• Sophie Ward.

Interviews & Hard Pills To Swallow

It feels like a hot minute since I last posted, yet time has gone so quickly. It has been one of the hardest weeks. The realisation of not coping with life is a hard pill for me to swallow. Conferences, are ALWAYS tiring to EVERYONE. My pain and discomfort however took things to a WHOLE new level. I just couldn't cope.

I LOVE the people, I love the company, the talks and learning. This time it was all so different. Like many of us when we are feeling poorly, we feel like we are watching life and people through a glass window. Not really there. The company and everything all together were still amazing but the pain had sucked all the fun out of everything and replaced the fun with worry, panic and feeling guilty.

I LOVE dressing up and going out for meals but this time it was so different, it was a quick get ready and rush around because I needed some chill time and to mentally prepare myself for what lay ahead. I was tiring quicker in conversations and my pain was so great, frankly I was too exhausted. Sitting quietly was the best bet.

I didn't feel like eating because everything was making my stomach wishy washy and with these dinners you never know what they have or haven't put in your food, if they have followed your requirements or not and I just couldn't. I can't tell you, the pain. It was like when I had to go into hospital last March. I couldn't dare drink or eat much at night because everything I consumed increased the pain and I knew I had to sit up, smile and be with it for a good five hours. Which is tiring and SO difficult in pain. When you just want to lie down and curl up in a ball. Maybe it is all just wrong timing. I have said over the past year to my Dad that these events are becoming more and more of a challenge to me.

He says I am fine and it's me mentally telling myself that. Believe you me though it isn't, if I was mentally telling myself I can't keep up I wouldn't keep trying too. It is clear as evidence proves that every time I seem to do one of these tiring events, I can't keep up. At first I always felt guilty, I should be normal, I should be able to do what everyone else is doing, it is tiring to everyone. NOW, the pain is so great that I am accepting that maybe I can't do these events anymore, I can't push through, I can't handle the pain or hide it anymore like I used to be ale too.

It is kind of people to say how well I look and how much better I look in myself. People look at my work, look at my often manic schedule and think I am fine, what am I complaining about? I can't have Lyme Disease that badly. They forget the rollercoaster journey I have been on, just to get here.

I haven't had much guidance, which has led to many mistakes and I have learnt on the job, as I continue to learn everyday. I have had to knock down walls and also rebuild a few. My journey isn't a desirable one and neither was it one I would recommend. I lost so much on the way, including myself. I have worked hard and shed my tears to be where I am today. I am so blessed and grateful for all the opportunities, adventures, experiences and work I have done. I am so thankful to the people who have supported me day and night through it all. I have become stronger in so many ways and my outer shell shows that. BUT people forget that the main pain has always being invisible from deep within. I battle the unknown everyday. I have and continue to do ALL I can to try and stay as well as possible but there are somethings I can't control and that kills me.

I wrote my book to prove that what people see on their TV screen of a girl, looking well and telling her story, fighting her case with ease is just 2 minutes of my day, of my week. People don't see the tears, the pale ghost, the pain and the battles every minute of everyday. It is often a shock to some when I don't make events or head to bed in pain and exhausted by 9pm.

I may be more proactive and productive with (my) work but I can't balance and juggle like I used to. I can do MORE of my work because it is flexible, I can work around my health rather than have no rest-bite and it all being so heavy and full on. I can lie down, be near to facilities if and when I need them and balance EVERYTHING far easier. It kills me that my life has to work out this way. I am a swimmer at heart. I did the long days, juggling swimming, school and life... now and it is HEARTBREAKING things are so different.

What kills me most is that the pain so great, that often choosing to take a break or miss out doesn't bother me anymore. I used to be upset about 'missing out' on experiences I felt I needed to take on and so forth. It would play over and over in my mind for days. I am SO exhausted, so upset that it is best not to put myself in the firing line where worry, panic and pain will taint what should be pleasant and enjoyable times.

Everyone also tries to reassure you that there will always be 'a next time' but frankly often this isn't reality and I have known this for many years through my own experiences. The time is always NOW and that is why so much pressure and emotions are pinned to events, moments, experiences, opportunities and decisions. Maybe, knowing this fact is what makes decision making so hard for me.

I am not being negative, and it is hard for me to write as it processes in my mind what my body and heart are trying to tell me.

I have always since I retired from swimming, felt a disappointment and health complications always feeds this mindset and heightens it. I have tried and seen where I can and cannot fit in life. It is so hard at 25 to have to balance everything. No way is there ever a right or wrong way with coping with these things. It takes many years to re-gain a positive outlook on life, your situation and most importantly yourself. But, it is something we should all be working to achieve.

I don't know where my path will lead me next, how I will deal with hurdles or what decisions I will make and be at peace with. I will never give less than 120 per cent to LIFE. My train as it has been many times, may be derailed, results in heavy delays and changes in direction. For sure I need to focus more on listening to my body and feeding it with what makes it smile rather than cry. I will often get this wrong, but I am trying my best in everyway I can. I am keeping great faith in fate and hoping that all in all there is a reason for my circumstances, my pain and the lessons I am forced to experience and learn to grow and develop.

To you all, I think the message is that acceptance and feeling at peace is one of the hardest nuts to crack and something that needs regular work. We have to feel more at ease with ourselves and recognise when our body and hearts are calling out for help, rather than dismissing them and ignoring them. The road isn't easy and it comes with a lot of hard emotions. We just have to appreciate that storms have to come along but the sun always has to rise, it is life. Life isn't perfect and you aren't either. We all make mistakes and have our weaknesses but we have to highlight our strengths to keep pushing on and growing no matter how high the walls may be trying to trap us in.

Tomorrow I am being interviewed by the lovely Nicola Adam on her Chorley FM show at 10AM. Please tune in, you can listen live through the Chorley FM website & on 102.8FM. We will be discussing my book and up and coming events. I am very excited and looking forward to this interview.

Love always,



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