Taking a break, a step back or a rest period - however you want to describe it, is beyond difficult. Keeping busy, keeping focus keeps my sanity. Without a focus, there seems to be zero purpose. Then without purpose our self-worth and mindset affected in a negative way.
It pains me to say, that often most days are beyond difficult for me. When somehow hours seem to drag. I don't like to wish my days away, but sometimes I crave some excitement, something to get ignite the fire in my stomach. It silly really, because there is always SOMETHING that needs to be doing or I could be doing. Often I simply don't have the energy or I prioritise my time and energy elsewhere. I know I am my own worst enemy, in more ways than one. I do consider that I am hard on myself, however I often overlook this and still expect more anyway.
My blog used to be my therapy it still is. A place where my thoughts that haunted my mind were out for the world to read. Having unloaded it off my own shoulders, it helped me deal with whatever challenges came my way. It wasn't the miracle medicine - I still made & make mistakes, I still allowed negative emotions eat away at me and often I couldn't bare to even read what I had written back. To scared to see the reality before my eyes. I am not a professional writer, writing is often hard for me. I am not the best reader or speller. ( As you will know) but writing has been a massive influence in my chronic illness life and the start of all TODAY's on-going projects.
Everyday I am guilty of not 'being enough.' I may seem smiley and confident in public, chatty too. It hasn't come easy. People don't see how draining it truly is for me and how hard it is to put on a public front. So often I should and could decline events, stay home or cancel but don't. I fear of already losing so much of my life already, that I don't want to lose out on anymore memories. Often putting my health a risk for my willingness to live. Travelling really feeds my soul and it is something that due to health I have had to give up and put on hold. Otherwise, I would have been here there and everywhere. With the lack of travel, I have tried to make up for it, by trying to fill my days getting out of the house with my family, boyfriend and friends. Even that in the coming months, is proving challenging. Now, even staying in and entertaining a home wipes me out. I don't want to seem boring, not chatty and distant. Staying away, or alone has me on edge, because I never know when a 'stomach attack' may come on and when help may be needed. I think stomach issues are the worst thing in the world. I love my foods, but it makes you fearful of eating too much and getting too full. The cramps and pain are the worst and regardless of what you eat you get discomfort. We all know that I have struggles with my weight and it is a deeply upsetting subject for me. As of yesterday after being weighed and losing over 1kg in 11 days it is worrying and really affects me negativity. Anyone who jokes about being unwell and losing weight makes me sick to my stomach because this is HELL and by no means a joke. The glory of being able to eat ANYTHING you want and have NO reactions. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS FOLKS.
I know my health isn't good and there are many days now that I wonder, how the hell can I keep going? How can I keep bouncing back? I have pushed through a lot of tears, a lot of pain and heart ache. I will never not endeavour to put on a positive, brave front. IT IS SO IMPORTANT to KEEP POSITIVE when battling with ANY chronic illness and I need to exercise what I preach here. That is why I keep pushing myself, push my own insecurities and fears to one side and fight regardless.
We all love and watch LOVE ISLAND, we all want the perfect bodies, bill of health and want to feel beautiful/handsome. It isn't always easy and loving yourself when you are at war & deeply hate your body for all the pain and suffering it causes you IS a task and a half. When you have bad doctors results, on top of the already low and unstable state you feel in, you just want to curl up in a ball, cry and hide. You wouldn't wish the emotional, soul-destroying pain on ANYONE.
My podcast Chronic But Iconic has been a joy and such a life-saver in a lot of ways. It has given me such a great focus and I have become so very passionate about the channel. It has been such a joy and delight to have amazing guests on the channel, sharing their stories. It has meant the world to me and I can't wait to keep growing this channel. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT that tomorrow Simon Green's story will be my 24th EPISODE. Which is craziness! Simon Green's episode is NOT ONE to be missed at all, so stay tuned and get ready for a HUGE dose of motivation. I have been quite low and exhausted more so in recent weeks and with clocking up so many AMAZING episodes over series 1! In the coming weeks, after talking to my editor and boyfriend of all my podcasts: Adam Simpson, we will be taking a little break & preparing ourselves for an even BETTER series 2! Giving you all a little time to catch up on series 1 maybe whilst being on your holiday's and in the sun and of course a little time to miss CHRONIC BUT ICONIC. I feared that taking a little break would affect my mental state, with feeling a little lost without my new baby: Chronic But Iconic and the excitement of interviewing amazing people. I have to tell myself it isn't forever, it is just the smallest little break and Adam and I have spoken about projects that we will be working on in the meantime to make ALL SOPHANTASTIC projects BETTER. Trust me, we have plenty to get on with. I am hoping during my 'rest' ( which will probably not turn out to be a rest because I don't like stopping). I hope to be a little more in tune with balance. My work is often my main focus of the day and my time. Which is good, it is productive and proactive BUT especially with my health at the moment I want to enjoy time with family, friends and my loved ones too. I really need to be aware, & maybe try to practise the spoon exercise. Which works great for so many chronic illness sufferers. Giving ourselves 10 spoons a day and knowing how many spoons certain exercises and tasks use every day. Once those 10 spoons have been used, that is IT for the day. It is to train ourselves to be better at pacing, which I really, REALLY need to work on. I will try to find a spoon therapy picture here:
So fear not, series one isn't quite over yet. We still have a couple more episodes to go & then you can get excited for series two! It has been a little insane in all honesty in three months, I have been so amazingly lucky and I am so thankful! HERE'S TO MANY MORE SERIES!
I felt this post was important. For me and for you. That taking a step back isn't the fearful black hole, our minds paint it out to be. We all need rest-bite, even if we have to take it gritting our teeth. I don't think it is the 'rest' that really scares me most though. I think it is the fear of never getting back up. I know, I know - without rest I will crash and not get back up & that is why I will be taking some time but also going back to the drawing board to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to the content I put out.
I really do want to try and work on my Instagram too. Anyone with low self-esteem and low confidence will feel me here. We all want to post lovely pictures to go with out captions and updates. It is hard when 90 per cent of time you look like death warmed up, don't have the energy to glam up, don't have the confidence to hold a fitting pose and are critical of every photo. That is something I really need to work on however and I really hope I can. Adam also wants to take on the challenge of eating a more plant-based diet to see if it helps with his health issues too and if this shows that a more plant-based lifestyle could be key for many people battling chronic illness. This will be a challenge and I think there will be a few SOPHANTASTIC cooking lessons, going on. It is just nice, so nice to have the support. Especially when people are often judgemental about diets & people's lifestyles. It is nice to have people close, trying and putting themselves in your shoes. We have lots of little challenges within this challenge, which we will be documenting.
Once again, thank you for all your support. You are all my main driving force for inspirational, motivational and to keep fighting.
We hope for easier pain days, lighter symptoms and ways to cope moving forward. So we can keep bouncing back!