of physical and mental energy. Even in a flare-up I am comfortable living through fiction. The upside of this is, exposing myself to this amount of writing means I am much more likely to still achieve one of my goals of writing a novel one day. I guess the benefit is however much of myself I feel I am loosing, even though I am investing my hopes and dreams in other people, eventually it all returns to making the most of the situation I find myself in.

If you are living with chronic illness and can no longer achieve all you hoped to, how do you manage this? Maybe you have children but support them rather than living through them? Perhaps you use fiction or computer gaming as an escape? However you cope, I would love to hear from you in the comments below. 

Until next time,
Gentle Hugs,

4 responses to “Living through fiction when chronically ill”

  1. Anonymous


  2. Anonymous


  3. Flowersstorms avatar

    *waves* Hey Susan! I haven’t been around much lately, but I’m still here 🙂

    I understand what you mean about escapism – for me making stuff helps a lot (crochet etc) but I really miss long-distance travelling. SOmething that’s helped me there is Google virtual tours (virtually visiting Petra was fun!) and also studying – I’m currently learning about History of Art and I find that really good for me both emotionally and mentally. I’m working through a massive free online course at Khan Academy when I can.

    I’m still learning to be kind to myself and trying not to get frustrated – it’s definitely a process, and not something with an easy answer.

    Much love
    Sarah x

    1. Susan Pearson avatar

      Hi Sarah,
      I was thinking about you the other day and feeling we haven’t talked for ages. I know what you mean about travelling, not that I have done an awful lot, but I have made the most of Google Earth recently. I have taken some causes on Skillshare that I have found helpful; I have many more bookmarked to do. At the moment I am busy with my genealogy because I can chip away at it with no need for too many spoons, this has been a positive mental thing for me.

      At this stage I wonder if we ever really get over the frustration of our limitations?

      Much love back to you,
      Susan x

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