The Realities Of Chronic Illness

June 11, 2019

 

 

Days like these are the worst! Why? So many reasons why but often they are so hard to even begin to explain. 

 

I didn't feel up to anything today, I felt sick, throbbing in pain, exhausted and foggy. I know that simply sitting around is never the positive answer to these type of days. In reality I should go out for a bit and be productive in that manner but I don't have the motivation to really move. Facing the stair is even over-bearing today. I HATE THAT. It makes me feel so lazy. I am too tired for interaction and although I'd love to be out enjoying myself and having a  better 'life' balance, the thought makes me feel sick to my stomach. I hate even writing on these type of days. I feel ungrateful  because I am a 'moaning minnie' and I am not. I am so lucky to have a fab support system and to have experienced amazing opportunities. I count my lucky stars every day. I think it is however important to push myself to write on these days. It is proof that I am human too. My Lyme isn't any less debilitating. I may be all smiles, full of beans, conversation and all the rest of it when I am out and with company and that is how I want it to be. I don't want people seeing this disease get me down, destroy me and take the Sophie they know. 

 

It is emotionally not just physically torture when you know deep down how you are hanging on by a string. We can pull ourselves together for a few hours. Paint on a smile, act like we have it all under control when we are broken, falling apart and the stress trying to glue all the broken pieces of the mirror together again is soul-destroying. We all know a mirror, once smashed can't be put back together exactly as it was ever again. That is the same with our health. Once our organs, cells and tissues are affected they will never be the same again. No matter how hard we fight. A positive mindset is KEY. I know this all too well and that is why on these truly RUBBISH days I still try to be proactive, productive and keep my focus. Remind myself of my purpose, why we fight and to show you all that I am human and that you can relate to me. 

 

I work every day to leave a legacy that can't be easily forgotten and that served a purpose. I didn't want to simply disappear. I don't want all this pain to be worth nothing. Having taken my life with nothing good to come out of it all. This wasn't my life's plan. WHO ON EARTH'S WOULD IT BE? We don't have a choice however, we can't snap our fingers and magic ourselves into a new body, once again on the path we WANTED to be on. If ONLY. We would all want a bit of that. Regardless of health though, we all follow different paths and rarely end up where we had PLANNED. We can't solely blame poor health for all our problems and hurdles that we face it is just another key player and factor but shouldn't take all the blame. 

 

I hate the pain I am in, I hate what wars go on within my body that I can't control, I hate the weak outer shell that it has given me. However, I am so grateful for the strength which I have gained, the determination, the motivation, new life 'purpose' and direction it has given me, the amazing people I have met and new life goals. I am far more grateful for life, the people in my life and the experiences I have than I ever used to be. I always feel so guilty looking back at everything I took for granted and kick myself. I was so narrow minded and closed off from the real world. 

 

We all know my love of travelling, and when I first began becoming poorly it was my life-line. I was so alone in my fight because I have NO idea what I was fighting, or what was going on in my body. My doctors didn't know and that led my family & loved ones to be confused and wonder if it was ME that was the root of the problem. All I wanted to do was regain the Sophie that  felt I was losing. I had ended relationships and lost friendships because I didn't want to prevent people from living a full life which for some 'unknown' reason at the time I couldn't live myself. Nobody around me was like me, I didn't know how to cope or how people coped. Travelling, helped me meet new people, see and experience new lifestyles, cultures and ways 'real' people dealt with issues. I saw first-hand how people's plan A,B and even C's weren't working out and that was pretty much the 'norm' throughout the world. We had been so instilled that if plan A didn't work out, you were a failure and your life was a right off. The media and social media only ever show success stories and rarely highlight people's failures, mistakes and set backs.  I began reading up on our greatest heroes and idols: Churchill, Monroe, the Kennedy's and more to have a real insight into 'real' life stories. I began to open my mind and realised that knowledge really was a powerful tool. These idols gave me so much motivation and inspiration. Despite people telling  me I was simply depressed, which of course I was ( anyone would be!) I knew there was more to my pain but if these amazing people overcame MASSIVE hurdles to achieve greatest - so could I. 

 

Now, I know what you are thinking.. it was easy for them. YES, to us the public, it may have seen 'easy' to us because the media only ever highlighted their successes and public image. Like I know full well, public and private images are very different. Nobody should ever judge a book by it's cover and someone who seems to have it all, never really does. 

 

That is a hard but important lesson to learn. 

 

We lust after celebrities and people in the public eye because on the surface they look success, beautiful and have it all together. When behind closed door, more often than not it is so very different. So next time you see your idol. Do more digging into their real life, beyond the surface and you will find great comfort in learning that they struggle as we do but gain motivation from their determination to fight and achieve. 

 

We learn on the job, every day is unpredictable and different and that is scary in itself. As a planner, and someone who likes to be organised. It is the scariest thing in the world to never really know where you stand, how you will feel or feel organised. 

 

We often look back on life experiences and wonder why did fate bring me here, what is the reasoning? I think there is always a reason, even if we don't know it at the time. We have to try and keep a open mind and know that in the future we will understand WHY. Looking back I can understand why I gravitated to certain things, got hooked on certain subjects and fell in love with certain hobbies. They taught me with the lessons I needed and NEED today. I am so grateful. 

 

Saturday was a shock, even though I KNEW I was feeling awful and have been for a long time. I have been on egg shells I don't like being alone at night INCASE we have to call for help again. It is one of those, it has happened in the past but 18 months ago. I have managed to keep it under control JUST but you begin to believe it won't happen again even though you are too fearful about being in your own house alone. It isn't just that.. it is the comfort of having my Mum who KNOWS my health inside and out. It isn't PRETTY nor is it fun. You feel like you are being reduced to a vegetable. You want to pass out because of the pain, but if you do.. will you wake up? You don't want anyone seeing that side of you. 

 

I thought and felt like I didn't fear death. We all die at some point, whether it is due to ill health, tragedy or old age. I am grateful for the 25 years I have had and experienced. I try to fill my days with as much as possible. Which I know often leads to burn out's but I know how quickly your world can be taken from you. Often I feel like a cat with nine lives. With that comes panic, panic that I have been given extra time so I can't be wasting it, siting around. You are reminded of all the things you didn't do or haven't done when you see your life flash. It isn't the things that you can achieved that you are reminded of. It is all you wanted to do and hadn't yet done. Which in itself is mentally tough. 

 

Emotionally it takes a few days to come back together, and rebuild your thought processes so they are in a more positive space. Not an easy task and often something that takes time. 

 

I hope today's post will be relatable & also proof, that maybe I am not always the Wonder Woman I hope to be/ portray. My health hangs in the balance and isn't always my friend. Gosh, it throws some punches. 

 

For some more POSITIVE and motivational chit chat , please check out and listen to my latest PODCAST episode, reviewing the awareness month. 

 

 

 

 

Love Always,

Sophie 

xoxo

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SOPHIE'S
COOKING TIPS

#1
Feeling sluggish and rubbish when you have woken up? Get boosting up on bananas the more the better - they will help settle your stomach, boosting digestion, they are a mood enhancer, they will give you the energy you need and keep you full. Buy my book for banana receipe ideas.
 
#2
Wake up every morning and ATLEAST have one glass of lemon water before doing anything else! Ideally try to drink a litre of water. The lemon wakes up your digestive system ready for the day and has great cleansing properties.
 
#3
Check your dairy and meat intake - dairy can sit in your system for up to seven days unable to digest properly. Meaning other foods also get neglected and nurtients aren't absorbed properly and you feel extremely bloated. Go and smell your food bin, your stomach will be in that state. Rotting foods in your belly - hmm nice.
 
#4
DO NOT FEAR CARBS - THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY! CARB UP!!
Bananas, Rice, Potatoes, Leafy Greens, Corn, Beans, Lentils etc PACK THEM IN GO MAD.
 
#5
NEVER COUNT CALORIES - NEVER RESTRICT!! These restriction 'starvation' diets who tell you to only eat 500 calories a day then have a treat day - where you binge out and eat WAY too much, is simply messing up your metabolism and on your binge days yours body stores all the fat meaning you gain weight because it knows it is going to go back into starvation mode and needs to hold onto every little thing it can. HELLO WEIGHT GAIN. 

Life is too short not to live it to the full, making yourself happy.

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