Make yourself a drink, grab a snack and relax, this is gonna be a long one.
Where, oh where have I been? Nowhere, to be honest with you, but all over the place at the same time. I guess I took an unplanned break for an unexpected amount of time. It ended up being a very stressful couple of months, as you’d expect from the holidays but it took a toll on me that I wasn’t prepared for. Something I don’t really talk about is my struggle with mental health (depression, anxiety disorder) and my physical health (fibromyalgia). All of these like to mingle with each other and rile each other up leaving me exhausted. It’s like being a parent with 3 toddlers demanding attention, kicking up tantrums and arguments with each other and I’m left trying to put one in a timeout in the corner whilst the other 2 run wild again, endlessly repeating myself. I’m still coming to terms with the fibromyalgia but the depression and anxiety have been side kicks of mine since pre-teen. I never know what to say about these things and never explain myself because I feel like I can’t quite word it right but I’ll try.
My depression has been up and down for the longest time but I’ve gotten quite good at keeping it at bay, believe me when I say I’ve come a long way since my teenage years. The fibromyalgia, however, is something the doctors reckon I’ve had for a long time but it’s such a hard illness to diagnose, often hiding itself within others so I’ve never had time to get used to it. There’s no real explanation on how it developed and there is no cure. There’s also a lot of people who like to tell you it’s all in your head and to get over it. I tried. FOR YEARS. But in the end, it got to the point where enough was enough and it needed to be addressed. Fast forward a year later after my diagnosis, my pain management still isn’t great. I should probably explain a bit about what fibromyalgia actually is, in case you want to know.
Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body.
As well as widespread pain, people with fibromyalgia may also have:
– increased sensitivity to pain
– fatigue (extreme tiredness)
– muscle stiffness
– difficulty sleeping
– problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as problems with memory and concentration
– irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes stomach pain and bloating.
Taken from the NHS website, you can read up more about the symptoms in detail here.
I’ve still had no treatment on how to cope, no graded exercise classes, zilch. Just a lot of painkillers and prescriptions. I self-help as much as I can from the internet (yoga, walking, diet etc) but I’ve been told by doctors that I’m not doing things correctly for myself and my needs in which case I am to see a professional to get an advice on what to do as everyone is different BUT this is still yet to happen a year on. I’ll admit, it defeats me from time to time and it did in December. I caught a cold and damn, it got me bad. I could hardly move, barely get out of bed. You can only imagine how depressed that would make you feel, now add that to someone who already suffers from depression. It’s a very precarious balance, my depression. It’s always there, lurking, using anything to be a reason to rear it’s ugly head. I lost all inspiration and just focused all my energy, what little I had left of it, into trying to get through the day without wanting to put my head through a wall. I also wanted to be there for my family the best I could and I’ll admit, I took on more than I should’ve. In my family, you work hard and I suppose you could call us perfectionists. We set goals too high for ourselves and over work to achieve it and by that point, you’re too tired to see the end result. We’re not competitive or anything, just a very high work ethic. You can only imagine how mad this drives me since I physically cannot do this. Maybe that’s a saving grace, who knows, but it makes me feel small and pathetic when I can’t keep up with them because “my legs are causing too much pain to walk” or “I can’t even pick up a coffee cup.” or I am literally knocked out for the count because I get the worst fatigue that completely incapacitates me.
ANYWAY, this is not a therapy session. I have been feeling guilty about abandoning the blog for a while, I tried but I wasn’t even at home for a good two weeks around Christmas and that in itself was stress central. Trying to be in two places at once was a killer. I’m too much of a people pleaser (thanks Mum :P). I’m back home now, things are slowly settling back to normal and even though things aren’t where they should be which is giving my anxiety a free pass for a rave in my head, I’m getting there. I’m focusing on what’s in front of me, what I want to happen and how to get there. I’ll be back blogging, for sure. I’ve got a few ideas floating around my head, so we’ll see what comes of those.
I’m not sure what the point of this post is as I’m not trying to make any excuses but it feels like a small weight has been lifted off my shoulders just talking about all of this a little and I suppose, lets you guys know me a bit better as a person. I’m more than happy to talk to anyone who suffers from any issues mentioned or is just interested and wants to learn! I’m not used to speaking publicly about topics like this but I think that should change this year.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I truly mean that. I know this isn’t like a normal post for me, quite the opposite really, so thank you for reading this long wordy one. I appreciate every single person who stumbles across this blog and takes the time out of their day to read anything here, it’s awesome to see and communicate with you all!
Much love to you all, – L x