I currently live in a privately-rented two-bedroom mid-terrace with stairs I’m finding increasingly difficult to negotiate reliably and consistently because of the painful effects of my fibromyalgia. I’ve been offered a two-bedroom bungalow (single-level house) through my local housing association. I might yet turn it down as unsuitable; the only criteria would be size, I think, as the property is being renovated and decorated, so I don’t think I’d reject it for any other reason. But my response to it even being a possibility that I’ll be moving soon has struck a kind of terror into me. Why? Well, when I moved to where I am now, five years ago, I wasn’t dealing with the problems fibromyalgia brings in terms of pain and fatigue.
I used a removal firm last time and will need to do so again. That costs money, as would getting the carpets or other flooring I’ve been told would be needed. I packed and unpacked myself last time. I can’t do that now, not on my own. Reaching out to friends to ask for help has been a huge deal for me but I’ve done it. I had no choice. Last time I moved, I was packing on and off for almost a year; this time round, I could have just a few weeks. And I’ve so much stuff.
If it has to happen, it will. It’s just, when you have a chronic pain condition, fibro or something else, some tasks can seem like overwhelming mountains to climb and moving house is certainly one of those big, rocky, shadow-casting things. It’s not just the packing and unpacking. It’s the postal redirection, contacting goodness knows how many companies to let them know of the change, arranging for the satellite TV, phone, gas, electricity to be set up… Even writing about this, I can feel my heart starting to race and a wave of undetermined doom wash over me.
I am generally appalling for soliciting help. I do it or it doesn’t get done. I realise that has to change and it isn’t an easy prospect. Other people with disabilities move house. If they can do it, so can I – with a little help, as the Beatles sang, from my friends.
Andrew’s latest book, myfibromyalgia: one man’s experience of living with chronic illness, is out Monday 2 July in all Amazon store territories the world over. The ebook can be pre-ordered for £5.99 and the paperback will be £8.99 from the date of release.