We enter into a new week, with a new week comes a fresh page and a blank canvas for us to add the colours too and paint the picture.
I won't lie... I am struggling. I said last week how much the weather is knocking me. It is never ending, the rain, wind and just gloom. I know Saturday was the worst. I couldn't bare the thought of venturing out of the house. None of my family could either. The weather was so wild and even when your symptoms are bad enough as it is, the mental block of four walls makes them feel like they are closing in on you even more so. I generally feel like have flu, everything just aches. I have been lying awake most nights aching, in my muscles, spine and joints. I am so tired as a result and very drained. You don't want to move around much because you physically feel sick to your stomach.
I am trying to take up yoga again, nothing intense - gosh. It is tough enough just doing a few stretches when your joints painful, clicking and you are light headed. Just getting into the mindset of doing the 10-15minutes takes some soul searching. I always feel better, and proud of myself of pushing through the pain to try and loosen my muscles and joints in the long run. I am not lazy but I can't do the level of exercise or movement I used too. So the little bits I do, aren't really enough to help my overall well-being. I can't ever get into the breathing and mediating side of things. My mind is too crazy and active to silence it, even just for a second. It is purely to try and aid the pain in my pain and muscles and for my mental to help me not to feel lazy.
I think it is only human nature to try and find a way to feel 'normal' and better in or ourselves and when everything else seem so unpredictable we find comfort in routine, in a way a release and something that when we take part in it, we feel proud of ourselves and we get something back. With illness of any kind, it seems to be a one-way road with take, take, take. We have no control or feel like we are losing control, which is the scariest thing in the world.
My Mum brought me up on routine, and with swimming and school you have a timetable, a programme and a routine to stick too. It has been instilled in me from a young age and having a routine is second nature and automatic to me. It is when that routine is rocked that it throws me off because it is one of the only things that is constant and reliable. In hospital we had a set routine and the nurse said to me, it may take me few days to get my head around it. But by day two, it was second nature and that was that. There was no questioning the routine or anything like that. It actually brought me some form of comfort because I was in an alien land, with people I couldn't connect with, far away from home, misunderstood by the doctors and alone. The routine was all I really had, that was secure. I didn't have food to fuel me, I didn't have the luxury to go outside and I didn't have the conversations I could connect with. I seriously thought I would never make it out alive.
I tried to make sure I had my mindful colouring to calm my mind. I attended the talks that they put on for us because to me they were interesting and knowledge is power, we all need to keep learning. Plus I needed to learn more about the people I was living with, I needed to know how they worked so I could talk to them. The talks gave me a little bit of an insight. I kept in contact with family, friend via message and social media. In hope I wouldn't feel so alone and so far from them. I dreamt and thought of food constantly ( never in my life did feel like this) I was beyond hungry, which affected my mood. By day 3, I was over pitying myself and being angry. The other girls were hard to connect with as I didn't understand how their brains worked. I felt guilty for that , but I really did try my best. I didn't want to see things how they did, as that was dangerous to my own well-being but taking illness out of the equation and figuring out their interests, hobbies and goals for the future was a level I could connect with them on. It was refreshing for them because nobody asked them questions about 'them' as people, what they enjoyed and so on. It was all about their health which is draining. If it wasn't checking your bloods, it was queuing for your medications or deciding what food option you were picking. Nothing ENJOYABLE.
It was probably rude to listen in, but there was one evening and I didn't have any visitors that night so I was doing some colouring in the lounge, when one of the girls I sat on a table with a meal times, her family had come to see her. She was flicking through her own colouring book and showing her loved ones her, frankly masterpieces ( far better than mine). Her family didn't appreciate the HOURS and effort she had put into her colouring and highlighted every negative they could find. At that point it all clicked with me, these girls wanted to disappear because they felt so undervalued and a let down to the people their loved the most. As the days rolled on, my health was rapidly declining but I was able to talk to the girls a bit more, and a bit more on a level I could connect with them on. I would NEVER bring up their health. That's all anyone else had a conversation with them about and that isn't healthy either. I tried to be the cheerleader, tried to be the support their loved ones should have been.
One girl, this is NO word of a lie. Her drawings were incredible. She didn't think they were anything but they were truly amazing. I told her to sell them, because the appreication she would get from other people may help boost her. She didn't know how to sell them and if we are perfectly honest there was probably a proper art selling site out there but I just set her up on Depop because it was the only buy/selling app I knew how to set up and use. I left before I really knew how she got on with it. But I truly do hope there are people out there in the world with her drawings on their walls.
These girls didn't need to be told, why they were depressed and have talks going on and on about the negatives. They just need a dose of motivation. A purpose, a reason to live and fight. They had lost their way through people putting them down and judging them, yet they were in a place that was 'trying' to help but constantly reminding them of the negatives. You were treated as if you were such a problem, and not worthy of luxury's and choice. The wrong message to give out. They needed to know they were WORTH the luxury's, life, love and so forth.
Routines are always good but they should also be positive, not negative. If they aren't bringing a sense of comfort, stability and positivity to your life then you have to re-assess and think about WHY you have the routine you do.
My time in hospital emotionally, mentally and physically wore me down. Still to this day it has left scars so deep. I no longer feel confident living on my own because the silence just haunts me and the nights of feeling so alone and feeling so unwell were just unimaginable. It is soul-destroying but I am lucky that SOMEHOW I managed to use my love of routine and my willingness to understand people to get me through and make positives out of so many negatives.
Nothing worthwhile is EVER easy. NEVER. Our journey's aren't simple or plain sailing. We all reach a point where we want to throw the towel in, we are tested and challenged. And we all have people who put us down and make us feel like we are let down's. We have to understand that as long as we try our hardest to live for ourselves, work hard, pave the life we want to lead and be the best people we can be then we aren't letting anyone down and especially not ourselves.
Looking on to the week, we have to make it special and productive in anyway we can. Whether it's small changes, small steps or big plans. We are always leaving our mark on the world.