I had a lovely trip to England and now it was time to return to Spain.
Things were certainly different and it started with the coach journey back to Altea. A long journey, nearly as long as the flight and I had a few worrying thoughts about it.
Will it be full of stag and hen parties?
Just how long a journey will it be?
So instead of letting those worrying thoughts go through my head I decided to put on my ipod, listen to a Spanish class and just try to relax……
I needn’t have worried and that’s my point really. Sometimes we create our worries and concerns only for them not to materialize. What is the point in worrying in advance when in reality the ‘problem’ does not happen.
The coach journey was fine. As it is now summer season, it was full of happy couples and families. Exhausted after the early morning start and ready to relax happily and in expectation of a good holiday.
The drop offs, were long and a bit of amusement as the driver inched his way around the many streets and hotels of Benidorm. Stuck behind cars parked 3 abreast, horn blaring he sat there with a smile and an occassional raise of the shoulders as he looked down the bus.
It’s when I got back to Altea that I noticed some changes in me.
Hashimotos thyroid illness has taken away my natural ability to be with people and to communicate. At one time if you needed a presentation to a 1,000 people, then I was the person. Someone to give a 5 minute speech, now! yes that was me. This illness changes that and I feature a piece written about by Scarlett and this is a small section.
Due to these bouts of forgetfulness I have disappointed and frustrated many friends, employers, co-workers, partners etc. I have been perceived as inconsiderate, uncaring and irresponsible. I have also shown symptoms of slowing cognitive processing. My mind frequently wanders without any clarity. I am unable to vocalize entire thoughts in an articulate and fluid fashion. I get stumped on words in mid sentence. I have forgotten meanings and spellings of words. Often it is difficult for me to understand or retain new information. I often feel dense and unintelligent. I also suffer from periods of extreme sadness and depression. I often withdraw from social activities, I am deficient of passion and enthusiasm. It is often impossible to get happy, regardless of the pleasures in my life. I avoid friendships and most conversations.
I knew that I had been through all those symptoms and quite a few had gone away, yet I also knew I was not integrating over here as I could have been. There are times when I have to be on my own. Times when I try to see people and end up frustrated as words come out wrong, thoughts are not coherent. Yet to anyone else I look fine and probably come over a bit weird or slow! Some of the symptoms remain and I need to work out what I need to do.
I decided that I would make myself go out more into the crowds. To go to a cafe on my own and be surrounded by people and just maybe have a drink. Then one evening I felt strong enough to go for a meal.
To most people that’s fine except for a bit of embarrassment of eating alone.
For me it is noise overload, colour overload, information overload.
All these are stressors on my adrenal gland and making my poor thyroid panic and scream for more medicine!
Then just as I was walking into a restaurant for a meal I heard
I thought well it can’t be for me as I don’t know anyone and yet it was for me. It was the first time I had been walking around and someone called out my name! It was a great moment for me, someone had not thought I was going through an illness, or that I was weird, this person actual wanted to say Hi to me. I was OK to be as I am and accept that I do what I can with this illness.
It was a woman I had met briefly in my yoga class and been introduced too. She stopped me and we had a chat and exchanged phone numbers and that we would meet for a drink at my fave bar Altearte on another night.
I went for my meal and realised that yes, I still have symptoms and they are less visible now. I am really getting better and I just have to accept that it is a slow process. That, just perhaps, I am also OK as I am now. To worry about other people’s perceptions is a worry not to have, as it may not happen, as I am actually meeting really genuine people along the way.
With a lightness of heart I went for my meal. It was lovely and I chose my table carefully to be away from the busyness of the street and yet able to quietly observe.