Well this post has taken a little time to commit too. I am feeling so overwhelmed it's crazy. It is silly really because normally I love being busy and proactive put it is really zapping me this week. I feel extremely on edge ABOUT EVERYTHING. I hate that feeling. I keep saying today I will write... I wanted to commit to more blogs, more time spent trying to decode my often complex and array of emotions. Yet, time has just got away from me. I am trying to balance life as much as I can so that I didn't feel in this overwhelmed and stressed out state. I have so much going on health wise as well as everything happening in life that I just feel like a sinking ship.
So you may be thinking.. why the hell is she stressed? What has she got to be stressing about. You are partly right. I am not a MP, a doctor, a banker or a paramedic etc who have EXTREMELY stressful and EXTREMELY overwhelming jobs. I sit write, interview and create content but I am sat down at a desk. I am however trying to make something of this life, that seems so alien to me. A life I wouldn't wish for anyone. That doesn't mean I am ungrateful. I adore my family, close friends and everyone who adds sparkle to my life. I am extremely lucky to have a STRONG support system and I really do count my lucky stars everyday. I can't tell you how you all, as my supports are keeping me going at the moment. You really are hand on my heart. I have found it difficult pushing through symptoms, fatigue and pain to keep everything 'going' when it comes to my work.
Don't get me wrong, I have had a little time off here and there but for the most part I have been working around the clock, LEARNING. LEARNING, LEARNING, LEARNING. I always say 'KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.' It is for sure, but my word it is difficult navigating it all on your own. Don't get me wrong, my Mum is always on hand for a ear and she always offer any advice or solutions she can, which I am grateful for. Yet, when it comes to tech stuff & reaching out to people in the right manner we have to learn for ourselves.
I have spent the week trying to do crash course, after crash course, watch YouTube videos to help me understand how I can ace the work I do & make the best of it. I don't do anything half-heartedly. I always give 210 per cent. There are elements of this game that really frighten me and I know it is good to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone & face fears but when it comes to confidence, even the word sends shivers down my spine.
Which any chronic illness I think our confidence is deeply affected as we lose ourselves and our identity. We spend years often trying to rediscover ourselves and come to terms with the person, the body and the life we now lead. We see ourselves as ugly despite what people may tell us, we feel anger towards our bodies and often the lives we now lead. We are embarrassed. I don't promote playing the victim, that is something I could and can't ever tolerate or entertain but as a human being with a soul and feelings I am easily open to falling into the trap of 'not feeling good enough', 'not fitting in, 'being normal', society's outcast'. It is a hard pill to swallow. We are bombarded by what we see and consider to be 'perfect', how we should be. Looking pretty, making lots of money with a stable career and BE CONFIDENT in your own skin. I KNOW, full well that perfection is a myth, and is a false reality. Yet, somehow it is still the one goal throughout my whole life I haven't given up trying to achieve. I want to do the BEST I can with the work I do because I don't want to be seen as lazy or selling myself short. It has already knocked me over like a car going 50mph and then reserving over me having to go from elite swimmer to the battle that has become the never-ending pain I live through everyday. My inner soul still hurts. I know despite putting in all the hours in I do with Chronic But Iconic, Sophantastic and my Instagram, because I try to ensure I practise my mindful activities everyday too that it doesn't seem enough to me or good enough in my eyes. I need my stress relief, my time out because I am zapped & my brain wants to explode come 3pm! But boy, when I stop and begin my colouring the guilt that I know there is more to do, more to learn and in my eyes I don't deserve to have the time out, that the guilt is in the back of my mind eating away at me.
Symptoms are so bad at the moment that I need to have all my work done in the morning, early afternoon because my supplements are making me really sick to my stomach, so the more I eat the worst the nausea becomes and by 4pm I am trying not to move through fear of really being sick and I truly don't want to be sick.
I have been working so hard and I am hoping that I can keep the ball rolling when it comes to projects. It is overwhelming & especially when it comes to pictures. I feel so embarrassed and find them so difficult but I NEED to push myself out of my comfort zone. I guess it is a little like my fashion sense. YES, it is a little crazy, but I love my fashion. As I love my work. I used to shy away from wearing things, worrying about judgements and harsh words. Over time I have had to grow a thick skin and now I pride myself on wearing often 'different', 'quirky' outfits because frankly I like to be different. GOSH, if we know anything about Lyme it is so complex, and well so am I, so I may as well use my illness in a positive way, ey. I am always working for perfection, but really I am trying to ace feeling happy & confident with being perfectly, imperfect. The work I do, isn't perfect - far from it. Does it mean I put less that 200 per cent in, no it doesn't. But it is me. I don't airbrush, photoshop, take the best looking photos, it is an area I want to improve on and yes that is an important point that I am not closed off. I do always want to keep learning and improving. My podcasts aren't recorded in a fancy studio with top of the market equipment, it is basic and on the go but it doesn't mean the subjects discussed and the story told aren't worthy of a listen or enjoyable. My blogs.. often an array of emotions on a page, aren't creative writing genius but they are me. I only hope my own thoughts and experiences help others. It isn't always to be easy. Judgements flying your way and comparisons, hit you like bullets and can cause you to retreat. Don't get me wrong I have had my times. Times when I have felt, I have put too much out there, exposed myself more than what I would have considered comfort but people who matter will thank you and cheer you on. Unfortunately you will always get the doubters or the people who can be cruel. You stay true to yourself you don't have anything to feel bad about.
Just last week I was talking to a dear friend. I was deeply upset. My symptoms weren't helping but I just felt like I was pushing and pushing, trying to learn, trying to make my projects better, more professional and up my game but that there was a HUGE wall that I just couldn't seem to break through. None of my jigsaw pieces seemed to be fitting together, despite looking at the picture from lots of different angles and trying different pieces in different areas. It was more like a broken mirror where the glass had smashed into pieces far too small to put back together. I just wanted to give up. I was exhausted, I was in pain. I couldn't think how I could keep all these plates spinning. I kept at it though. Although I am still along way off with lots more to learn, watch and figure out I do really feel I have learnt a lot from the crash courses I have been doing.
With trips on the horizon they are also in the back on my mind, upsetting me a little. I am so excited and grateful ( I love travel!!) We all know that but my symptoms are zapping me so badly these days, the days are hard, things become less and less enjoyable and you just want to ENJOY life, enjoy the experiences. LIVE. It isn't that straight forward, you push through pain barriers, you are in bed straight after dinner whacked, you can't walk as far, you can't do the same trips. You just think WHY. How can I deal with all the excess baggage and living a dream travel trip in a way that to me is only living 'half of the experience.' Anyway trying to get everything up to date with a week to go before we go has had me in a whirl-wind, head spin. Once again, I feel like I have worked hard to forward plan and now that lots of things are in concrete, once I have got everything 'in line'. I can relax a little and take a chill pill, knowing that I don't have to be all frantic when I first come home. As believe you me I am going to need a few extra days to recover from the holiday.
I am trying to balance my life and TRYING to take up new mindful activities like drawing, to pull me away from work and make sure I split my time and have a healthy balance. Whilst being so focused on working on a new hobby that it may lighten the stress in my mind that is focused on other things ( easy said than done). The main thing is. EVEN THOUGH each morning and each night I question myself, wanting to throw the towel in. I am not allowing these thoughts to win and I am trying to improve all angles of my life I can to help me. I am not just sitting waiting for the sun to shine.
I hope I have inspired you to explore new hobby, find a better balance or explore new routes and ideas when it comes to your work.
We battle on, we learn on the job and maybe it is something special to be perfectly imperfect - in everyway.