"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Friday, March 16, 2018

Picking up My Pen Again

I wouldn't blame you for thinking I dropped off the face of the earth. I didn't expect to need over a two-year hiatus from writing and blogging. On my social media accounts I haven't been as active as I try to be either, but I am still here, and I am not giving up on this blog and social mediaing. Boy, have I felt like it though.
Life has been incredibly difficult lately. I've been busy... well, being sick. With every passing year, despite my best efforts, I've been getting sicker and sicker. With declining health, just surviving daily life and getting menial chores done feels like I'm trying to climb bloody Mount Everest with bricks tied to my ankles. As a result, I've had to put the many things I love doing on the back burner, and unfortunately blogging had to be one of them.
While taking a (forced) break from blogging I've been occupied with trying to get my health back on track. I've been seeking help from an integrative practitioner and trying alternative treatments which I haven't had access to in mainstream medicine. (I posted briefly about it on Instagram if you're interested.)
Searching for answers and a reason for my worsening pain and fatigue has been far more gruelling, both physically and emotionally, than I expected. Though I'm happy to report that my efforts have not been futile, and I have made progress. Itsy-bitsy progress, but progress nonetheless. I have a lot to write about my experience with alternative treatments which I'm looking forward to sharing another time.

Along with focussing on my health I've also been hardcore adulting. In mid 2016 I decided it was time for me to achieve a life goal and become a more functional adult. So I moved out of my parents' house and started renting a nice place with my sister. Things were going well until just three months into our twelve month lease the real estate asked us to consider moving out due to our landlord facing hardship. I say "asked" but we were bullied into deciding to move again.

We didn't really want to leave as we were just getting settled. But we were thrown into an uncomfortable and difficult situation where we felt threatened, so we thought it best to move the heck on out. We made the most of a crappy situation and moved to a better, albeit smaller place, with cheaper rent and everything we need within walking distance.

But on the downside, my health took a hard hit. Moving house twice in three months is challenging at the best of times, but when you're trying to manage a chronic illness (in my case several), it's an absolute nightmare. Every area of my life suffered for it. For the following two months after the move I lived off store bought frozen meals as I was too unwell to cook. I couldn't manage to stay present on social media. I couldn't do much writing or much of anything really. For six months I rarely left our apartment or saw friends.

While I don't regret moving twice in such a short space of time, the spike in symptoms and lengthy recovery process has been extremely difficult. It has sucked, big time. It has taken the better part of a year for me to partially recover, and even now I'm still struggling to get my home life together and organise things the way I'd like.

On the upside, I absolutely love where I am living now. And the independence, freedom and personal growth that moving out of home has yielded me has been worth the suffering. I think. Although some days I really do question that!

In addition to being physically unwell I've also been struggling with depression and a serious lack of motivation. This monster has been my constant unwanted companion for a few years now. It's a big contributing factor to why blogging has been so difficult.

When you're constantly fatigued and in pain, depression just comes with the territory. While I'm definitely used to experiencing bouts of depression from time to time, this is the longest period of time that I've been plagued by despair, sadness, anxiety, panic, lostness, and uneasiness. I've pretty much lost interest in everything and I haven't felt like myself for a very long time. Some days are just okay, other days are pretty uncool.

A positive though, I guess, is that I know exactly what triggered it. A few years ago I was put on a medication for nerve pain. After about six months of taking it I started to suspect that it wasn't entirely agreeing with me. After researching and conversing with my doctors I concluded that it was the cause of my misery. I attempted to get off it several times but it was the only pain relief option that managed my pain well enough. So I had to decide whether I'd rather live with excruciating facial pain, a constant headache and frequent migraines, or to continue living with depression and everything that entailed.

I chose to put up with depression, inevitably succumbing to a downward spiral into the abyss. At the end of 2016 I reached breaking point. (I'm surprised I didn't reach it sooner.) The depression got too much and I just couldn't do it anymore. Spending three years feeling as flat as a tack finally did a number on me. I was a mess. An absolute mess. I could no longer continue risking my mental health for the sake of pain relief. My neurologist agreed. Thankfully this time I was able to successfully switch over to a new drug, and while the depression improved, unfortunately I haven't yet recovered like I expected to.

Depression has definitely extinguished a lot of my desire to write and blog. It has also made me afraid to blog as I don't want to be viewed differently; I don't want to be seen as a Debbie Downer when that's far from who I truly am. I don't want to drag everyone else down into the deepest darkness with me. But by the same token the whole reason I started blogging was to share both the dark and bright days. To be real, authentic and honest. To remind others that they aren't alone when they can't look on the bright side.

Truth is chronic illness is a treacherous, turbulent, cumbersome and painful journey. Often the days are dark. Dreary. Ugly. Wearisome. Hard. I need to be honest about that. I'm not where I want to be right now, and that's okay. Life is not sprawling blue skies at the moment and it's perfectly fine to write about it.

I desperately want to overcome this darkness, lack of motivation and loss of interest. I want to get my zest for life back. I want to get my wild determination back.

So it's time.

It's time to pick up my pen and write again. It's time to grab those small pockets of time when I do feel like putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and write like the wind.

It's time.

It's time to keep writing anyway, no matter how dark it gets. It's time to be open again. It's time to be brave again. It's time to rediscover my passion and pursue it, fiercely. It's time to get my inner fire back. It's time to rise to my feet, pick up my sword and shout to the darkness "You will not defeat me".

It's time.

Quote via BuzzFeed 


Monday, December 28, 2015

For Audrey flower decal manicure

Summer has officially arrived in Australia (it has been scorching here in Melbourne), which means it is time to update my manicure and pedicure shades for the warmer weather.
In winter I typically wear deep, vampy shades, so I am excited to swap dark lacquers for more vibrant hues.

I love trying new shades and experimenting with interesting colour combinations, but there are many times when fatigue and pain (or even the fact I just can't be bothered) means I have to keep things simple.

Cute flower decals are perfect for the times when you want to zhuzh up your manicure without much effort. After a few coats of polish, I stuck on these gorgeous decals to add some interest. I think they go perfectly with this shade from China Glaze called 'For Audrey', which is an ode to Audrey Hepburn.

I just adore this Tiffany inspired turquoise polish. It lives up to the hype and has become my go-to polish for spring and summer. It is a definite must have for polish enthusiasts.

This is a spring manicure I did back in the day when I had gel applied to my nails at a salon to make them stronger and help nail polish last longer. I found these snaps when I was going through some old photos and was reminded that I forgot to blog about this pretty polish. (Better late than never is my motto.)

I have since stopped getting my gel treatments as I found that my nails grew crazy long too quickly, making it a little difficult (and expensive) to keep up with getting the regrowth filled. I do miss having super strong and shiny nails though, so I am thinking about getting a DIY kit and having a go at doing them myself. That way I could stay on top of the regrowth better and maintain an optimal length for crafting and daily chores. It would be so much cheaper in the long run, not to mention more convenient too.

I plan on bombarding you with 2015/2016 bright summer manicures soon. I hope.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Christmas Wish List

I’m always interested to know what other people have put on their Christmas wish list; turns out you are too. Seeing as my 2014 Christmas wish list was a hit, I thought I’d share the products that have made it onto my must-have list this year.
I am probably one of the easiest people to buy gifts for. If it’s a present from a baking, book, makeup, craft, or clothing store, chances are I’ll love it.
But seeing as though it can be overwhelming for someone to shop in places like a craft or makeup store when they are not into those things and don’t have a clue where to even begin, I like to put together a handy guide to help point my family in the right direction so they can purchase gifts more confidently. Aren’t I nice?
Every year I spend time putting a lot of thought into my Christmas wish list. If possible, I like to make sure that I have a wide variety of products at different price points to give my family plenty of options.

Hopefully you’ll discover some things that you might want to put on your wish list next year, or at the very least, find some gift giving inspiration.

Here are some things I’d love to receive this Christmas:

Books and music

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

I am extremely keen to read this story about a woman who has overcome the hypocrisy and politics that sometimes occurs within church communities, and how she found her place and purpose in the church again.
Unfortunately, Christians can be some of the worst people sometimes. There have certainly been times in my life when some Christians have made me feel ashamed to call myself one.
While I haven’t personally encountered the problems Evans has, I think I’ll still be able to relate to her on some level as I am terribly unhappy in my current church. I have been hurt so many times and I’ve reached the point where I just don’t care very much for going anymore.
It’s a long story and I’m not sure yet whether I’ll blog it, but at the moment I am trying to decide whether to tell a pastor how I’ve been feeling and give this church another chance, or if I should just walk away and find a church that I completely love. I’m hoping this book will help make what I should do a bit clearer.

Hope Beyond Cure by David McDonald

This book seems like it will be a great read for me. It’s about a Christian pastor who received a terminal cancer diagnosis which then lead him to turn back to the Bible and question: “Is God there? Does He care? When there is no cure, does God still offer hope?”
This year has been one of the worst years of my life; I have felt extremely hopeless and depressed. I need to read this book.
Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge

This book sounds like it’s a heart-warming read.

Elevation Worship Wake Up the Wonder

Their music often gets me through the bad days.

Colouring books and pencils

If you’re following me on Instagram, you will know that I’ve been getting into the colouring in craze lately. I’m addicted, and love these stunning books: Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, Beauty in the Bible Adult Coloring Book by Paige Tate Coloring, Faith in Color Adult Coloring Book by Pearlyn Choco for Paige Tate Coloring.

My colouring in motto is: when in doubt, add glitter and metallic. So I need some Derwent metallic pencils to add to my colouring stash also.


Craft supplies from Kaisercraft

All That Glitters paper pad, All That Glitters specialty paper in golden butterflies, All that glitters collectables, Fairy Dust paper pad, Fairy Dust collectables.
 These collections are so pretty and I can’t wait to create with them.

Nail polish

Great Barrier Reef nail polish by Sea Siren Cosmetics, Reflection holographic polish and Bellissima glitter polish by Emily de Molly.
Can you believe that I don’t own a holographic polish yet? They look incredible!



I need a good quality bronzer in my life, STAT!
What’s on your wish list?

image source: dryicons.com
Although I haven’t been able to blog much this year, I’d still like to say a big thank you for your support and kind words. I am so grateful that you’ve stuck around and encouraged me to persevere and not give up.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happier, healthier 2016. Love & cupcakes.



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