This is the latest column from Lucy Saunders, who provides a regular agony aunt feature - Ask Lucy.
If you have a question for Lucy please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Lucy, I am in my mid thirties and have got M.E. I have had it for 2 years and have had to give up everything and had to go and live back with my parents. I have lost my career, my relationship and my social life. My best friend is about to have her first baby and I can’t help feeling envious and bitter about what has happened to me, as I feel all my friends are having fun and moving on with their lives.
Lucy. I can really empathise with you, as this must be a very difficult phase you are going through. You have to deal with the physical aspect of the illness and also the emotional side. You will be grieving and dealing with ‘loss,’ the loss of the life style you have had and you may feel everyone is achieving the normal milestones of life. It must be hard to go back and live at home like you are a child again, however you have to be strong and try and take on another mind set. Think to yourself this is an illness that you will recover from. I presume you are getting the help you are needing and hopefully going to a support group to meet other M.E. sufferers, as depression can go hand in hand with this condition. I think the key to you getting better is not to compare yourself with others as we all do things at different times in our lives and you are still young and have plenty of time to have a child. You need to focus on feeling grateful that you have parents who love you and can look after you and that can give you the space to concentrate on getting better and then you can slowly but surely get your life back together.
Dear Lucy I have rented a room out in my flat to a girl who always stays in and never seems to want go out which is very annoying. Whenever I bring my friends back, she is always around either on the sofa or in the kitchen and never talks, its just so awkward. I dread coming back to my own flat so I now stay at friend’s houses as much as possible. What shall I do?
Lucy. This must be a very awkward position for you, as ones home is one’s sanctuary. I do feel sorry for your flatmate though as it sounds like she isn’t very social however it feels that your space has been invaded. It sounds like you need to put some boundaries in place and make some home rules about both respecting your each other’s individual space. Maybe when you have friends around, you need to communicate that you would like to be alone with them and perhaps offer that you would do the same thing for her. You must not allow yourself to feel pushed out of your own flat and you will have to be honest and tell her what you want and if it doesn’t work out, she will have to leave when the contract is over. Living with flat mates can be trial and error but in the future when you are vetting flat mates lay down the boundaries at the beginning.
Lucy is a BACP Accredited Qualified Counsellor. She previously worked in the media as an actress.