My re-charge button is flashing but there seems to be so much to do.
The kind supportive messages are really important to me, I cherish them so much and they really do keep me motivated, more than I can explain. I just want to say a BIG thank you, to you all. The last few weeks have been mentally and physically draining. I have enjoyed every minute but my work load has increased ten fold.
Like I say, the tiredness day to day doesn't affect me too much as I simply power on. It's when the battery has been flashing, its gone into low battery mode and I have chosen to ignore it and carry on anyway. Reaching the 0% with a crash and burn. I know I am ready for my holiday but I also know I can't stop. I can't switch off. I am so passionate and driven by my work that it really isn't my work - it's my life. I am working over-time to try and have blog posts scheduled and ready, it's important to me. My life outside of this is also hectic, we have so many exciting things going on with the family business too that my mind is all over the shop. Doctors appointments, visitors and the day to day basics. Life doesn't seem to calm down until the beginning of August, it's so insane.
There are tough days, mentally and physically, no doubt about it but I don't dread blogging or run away from answering emails. I look forward to them. I know my soul craves the proactive nature of it all. The comments, the responses, the love and support I so kindly receive everyday is what drives me to keep working hard even through the darkest hours. I just find it hard someday to put words on a page, understand what I am writing and reading so just generally function. I forget that I am not a professional or a trained writer. I'm just me, learning on the job and spilling out my heart to you.
My bloods were rock bottom again last week but have improved this week. I did so much running around physically last week that this week with my protein boosts - sticking to Quorn, Alpro yoghurts and nuts has helped my body bounce back. Breakspear were concerned with my bloods being so low and I am due to go back for my annual review once I am home and work slows. Which at this point of time could end up being the end of July.
People get funny and think I am being fussy when I have to stick to routine, eat what I eat day in and day out but it has to be done to keep me as healthy as I can.
I am in the midst of a few rough days, my head is foggy, my head pressure is through the roof, I am hot, then I am cold, I lose my earing for a few minutes and then get it back, my body aches and you simply have to put 10 times more effort in to EVERYTHING to do basic tasks.
To top it all off I have had my head injections cancelled, so this head pressure that makes my head feel like it's minutes away from exploding, I will have to deal with and manage on holiday but more importantly ON THE PLANE.
When the pressure is through the roof - GOD PLEASE, BE KIND.
Helping people through their darkest times, listening and REALLY listening has helped me blossom into the person I am today. I have cried with you, for you and ultimately gained personal strength from relating and finding comfort in the stories shared everyday. It's true when we say we never fight alone, we don't. We can all understand in different ways what we are all going through and we all deal with these problems in different ways.
In some people depression causes them to feel life-less and unproductive, others burn themselves out - trying to keep busy in the hope they can keep their minds active and distracted. I am definitely the latter. Hearing stories are so heart breaking but with me offering advice and support I realise myself what I want in life, out for friends, loved ones, careers and so on. I learn more about me and how to help heal myself. So when I say my work is my medicine, it really is.
Learning about PEOPLE, their stories, their lives and coping mechanisms can really enlighten our own.
Listening and really listening is key and so many of us really don't use this tool effectively.
I am so used to chasing people, that I am now drained, exhausted and tired. I have seen proof and realised that the RIGHT people will be the ones chasing you and the relationship will be a two way road. A much better and healthier balance. I used to fall apart when people would walk away. I still do to a certain extent but I have come to realise that they have a right to choose and they made that choice. Worrying and getting upset over it is just a waste of energy, I can't change the situation . They may not have been the person you thought they were. The real question to ask is whether you what a person in your life that they have shown themselves to be. Often than not, the straight answer is NO. I have some amazing close friends and family and at times we do go a long time without seeing one another or even chatting but we all live such diverse lives and that's important too. We are all driven and want to live life as much as possible. When we do meet up, its like we have never been apart and they know they can ring me and I will ALWAYS be there, and that's what I expect of them. Two-way.
Sometimes, you feel almost cruel for asking and expecting what I see as 'simple' friendship traits but often others view them as being selfish. Not realising that I simply what back what I give.
Meeting people through my journey and in the blogging world has shown to me that is really is the key players in your life that matter.
Career is another massive topic for me. In a sense, I ALWAYS wanted to be known for me. Not the daughter of... and so on. But Sophie Ward.
When my swimming career ended I was lost but I had the swimmer label hanging over my head for a good decade after retiring.
My successes in the pool, were amazing - I am thankful for them everyday. They shouldn't define the person I am today however. I have had re-invent myself and enter the wild with no real direction. With health, real loss of myself and my identity it has taken my health struggles to really pinpoint what I ENJOY most importantly.
I have been lucky enough to suffer hardships that have led me to become a stronger person and really realise the true values in life.
First my writing simply started with me keeping a diary which I enjoyed writing in every morning. I never considered blogging or thought about how big blogging has become in recent years. It was only because I had set up a website to showcase my cupcakes that I decided to share my new food recipes instead, with following a plant-based diet. From there it grow to giving advice and sharing my own stories. I realised that this to me was like writing my diary but instead of it just helping me, I was helping others too. I didn't care that I was putting so many hours into one post and only getting a few hits and of course I don't care about the financial side of blogging. I got a buzz from enlightening others, which helped me so much.
I remembered the days I used to give advice to younger swimmers and cheer them on.
Now, swimming like blogging was something I simply enjoyed. I wasn't trained in coaching nor had I ever had experience of coaching. Yet these swimmers came to me for help and when the help brought them success I couldn't have been happier for them. This evidence showed me that I didn't need a piece of paper telling me I was qualified to do what I loved and enjoyed.
I then began blogging almost everyday and have now watched myself gain in self-worth, purpose and also do something I enjoy, I AM MY OWN PERSON and people appreciate and enjoy my blog.
My blog - is me.
Sophantastic - is Sophie Ward.
I have built this up and I have really faced so many fears to get to where I am today. I have still SO MUCH I hope to achieve and improve on. This is why I thrive on the work coming in, because the buzz is what inspires me. With inspiration comes a better, stronger Sophie Ward.
Yes, I am exhausted but it won't push me to shy away from opportunities, work and commitments.
I wanted to sit here today to reflect on how far personally I have come but also to give all of you some inspiration and hope. When I retired from swimming I thought everything had been lost. I had no hope. The brutal end to my career still hurts to this day, but as they say as one door closes another one really does open. We just have the believe and never give up.
We are far stronger than we believe,