Chronic illness and fatigue

If you suffer with chronic illness , you’ll know that owning an alarm clock is a waste of money . You’ll hear it going off , but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll wake up . 

You’ll also be very familiar with the snide remarks / “jokes” people make .

“I wish I had time to take a nap” .

“Everyone gets tired , you just have to push through it” .

Having chronic illnesses almost always means you don’t have a good , if any , sleep pattern . 

The usual 8 hours sleep everyone gets seems like heaven and you always hope that one day , you will get that glorious , golden 8 hours , of uninterrupted sleep for yourself . 

The thing is , no one truly understands it until they go through it themselves . I didn’t .  I’m 28 and 11 years ago I was your ‘normal’ , every day person who could get up and go . Party all night and work all day . Get a few hours sleep and I was raring to go again ! I never understood how people could be so slow or always sleeping or never go out . I loved life and nothing could hold me back . 

Then , I had my accident and life spiralled . I then started to understand why people couldn’t do things .

Normal everyday life is a chore . 

For me , I suffer with broken discs in my lower spine , hip and knee problems . (Along with so much more) . So from the minute I get up , I’m struggling . 

Getting dressed used to take minutes , now it’s 30 minutes or more . 

Bending , hurts . 

Getting up , hurts . 

Sitting down , hurts . 

I feel like I’m stuck in a 90 year olds body . 

The struggle is real – as they say . 

By the time I get downstairs I’m ready to go back to bed .

Making coffee is a chore but it’s so needed . Caffeine is about the only thing my body runs on these days . 

My normal routine …. I say routine , it’s more than likely that I …. Get up around 11am . Dressed and downstairs by 12pm . I have coffee by 12:15pm and then I sit down . I’ll try and get stuff done but every 15 minutes I need to sit . 

Come 5:30pm I . Am . Dropping . I normally go for a nap for a minimum of an hour and a half . It takes me between 30 and 45 minutes to settle and drop off . Then I’ll be waking up every 20 – 30 minutes . It takes around 10 minutes for me to drop back off to sleep . So I never get a full rest . This is why I can’t ‘power nap’ .

Then after my nap I’m normally awake until 4/5 am . I’ll sleep until 8am , waking every 20 – 30 minutes . Then I’ll be awake for an hour (8-9am) Then I usually nod off again until 11am . Always waking every 20-30 minutes . This is if I’m lucky to get sleep . Some nights , I’m awake all night . It all depends on the pain and if I can lie down etc . 

And I know I’m not the only one who suffers like this . My father is exactly the same as me . So I know I’m not alone when I say , it really is tough . 

So to have the usual sly remarks made , it’s no surprise when people get short with you .  

When you are basically called lazy . Oh how I wish it was true . Physical and mental exhaustion is no joke . 

Or when you’re told it’s just a bad day . Or you’ll get over it …. Please , show us how ? Teach us how chronic pain can be cured with a flick of a switch . 

And when people make fun of you . Now this is where people can get really petty . When they see you struggling and just think it’s hilarious and that you’re doing it for attention . I would absolutely love to watch you walk in our shoes for just one day . 

So please , be kind people . It takes zero effort to just be nice to someone . To try and understand it . I mean , you wouldn’t like someone to make a joke about your bad day would you ? So why would you do it to others ? 

Think before you judge . 

Chronic illness is tough . I have tried a lot of medication to help me , none of which have . It can take years to find the right thing , so far for me it’s taken 10 years , and I’m still trying . 

I’m now looking into natural pain relief and foods that help . 

What speaking out has done for me.

Many people are terrified to speak out about suffering from mental illness .
I was one of these.

For many years my life was tough and 90% of it was down to me.
I wasn’t willing to accept my illness.

I hid it the best that I could when I was out of the house.
People just saw me as a timid child, but my home life was hell.
Constant arguing and fighting over stupid things. I couldn’t control my anger.
I wasn’t angry at my family, I was angry at myself, but I would blame them as it was easier.

Hiding anxiety is tough and when you lash out, you normally lash out at those closest to you.
My parents just thought I was a naughty child, but there was so much more to it, I just couldn’t tell them.

Eventually, I went to see a doctor when I was 16. I was diagnosed with depression at aged 6 but they put it down to school and being a “school phobic”.
I was a phobic of most things, anything that included people and strangers.
I spoke to the doctor and they advised me that I should take medication. They gave me leaflets and told me to speak about how I was feeling and to keep diaries to help me speak about it.
I did the diary part, but I never spoke out about it.
I refused medication for as long as I could. I did speak to my parents about my anxieties but very vaguely.

I went through a lot in my short life, counselling being a main thing in my life. I hated it. Strangers wanting to know everything about me and asking me why I was feeling this way etc etc. It’s not my cup of tea.

I gave in to medications at the age of 24. It made me spiral backwards and I was at an all time low. The doctors kept changing them often. I was getting worse and worse.
I managed, after a year and a half, to pull myself off them .

Eventually, when I was 25. I started CBT.
CBT changed my life.
I spoke to my family and loved ones about my illness. I opened up completely.
It lifted a massive weight.

CBT only lasts 8 weeks. One session , one hour a week, but it made a HUGE difference to me.
Alun helped me focus on the here and now. He made me realise I wasn’t weird or an outcast. I accepted my illness and I managed to help others accept me to.
He helped me make this blog page which in turn has helped a few other people cope with their mental illness. I have also made new friends through this and I don’t feel lost anymore.

Speaking out has helped me:

  • Stopped the arguments.
  • Made others understand that I’m not cutting them out, my anxieties restrict me.
  • Made new friends.
  • Helped others speak out.
  • See my friends more now.
  • Made a blog.
  • Taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.
  • Got people off my back about working again.
  • I’ve spoken about all of my physical illnesses, as speaking out about my mental illness has given me the confidence to be open.
  • Made me feel more “normal”.
  • I have accepted myself and the hand I have been dealt.

As terrifying as it is to think about, it really isn’t anything like that. Thinking about it is the worst part.
Once you know you’re ready to accept yourself, speaking is part of the healing process.
I’m no where near “cured”, but I am getting there. I am slowly taking steps in the right direction, and as long as this road may be, I know I can get through it.
Day by day, little by little.

I highly recommend speaking out to everyone.
The best people to start with are the ones closest to you. Eg. Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, etc.

You’ll be surprised by how many people understand.

Being selfish.

This year I decided to do what I wanted to do .
Last year , as you know,  I went through hell and back with family and loved ones . We lost a lot and we’re left a mess .
I totally gave up .
But this year I’ve decided to be selfish .
I never put myself first and have always felt guilty for when I used to treat myself and not my friends or family .
Why should I ?
I deserve to be happy too !!
Last year proved that life is way too short to just sit back and hope and wish .
So this year , I have decided :

🌹 To eat clean and healthy .

Myself and my partner want to lose weight .
So far , so good .
All our food is clean and fresh 🙂
Low fat and barely any carbs .
No sweets but we do have fruit and hot chocolate to help with the cravings .

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🌹 Get my eyebrows tattooed .

I have shaved / plucked my eyebrows since age 18 . So I have zero as I hate my natural brows .
So I decided to get them tattooed on . Semi permanent make up .
They last up to 5 years if you keep topping them up every so often 🙂
Best decision I ever made !!

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🌹 Get more of my tattoo finished.

I started my sleeve tattoo last year . But as I had a lot going on , I ended up spending all of my savings on trying to save my dogs life (I regret nothing) .
So this year I have booked in for more work .
I have been put on the list for if a slot comes up . As William (tattooist) is fully booked for the year 🙂

🌹 Seeing friends more .

I rarely ever get out .
I go to Rob’s gigs but I’m always on my own , out the way somewhere  (I can’t do crowds)
So this year I am making time for those important people 🙂
This Saturday I have a few friends coming over for tea and some naughty cake (Home made – I’ll have a small piece)
Then in May I will be in London for The Damned and the day after I will be going to visit 2 amazing friends . We plan to go for food somewhere nice before heading home 🙂
Then in the summer they’re  coming to visit us 😀
Exciting times ahead !!

Simple little things ,  but they’re making all the difference . I feel more confident and happy about myself !!

I wish I had done this sooner 🙂
I know it sounds silly , but sometimes , being selfish really is ok 🙂

4 simple & natural ways to help anxiety

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Chamomile Tea

Just a few sips of Chamomile Tea can help relieve anxiety and stress . It’s a natural anti-anxiety medicine and has been proven to help reduce anxiety in just a few weeks .

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Turkey

That tired feeling you feel after Christmas dinner .
It’s from the tryptophan in the turkey.

“Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps you to feel calm. Tryptophan in the form of meat, has been shown to reduce anxiety disorders!”

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Turmeric

Known for its many uses .
It is excellent for anxiety and depression as it helps lift your moods .

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Dark Chocolate

One for those with a sweet tooth . (Just like me) .
Dark Chocolate has been found to help relieve anxiety .
In a study they used it as placebo medication .
Scientists found that those on 1.5 ounces of Dark Chocolate per day felt calmer than those who weren’t.

Cutting ties & moving forward.

Happy New Year everyone 🙂
I hope 2016 treats you well .

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I wanted to write this blog as it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while .
I went through a lot in 2015 . The ups and the major downs.  It was a long roller coaster ride of emotions .
But one thing that has taken a while to click with me, is the loss of friends .

We all go through life meeting new people. We all lose someone in some way shape or form , but I’m not on about the ‘normal’ loss of friends through losing contact or just life getting in the way.  I’m on about losing someone who you considered to be a friend .
The fake friend.
Someone who you put your life on hold for , to meet up with.
Someone who you threw your problems aside for and tried to help them when they were at breaking point .
(But who wouldn’t do this for you .)

And then when their life starts to pick back up, they kick you to the curb .

It feels awful .
The feeling of being used .
No one deserves that .
I don’t understand how people can put someone through it .

Oh my life is hell , they’ll understand

– When you become good enough for them. –

Now my life is back on track, I don’t need that ‘negative’ friend who has helped me through it all, I’ll just kick them to the curb and move on with my life” .

– The part where they become too good for you and you become the negative one . Because they are on the slight “up” that life has given them . –

I’ve been thinking about it a lot . As I do over think things, that’s the whole thing about anxiety .
As much as it magnifies every emotion , it can , every once in a while , make you see things clearly .

I gave my time .
I gave up hours of my days .
I would drop everything for this friend .
I would push my problems aside and I would listen to them go on and on about theirs .
They would cry,  get angry and really vent .
They needed someone and I was willing to be that someone .
To be the shoulder .
I truly believed that they wanted to be friends .
That they were a nice person .
When really , they just saw me for the soft person that I am .
For the person who will do anything to see others happy .

As soon as I had done my work . They got their life back on track , for now. They have a job again , and I feel like they now think they’re better than me. 

I had tried to make contact with this person . But there was always some excuse .
I asked them if everything was ok between us .

They lied .

I then saw them when out and about and they ignored me but acknowledged my friend .

Then in passing conversation between said friends , they dropped the news in about a job .

And it all clicked .

Whilst they think they’re being clever . They’re actually showing their true self .

I was good enough when no one else would listen to them , but the minute they get a part of their life back , boom . I’m not good enough .

They only got their idea of said job , from me . Which is what I find amusing .

I’m better than her now , because I have the job she said would be perfect for me and pointed me in the right direction

But instead of a thank you , I just get tossed aside .

The best part to it all ?

They don’t realise that with depression , it’ll always come back .

The paranoir , the sleepless nights , Panic attacks , feeling ill , feeling unwanted , unloved . Etc .
It isn’t a once in a life time thing that just goes over night . Depression is always there . It just hides until you let your guard down , and then it jumps right back on .

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2015 taught me a lot of hard lessons . The main one is having to let go .

So this blog , is me letting go .
It’s the final goodbye to a toxic relationship .
I may be unfit to work because of health issues , but that doesn’t give anyone the right to treat me like an underdog .
It doesn’t make you a better person because you can get up pain free every day . It doesn’t change who you are .
And nothing gives you the right to treat someone this way .

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this .
So my advice to you is , cut them off .
Don’t let them get to you. 
They used you and yes it sucks .
They took your nice nature and used it to their advantage .
But that doesn’t make you a bad person , it makes them the bad person .
So instead of just dwelling on it , say your final goodbye , in what ever way you feel appropriate,  and cut all ties .

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I feel good after venting all of this 🙂
Now I can move on to the next chapter of my life .
I hope you can too 🙂

My Spiritual Experiences

Friday night is open circle night at the Spiritual Centre in Llanelli. Which I attended for the first time last Friday.
It was an amazing experience 😀

I was very nervous about going so I went with my Aunty.
We went out for a lovely meal before heading to the centre.
Both of us had no idea what to expect but we were looking forward to learning about it.

When we entered it was pretty empty. We were greeted by the main Medium and told that they wouldn’t freak us out. He explained a little bit about the circle and then let us mingle with the others.

In total there were about 50 people. We ended up having to put more chairs out into the circle.

We all sat in a circle with 5 mediums all around the room.
Most of us had readings, but sadly no one came through to us this time.
However, we met some lovely people. It was so peaceful there and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

I came home feeling calm and warm. Like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, even though I didn’t get a reading this time around.

The messages that did come through for others were lovely. They were all warm and loving and it made me happy to see others happy J

I highly recommend this experience to anyone who is open to it.

Last Tuesday, (Yesterday) I also attended an evening in the spiritual centre with my friend. A medium from another centre came in as a guest. She gave out messages to nearly the whole room.
She was very, very good!!

My friend had a message come through and towards the end there was a little message from my Nan too. Only to say she is around and she is sending love.
But it was lovely to hear it and it was lovely to hear my friend get a message too.

Yet again, I left feeling calm and warm.
It was an amazing experience!!

I will be attending again this Friday and the following Tuesday. I’m hoping to make this a regular thing.

The feeling when I leave the centre is truly amazing. It’s rare I ever feel calm and relaxed.
I am also very tempted to attend the Monday sessions for Spiritual Healing.
If anyone has experienced this themselves, please feel free to let me know any information about it J

I am quite excited for the next meetings.
Obviously, I will blog about them J

I have to apologise for the wait with this blog too.
I know a few of you have been asking when it will be up.
I really wanted to post about it last Monday. However, my Internet has been playing up so I have had to wait until it peaks a little before I can post anything.
I am hoping to get it sorted this week!!
Here’s hoping!!

Very busy , mentally challenging , physically exhausting .

So I have had one of the most busiest weekends this year .

I went to Porthcawl fair on Friday.
Folly Farm on Saturday.
And Band Practice with Grim Citizens, in Carmarthen on Sunday.

Porthcawl.

6pm I went to Porthcawl with Rob, my brother, sister in law, Katie & Brooklyn.
Emily had a sleep over at her friends so she didn’t come with us.
It was wet & windy but really fun!
Rob won me a teddy . I won one myself too.

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(Rob won the white one – I won the meerkat) 

Katie went on nearly every ride possible & Brooklyn just enjoyed the arcade.
We all had a laugh , had some candy floss & went for some chips afterwards.
We got soaked! But it was worth it.

I had a bit of a panic attack before going as I didn’t know what to expect. I had never been before so it was a new experience. But I enjoyed when we got there 🙂 

It helped having family around me 🙂 

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Folly Farm.

Myself & Rob organised to meet up for a catch up with friends when we were in Surrey.
As they have children we thought Folly Farm was the best bet. 
I had never seen Giraffes before either so it was a win win.

We met up with Richard & Charlotte & their 3 gorgeous boys. Logan, Corey & Zac. 
Started at around 10:30am, myself & Rob went for breakfast & a coffee as we waited for them. We then wondered around the gift shop. 
We met up with them at 12:30pm in the reptile house 😀 
It was amazing !! 
We spent the whole day walking around slowly and seeing everything . 
We had a lovely catch up & pigged out with a double ice-cream ….. Which was MASSIVE !! (So worth it !!)
I went for the mint choc chip – as usual 😛 

It didn’t rain much which was a bonus. I think we literally had 5 minutes of drizzle & that was it . 
The sun shone the rest of the time.

Afterwards, we all went into Narberth for some chips ( I know – Take away again !!) 
And went to a carpark to eat them so we could chat & have a laugh . 

It was a fantastic day & my panic attacks stayed at bay. 

I was exhausted by the time we got home (9pm) . I was so drained it was unbelievable !! 
I think my illness got to me in a different way this time . 
I slept for over 12 hours !!!! 
But it was such a nice day , it was worth it .

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Band Practice – Carmarthen.
Waking up was a struggle. I was fighting everything . I could easily have slept some more – Even though I had 12 hours sleep.
I was in agony with my back & legs & I had a migraine . 😦 It wasn’t a good start to the day.
My body was fighting me on everything . 
I went downstairs & had to make lasagne , it was the easiest thing to make in the house. I was shaking & feeling dizzy . It was horrible . 
The 2 days of adventure had hit me like a ton of bricks . 
I made sure I drunk plenty of water & I ate all of my food . (It was 1pm) 
I then had to help Rob hang his clothes out . My body hated it. I was weak & felt ill.
Eventually we made it to the car & headed off for Rob’s band practice. 
When we arrived I felt a lot better . I munched on some chocolate on the way so I had some sugar in me. 

Band practice went really well & I managed to get some nice shots of them playing 🙂 
It was a nice relaxing day for me , which I needed !! 
We went for food in Weatherspoon’s afterwards & ended up having free drinks because food was delayed . So I had a lovely caramel frappé lol (I had 2 in total) .

After food we headed home . it was 10pm by the time we got back . I was dropping again & couldn’t wait to get into bed !! 

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All in all , it was a fantastic weekend . Despite my illness pushing me back a little bit , I managed to push through it. 
I am paying for it now with all the aches & pains & tiredness , but it was so nice to actually get out. 
I miss getting out & doing things .
It made me feel “normal” . Which I have mentioned before , is a big thing for me. 

Last week , I was catching up with one of my favourite artists on YouTube. I got a little jealous as he was going out & about on his own & grabbing a coffee. The little things that I want to do basically , & it made me feel a little low . Knowing I can’t do that because of my constant battles with my illness . But this weekend made me realise that I don’t need to do that 🙂 I have very supportive friends & family who will do it with me & help me through my though times 🙂 
So even though it may be the norm for some to go & do it alone , it isn’t my norm . 
Yes , I rely on people a lot , but those people are amazing & they are great to be around .
I am very lucky.