Thursday, May 31, 2012

Second Blogoversary Birthday Bash Baking Giveaway Winner

So I bet you're busting to know who has won the second blogoversary birthday bash baking giveaway, yes? Of course you are! So without further ado, here's our winner:


Rachael Campbell.


Congratulations Rachael, these goodies are heading your way!





Please send me an email via the contact page with your shipping address and I'll get them out to you as soon as possible.



PS. For more creativity, fun, positive quotes, humour and blog updates, make sure you join the facebook page.

PPS. There's another giveaway coming up very soon over on the facebook page. Just sayin'.



Monday, May 28, 2012

Card Making Monday: English Rose Happy Birthday Card


This was a card that I made specially for my Nana last week for her birthday. She really liked it, I however did not. I really wanted to make an amazing, gorgeous and detailed card-  and this one turned out nothing how I wanted it to. My crafting has been suffering these last few weeks as my brain has just turned to mush. Ugh. This is because my retail job at the moment is severely impacting on my cognitive function, and has a result, I'm finding it difficult and frustrating to work through the thick brain fog that has seem to have grounded all thoughts.


So, yes, this card really did my head in. It took me two days to even come up with this. I am so disappointed. I can't even tell you what I don't like about it, I just know I don't like it... something isn't working, I just can't put my finger on what though. The flowers, maybe? Blah. Oh well, some of you Chronic Crafties might like it and be able to draw some inspiration from it and create something ten times better!

Materials I used:  12.7 x 17.4 cm fluorescent white with gold deckle pre-cut cardstock, metallic pink cardstock, kaisercraft florence from the english rose collection, kaisercraft paper bloom in cranberry, vivaldi satin rose blossom, 3D happy birthday sticker in gold, kaisercraft classic pearl flourish.

Method: Attach your metallic pink paper to your white card, followed by the florence paper. Position the flourish in the center of the card, add the 3D sticker in the top left hand corner, then glue down your flowers in the bottom right hand corner. Pretty simple, really!


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Friday, May 25, 2012

But, You're So Young!

"Growing up is never easy to do. Some days you feel happy and carefree, and others you feel sad. Some days you feel confident and self-assured, and other days you feel unsure. Life can seem upside down, because you're changing so quickly, but your life is made up of what you believe about yourself. Believe in your ability to succeed, and you will. Believe in your ability to meet every difficult challenge, and you will. Believe in your ability to give and receive love, and you will. Believe in yourself. You are a wonderful, unique person who is beginning to find out what the world is about and searching your place in it. Have patience with yourself and love yourself. Growing up isn't easy, but you'll make it." ~ Donna Levine


This weekend I'm celebrating my twenty fourth birthday. Well, whoop-de-doo-da-freakin-doo. I'm not the least bit excited about this occasion (grumpy even) for a couple of reasons. Reasons that only those who have lived through these feelings can completely understand. The mere thought of turning twenty four is terrifying. I don't want to turn another year older, it scares me. Inevitably, I'm growing up, but I feel I've been robbed of the chance to actually grow up.

When I was a teenager, I would fantasize about my life as an adult. I spent a great deal of time meticulously planning and painting a picture of how I wanted my life to pan out. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I had to do to get there and I would stop at nothing to achieve what I wanted. The world was mine, and I set dreams with high hopes. And then along came chronic illness, throwing a spanner in the works. At the age of eighteen, life as I knew it changed completely. My life turned upside down.

Since being diagnosed, my life has gone in a different direction than I had planned (of course) and I've had to give up on several goals, and I've watched dreams slip further and further away from my grasp. I've had to deal with the grief of losing the old me- the healthy me; and I've had to face the fact that my life will never be the same. I've had to grow up with illnesses that not even medical professionals understand. I've had to transition into adulthood with illnesses that severely interfere with my daily life and impact on every possible part of growing up imaginable.

Your twenties is a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. I've wanted to travel, explore and experience different things, and so far I've only managed to immerse myself in the lives of characters in day time television. Had my life gone as I intended, at twenty four, I would have obtained my teaching degree, and would be settled well into my chosen career- teaching kindergarten kids. I'd be either married or at the very least be in a relationship. Instead, I've watched my friends build a name for themselves, travel to amazing destinations, go out with cute boys, get married, and do all those things that proper grown ups do, while I find myself stuck at home watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy. It saddens me to know that I'm missing out on what should be the best years of my life.

Suddenly, life seems to be passing me by and panic is setting in. Twenty four. No degree. Working a pathetic three hours a week and just trying to survive. Social life down the toilet. No career. No boyfriend. And no signs of these things changing anytime soon. Of course I have hope, but that doesn't mean I'm scared of suddenly being thirty with both siblings married or moved out of home. Hope isn't going to give me back what I've lost- time with family and friends, experiences and the list goes on. Six years that I can't get back. It's a lot to bear.


The transition into adulthood with chronic illness in toe has been tough. I hadn't even realised how so until I sat down to pen my thoughts. People don't even realise just how difficult it is. I know this from the comments I receive in response to hearing about my health. All too often I am told how I'm too young to be sick, as if it will bring me some sort of comfort. "Oh, but you're so young, this shouldn't be happening to you". State the obvious, why don't you. Chronic illness is no respecter of age. Chronic illness doesn't care if it's your birthday, it's not going to stop causing you grief because you are turning another year older. 

The most common comment  I cop? "You're so young, you've got the rest of your life ahead of you". This one really grates on my nerves. It's insulting. People don't mean it to be, and probably won't understand why that is, but it is. It disregards everything I've had to sacrifice, it minimises all the emotions and everything I have been through and am still going through.

Just lighetening things up a bit with some humour.

And then there's the statement "Just be thankful you're sick now". Really? REALLY! I know that it could be much, much worse than what it is. I know that. And I am thankful that I don't have much else to worry about like raising a family and financial security and all that, but there is no age that's a good time to be sick. Just as an elderly person is struggling with illness, I too am finding it frustrating. My struggles are just different because I am at a different stage in life. And to be completely honest, there are times when I wish I got sick later in life, because I would have at least been able to live a little. Being ill at any age is difficult. Different, but difficult.

Being a young person hindered by fluctuating fatigue and a shopping list of symptoms is hard when career paths establish identity. It's almost impossible to keep your self esteem intact when answering "So, what do you do?" honestly. It's frightening having to figure out who you are and where your place is in the world. The normal stress and pressure of early adulthood is daunting enough without having to deal with invisible illnesses and lack of understanding.

Receiving pressure from doctors who want me to return to either work or study when fatigue hinders my ability to take on too much, is darn difficult- it's frustrating that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get them to understand how this bone crushing fatigue feels, and how hard it is to fight through the brain fog. If I were a pensioner, they wouldn't be fussed in the slightest about what I was or wasn't doing.

Then there's the social stigma, the isolation and the loneliness.. Young people can't grasp the meaning of the term chronic illness. They cannot comprehend that a healthy looking supermodel can actually be sick. There's the lack of support and understanding, too. Young people are not equipped to deal with the fluctuating nature of a chronic illness.

Think it's easier to be sick when you're young? Think again, because it's certainly not. Yes, I have my whole life ahead of me, but I have a very different life to that of a healthy person. I have to find new dreams and I have to accept that no one can tell me when I'm going to get better and gain my life back. I have to come to terms with the fact that my life for now, has come to a grinding halt. I have to accept the uncertainty and the unpredictability. I have to accept that I'm growing up, fast, and that my best laid plans are still completely out of my control.

It's not easy.

Essay written by Emily Ruth © ChronicallyCreative.net, 2012.







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Friday, May 18, 2012

Bloggy goals for 2012 and beyond

I've been thinking a lot about the direction in which I want to take this blog in during the rest of this year and beyond. I want to strive to make it bigger, better, more encouraging and more supportive than ever before. I'd like to reach more people and increase readership, and I want to turn Chronically Creative into a resource full of helpful and inspiring stuff rather than a place just for me to take part in a woe is me write-a-thon.
 
 
So without further ado, here are my bloggy and social media goals for the rest of the year:
 
- Reach out to other bloggers. As of late I've fallen behind in my blog reading, but I really want to try my best to get along side other chronic pain bloggers, encourage them, support them, and help grow their blog and celebrate their success. I especially want to help newbie bloggers find their voice and confidence, and I want to provide plenty of opportunities through this blog and on Twitter and Facebook for bloggers to gain a little more exposure. There is so much under followed talent out there!
 
- Increase readership. I really want to concentrate on growing this blog, it's my main goal for this year. I do need to grow some balls and get this blog out there and have more belief in this blog than I do right now. I have some pretty huge, creative and fun plans for this blog in the coming years, but in order to pursue these plans, I need to build a community. This year, I'm aiming for 250 blog followers, 50 email subscribers (there's currently 37), 400 Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Considering the stats now, I think those are achievable numbers. If you are not yet following, what are you waiting for? Get on it, NOW! For now, my lips are sealed on what these plans entail.... a girl has to have a sense of mystery about her, ya know!
 
- Vlog. I am not very tech savvy, and I'm extremely camera shy, but I'll try to muster up the courage to post a video. Figuring out a topic to talk about is the tricky part.
 
- Publish a resource page. This is going to take some time to do because there is a lot of investigating and organisation involved. But the plan is to put together a helpful page people can go to, to find a variety of blogs on chronic illness, different support groups available, and the best Facebook pages around. There are some great resources out there that deserve a mention and a place on this blog. I'll be doing a call-out at some point, so if you would like your amazing self listed, stay tuned.
 
- Write more devotionals. I did start writing a few devotionals going back a year ago, but I stopped. I guess I just lost courage and felt that I didn't have anything valuable to share. Spiritually, I'm parched right now, but I do want to get back into sharing a bit more about my faith. I haven't been going to church at all for quite a while now due to a couple of reasons, and I really should be writing about these issues as I have no doubt there are plenty of others who are feeling the same way I am. We need more Christians speaking out about chronic pain and illness and being honest about how it affects our faith at times.
 
- Be more present on social media. I'm not so bad with Facebook, but when it comes to using Twitter, I am terrible. Because all my Facebook updates automatically go to Twitter, I sometimes don't log in for over a week. This needs to change. As much as it doesn't seem so, I do love Twitter and I ADORE the people who follow me, and take time out to share a bit about themselves with me. I really must try and put in a bit more effort in taking the time to get to know such incredible people.
 
- Take risks. I need to change things up a bit. By risks, I mean write about different things completely unrelated to chronic illness and creative stuff, like writing my opinions on different issues in the big wide world.
 
- Take advantage of advertising opportunities. Blogging has opened up some small opportunities for me already, but I'd like to give myself the opportunity to make some small spare change if I can. I don't make any money from this blog, and to be honest I think I deserve a few cold drinks. Keeping a blog is hard work, even for those without illness. I'm not quite sure I'd like to sell out my sidebar just yet, but I would love to open up a few spots for blogs and businesses to advertise at an amazingly ridiculous reasonable price.
 
- Make my Facebook page more engaging. I've been doing a bit of reading on how to go about making your page more fun and engaging. I've discovered heaps of helpful tips from professional bloggers, and so far I think I'm heading in the right direction. I do want to create opportunities for people to share about themselves. So far, I'm thinking of hosting a weekly post your URL day, but more on that later.
 
So, I'm pretty crazy considering that I'm currently struggling to cope with working one shift a week AND blogging. I don't know how I'm going to go achieving any of these, but it's good to have some goals,
 
What are your blogging/writing goals?
 
 
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blab about Beauty Tuesday: Olay Body total effects shower cream + body butter review




My thoughts: I've never tried any Olay products before, so when I saw this body wash on sale, I took the opportunity to try it. I liked the fact that it is both a wash and a moisturiser in the same product, because I am far too lazy to slap on some moisturiser after a shower, it's just too much effort!

It claims to give you more luminous skin with its nourishing shower cream and brightening body butter. It also states that is will help to remove impurities and scrub away dead skin cells. Personally, I found that it didn't do that. In fact, it did the exact opposite- it clogged my pores.

After first use, I thought it was a potential product I could fall in love with- it smelled wonderful and was incredibly refreshing and invigorating. The only thing I didn't like about the formula was that its too sloppy. Well, that was until I started breaking out in zits a few days after use. After I stopped using it, my skin returned to normal.

So, for this product it's a big thumbs down. I doubt I'd try any of their other products even if I got them for free. Highly disappointed. Sorry Olay, I did not love the skin I was in.

Ingredients: water, petrolatum, mineral oil, sodium trideceth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium lauroamphoacetate, sodium chloride, trideceth-3, fragrance, acetyl glucosamine, citric acid, guar hydroxpropyltrimonium chloride, acrylonitrile/methacrylonitrile/ methyl methacrylate copolymer, isopentane, mica, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, disodium EDTA, peg-90M, triethoxycaprylysilane, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothazolinone, sodium hydroxide, Cl 77288, titanium dioxide, Cl 77491.

Size: 295mL
My rating: 1.5/5


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poetry and Praise: Fibromyalgia Fighter

Today is Fibromyalgia and CFS/M.E. awareness day, so I thought it the perfect opportunity to post a poem I wrote four years ago about living with Fibromyalgia. I wrote it one year into my diagnosis when I was trialing different drugs to try and manage the pain which left me feeling extremely depressed and discouraged.

 
 

Fibromyalgia Fighter

Imagine everyday with chronic pain
You can't, I know, and neither could I
Until one morning I opened my eyes
And from that day on the pain didn't subside
I found myself on one rough roller coaster ride
My heart filled with dismay,
My whole world looking dark and gray
In bed was where I wanted to stay

I just thought I was sick with the flu
And that was the reason for me feeling so blue
In constant pain how can this be?
I battle fatigue; my muscles are tired, I feel so weak
I am tired and sore, I cannot do this anymore

From head to toe my body aches, I feel so low
My life has been changed, frustration I know
I keep telling myself it will be alright
So I keep putting up a good fight
But with this pain, it seems no end is in sight

Pain is all I know-
Aching, throbbing, stabbing, burning;
But I keep going
 
I try to live a normal life
But what's normal about pain
Cutting you like a knife?
I struggle, I have sleepless nights
Getting out of bed isn't an easy fight,
I am tired from a short walk
I can't keep up with idol talk
I find it hard to keep up the pace
I find it hard to put on a happy face

My head is in a spin
This pain I can't describe
I wouldn't know where to begin

Medications I take daily
But the side effects drive me crazy,
There are days I wish I didn't awake;
Times when I feel punished
For some mammoth mistake
 
I'm in chronic pain but
I'm fine is what I have to fake,
I don't know how much more I can take
I hardly have any energy to spare
Oh Lord, it just doesn't seem fair

Most days I'd rather be curled up in bed
And, no, this pain is not all in my head
Some days are hard, some days I dread
But I try to get through them
With joy in my step
 
I keep wishing if only I had been sick with a cold
Then my life wouldn't have to be put on hold
 
People say "Gee you look well!"
Little do they know about the pain that I'm in
Dreams have been dashed, hope has crashed
I've forgotten what it's like to live life well,
Some days are sent straight from hell
Life is hard when you feel so unwell
 
It's hard enough to battle the pain
But to endure the emotions is harder again
 
Some say I look fine, judging my appearance from the outside
They don't see me cry myself to sleep
They don't feel the burning in my feet
They don't see the times when
The pain gets too much, and I feel I'd rather die
 
This pain isn't me, a healthy person, I use to be
Why can't I be pain free for at least an hour?
I'd give anything for a pain free moment to savour
 
This isn't fun, I want this pain to end, so I can run
I'm tired of living this way, I'm tired of everyday

My life seems like it's one big mess
Despite this though, I know I'm blessed
Through the tough days I live my life to my best

Yes, some days I am not okay
I find it hard to get through the day,
Wishing the pain would just go away

But I still have a reason to smile
A reason to hope, and this helps me to cope
I am so thankful that I am alive
That my pain will not cause me to die

I cannot change what I cannot
So I may as well deal with what I've got
Yes, this sucks, I've had my fair share of bad luck
And I'm tired of feeling yuck,
But I hope for the future
And don't focus too much on what I have not.

Pain makes it hard to live everyday
But this is what I still say-
I am good, I am tired but okay,
This isn't forever
I WILL get better

© Chronically Creative.net, 2008


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Friday, May 11, 2012

Crafty Fridays: Cherry and White Chocolate Muffins

I do bake some mighty fine muffins, if I do say so myself! My favourite ones to bake are these cherry and white chocolate muffins. They are my signature muffins. If I'm stuck for a last minute gift idea, or need to take a plate of food to a get together, these muffins never fail to disappoint.


As soon as I get them out of the oven, I'm stuffing my face with two or three- they are by far the best muffins I have ever tasted. I love that they are so simple and fast to make, and yet taste sensational.



 Ingredients:
- 425g can stoneless black cherries, drained
- 75g unsalted butter, chopped
- 240g white eating chocolate
- 3/4 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups self raising flour
- icing sugar, to decorate


Method:
Melt butter in saucepan. Add half the chocolate with sugar. Stir over low heat until smooth. Remove. Whisk in milk, egg, vanilla and flour until just combined. Fold in cherries and remaining chocolate and cook in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Dust with icing sugar.


Need a cheer up? Go bake yourself some right now!

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Nail Files Thursday: Essie Aperitif French Fimo Clay Apple Manicure

Ever since I got into nail art I have been fascinated by the idea of using fimo clay. Well, I have finally attempted my first manicure using fimo clay. I wanted to try something a bit different and out there, so I used fimo clay apples to finish off juicy red nails.


The stuff is amazing. It's so easy to use. I stuck my apples down with a little bit of nail glue and they stayed put for about a week. I bought a little wheel of fimo clay nail art that came with different fruits, but you can buy individual sticks and cut them yourself.


I'm thinking I might write an entire and detailed post on fimo clay when I'm not so bogged down by brain fog. I used four coats of Essie in the shade Aperitif. This was my first time trying out Essie nail polish too, and I must say I was quite impressed. I'm highly tempted to try some more shades.




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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'll be fine- tomorrow will be a great day

I spent the afternoon in the glorious Autumn sunshine, wondering how I'm going to manage work every week and everything else writing.
 
 
Tomorrow, I start back at work.
 
I'd be excited if I didn't have to deal with stressed out shoppers while battling brain fog, and if it didn't mean making several sacrifices to manage one measly short shift a week. Having to forge through the fatigue and pain doesn't thrill me either.
 
I guess I'm not all that happy, because it feels like I'm going backwards. I've worked in retail since high school, and I'm still stuck there. Had my health not gone downhill six years ago, I'd probably be teaching know it all four year olds instead of serving impatient, verbally abusive customers.
 
Retail is not where I want to be for the rest of my life, I've been wanting to break out of the grumpy customer grind for a few years now, but because I don't feel as though I can manage anything else at the moment- I keep finding myself going back to the same old boring job. I feel trapped.
 
My job has also been a constant comfort though. It's the one thing I am the most thankful for. I know I'm extremely blessed to have such a supportive workplace, and a boss who patiently puts up with the long periods that I am unable to work. It really is a miracle that I have been able to keep my job after all these years of unpredictability. Any other job would probably have said goodbye after six weeks, not six years.
 
Returning to work means that sometimes my weeks energy supply will be stolen, so other pursuits then fall by the wayside. This is what saddens me the most, because my mind still wants to keep up with everything else, but my body just doesn't follow through.
 
This morning it was such an incredible struggle to drag my dreary self out of bed, and the thought of attempting my exercise routine was terrifying. But I did it. And I will work my shift tomorrow, and I will survive. Somehow, I will find the strength to cope.
 
Tomorrow, I am taking a step forward even though it doesn't feel like it. I'll be fine- tomorrow will be a great day.
 
Do you work with a chronic illness? How do you cope? I'll take any advice you can give me! x
 
 
PS. For more creativity, fun, positive quotes, humour and blog updates, make sure you join the facebook page.
 
 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Second Blogoversary Birthday Bash Baking Giveaway

Well, after yesterday's post, I definitely think we need a giveaway! There is much to celebrate here at Chronically Creative right now. It's crazy to think that I started this blog two years ago now and even crazier to think that I got my license a year ago and have been driving solo despite chronic fatigue.

It is also my birthday this month, so I thought why not combine all these reasons to celebrate and have a kick arse giveaway as voted by you!

So I am hosting a 2nd Blogoversary Birthday Bash Giveaway to say thank you for the amazing people that you are.

Let's party, shall we?

Here's what is up for grabs for one lucky reader...

Teacups matching tea towel and oven glove
Robert Gordon pack of 25 cupcake cases, 50 mini paper baking cups and a butterfly cookie cutter
Baking cookbook and a super cute magnetic memo pad

I am too good to you!

Want to go in the draw? Entry is easy peasy!

Entry is open to all old and new GFC followers, Networked Blogs Followers or email subscribers.

Please leave a comment stating whether you're a GFC follower, Networked Blogs follower or email subscriber, followed by your following/account name, along with your email address.

Example: GFC follower, Miss Chronically Creative, emilyruth at chronicallycreative dot net.

That's it. Cool? Cool.

Extra entries- there will also be plently of opportunties over the next two weeks to enter via facebook and twitter, and score extra entries.


Giveaway is open internationally and entries will close on Sunday May 27th at 9pm Melbourne EST. Winner will be drawn on Thursday May 31st at random and will be announced in a blog post before 9pm, and contacted by email.

Go forth and enter, you know you want to. x

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

A whole lot of thoughts and feelings that probably don't make much sense, but needed to be expressed

I'm not quite sure that the title makes sense, let alone this post. Whatever. Chronic illness doesn't make sense.
 
I've said before that I can't be a happy chappy, positive polly all the time. While I do try, there are times when chronic illness brings me to my knees once again and I'm left feeling broken. Unmendable. There are times when everything suddenly becomes all too much to bare. Despite my best efforts, I find myself trekking through this familiar terrain once more.
 
Along with the pain, the fatigue, loneliness, isolation, misunderstanding, the misconceptions and the frustrations that comes with invisible chronic illness, you also have to ride an emotional roller coaster- it comes with the territory. This week, my mental and emotional state has suffered something shocking. It is just another one of those gigantic and overwhelming waves that I need to ride out. And I'm doing that the best way I know how- blogging.
 
As a chronic illness blogger, I need to blog with honesty and integrity. I need to blog about not only the good but the bad and the downright ugly. I'd be doing myself (and others) a great disservice if I didn't. Most days, I'm not honest about how I'm feeling. To be frank, I don't know how to be. I'm constantly hiding behind a shy smile and the standard response of I'm good, thank you.
 
Keeping up a life is peachy appearance and lying is exhausting, but what choice do I have when people keep telling me how great I look? People can't possibly understand the profound pain, the unrelenting fatigue and the daily battle with brain fog because I look too damn good. On the contrary, I can't be constantly telling people how terrible I feel either.
 
So today, I am telling it how it is with hardcore honesty.
 
I am not happy with the place I'm at right now. I am not ok with how my life is panning out. I don't enjoy my life right now. I hate going to bed wondering how I'm going to get up and deal with the same crap the next day. I hate waking up in pain, feeling like I've been hit by a hurricane. I hate feeling drugged every single damn day. I hate feeling frustrated. I hate not knowing what to do to get myself off this merry-go-round.
 
I hate dealing with doctors who don't understand. I attempt to be assertive and be my own advocate, but I'm tired of explaining and justifying myself to people who will never get it. I'm tired of trying to explain how I feel, when I don't even understand it myself. I'm tired of trying new things that don't seem to significantly help symptoms. I'm exhausted.
 
It is taking every ounce of energy I have, to keep going, to not give in, to not give up. It's taking every ounce of energy I have to stay positive, to stay hopeful, to drag myself out of bed each morning, to keep soldiering on when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep.
 
This week I've made some pretty big decisions, as a result of my appointment with Mr Fatigue Man the other day. Decisions, that are incredibly overwhelming when dealing with fatigue and brain fog. I've finally decided to return to work, which is the one thing all my doctors agree on. I agree too, but I'm anxious about it. I want to go back to work, I really do, but I don't know how I'll cope.
 
I do need to have a focus for the week, and I do need an outlet outside of home, even if it is only for three hours a week but I don't want to feel worse than what I already do. It was only yesterday that I ventured to the shops to grab some groceries, and I came out in tears because I just felt horrible- and I only went to two shops. How am I going to feel after three hours on my feet, having to serve customers and concentrate on not making mistakes?
 
As I drove myself home, I remembered back to a couple of years ago when I would finish work, and drive home on my L-plates because I had to clock up my hours, howling because work was just too much for my weary body. I don't want to feel like that again.
 
In order to work this one measly shift a week, and keep up with it, I know I'm going to have to make sacrifices. Scarifies I don't want to make. I don't want to give up on some of the dreams I wanted to work towards this year and I still want some energy to craft. I don't want to sacrifice spending time with family on the weekend because I need to reserve energy for work. I don't want to stop my short shopping trips. I don't want to discard the things that make life worth living for me right now.
 
But I know I have to, because staying at home hasn't gotten me anywhere either. I have to for my mental state and emotional well being too. I'm still fatigued and in pain if I don't work, so I may as well try to earn some dough.
 
I've been advised to increase my exercise too. Apparently the thirty minute yoga and ten minute aerobic workouts I do on alternate days isn't quite good enough. So today, I knocked it up to forty minutes. I've been increasing my activity gradually since last August, and I'm only just coping. I'm not really able to manage too much else in the day yet. Mr Fatigue Man also wants me to see a more experienced exercise physiologist, as he wasn't too impressed with the one I saw last year (I thought they were fine, just a little out of their depth).
 
I don't want to do any more exercise. I feel I'm pushed to my limits already. And how the heck am I going to cope with both work and exercise? Working alone to me IS exercise. But I guess making an appointment with this exercise physiologist and talking about these things can't hurt though. It could be a good thing.
 
On top of all this, I've opted to try a new drug- Dexamphetamine. It's a stimulant that's suppose to wake up my brain and help with brain fog. I was informed that besides insomnia and the unlikely possibility that it could send me stark raving mad, that there are no other side effects. I was and still am anxious about giving it ago, because I've experienced those side effects before, and I never want to go back there. It's a dark and scary place.
 
But I have to give it a good go, because it could help me. And right now, I need all the help I can get. I had my first dose this morning, and so far it hasn't assisted my alertness. All it seems to have done is made me feel more drugged and whacked. Within thirty minutes of taking it, I went for a walk down strange street. It made me feel dizzy, too. No other side effects my arse! I better sleep tonight, I tell you what.
 
I guess I'm just caught in a whirlwind right now. I've been bombarded by so many feelings that I don't even know what to feel. Does that even make sense? I think I'm just terrified. There, I said it. I'm scared. I'm scared because I don't know who I am anymore. I'm scared because I don't know what I really want in life anymore, and I don't like the direction I'm going in. I'm scared because I don't want to do this anymore, but I have to because I don't have a choice. I'm scared because some days I don't feel very supported and encouraged. I'm scared because some days I feel all alone even though I am surrounded by people.
 
To be honest, some days I can't help thinking how unfair this all is. It's unfair that I have to somehow try and live a somewhat normal life and function like everyone else. It's unfair that I have to ache every single minute of every day. It's unfair that healthy people on Facebook complain about going to work, when I would give anything to work without having to sacrifice everything. It's unfair that I have to deal with stupid illnesses that people know very little and have varying opinions about. It's unfair that I am drugged up to my eye balls and are expected to carry on with ease.
 
I know that my doctors are just as fed up and frustrated as I am. I know that they just want a better life for me. I am trying. My gosh am I trying. But sometimes it just gets a bit too much and I need a break before I can pick myself back up and carry on again. I know that I am not alone in this, and I know that somehow I will cope. Everything will be alright. I can do this, and I will. I am capable. I just need to let my faith be bigger than my fears.
 
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