Lauren's Looks

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Dear diary... let's have a catch up | Accepting chronic illness


 

Accepting 'what now is' when your life has been turned upside down by an illness is never the easiest of tasks- heck, why would it be? You see, it's taken me seven whole years to accept that I can't live life the same way anymore. And do you want me to tell you the truth, plain and simple? I'm tired. Tired of sugar coating the fact that the journey to accepting my 'new life' was an easy one.


The trouble is, trying to get friends/people in general to understand my illness and how it impacts my life can sometimes seem like mission impossible, and therefore, I put it off completely.

I'll be the first to openly admit that I often struggle to be completely honest about how I'm feeling; whether that be opening up to family, close friends, or acquaintances. It just seems so much easier to reply with 'fine thanks' when asked how I am, rather than the real answer- the real answer being I feel absolutely dreadful most days thanks to the illness that is ME.

To go from being an extremely energetic individual, to struggling to simply get out of bed, and participate in normal, everyday life is hard. I had a social life, enjoyed lots of days out, and in general, loved keeping active. And now? Well, I'm trapped in a body that doesn't function properly, stripping me of all of my independence.

I don't want to admit to my friends that taking a couple of photos for my blog leaves me feeling faint, achy and nauseous, and that everyday I feel as though I've got a hangover, the flu and have just completed ten rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson. Honestly, I feel battered, bruised, and pushed way beyond my limits- and it's frustrating... massively frustrating.

I have so many goals, and things that I'd absolutely love to achieve, but, like my independence, I feel as though the chance to achieve them- at this moment in time-  has been stripped from me, and it's completely out of my control. I often used to feel like a failure for not being able to achieve as much as I could do if I had a normal, functioning body. Sure, all of the motivation was there, but the energy wasn't. I'd long for the day that I was able to live everyday life like my friends do; a busy social life, and endless energy.

"Seeing all of your goals right in front of you, but being attached to a wall behind you by a spring." 

But, as of late I feel as though something has 'clicked'. I've quit pining after what I used to be able to do. Don't get me wrong, I feel as unwell- if not more- now, as I did do then, but I'm happier, much happier. I'm no longer pushing myself to do things that are near enough physically impossible to do, and in turn making myself more unwell. Before I'd look at resting as a really unproductive, lazy way to spend my day, which would put me in a bad mood and make me snappy. I feel like I've finally accepted that I need to adapt.

 

I will be honest though, I still have my moments- who doesn't?- I'd be completely lying if I said I didn't. Only last week did I have a little cry that I felt like a prisoner in my own home, too unwell and unable to get out anywhere, leaving me feeling trapped with next to no social life. But, unlike in the past where that cry / mood would last a week, it latest all of ten minutes, and that's okay because everybody is entitled to a cry every now and then. It's okay, not to be okay each and every single day.

Despite my new outlook on my situation, I do still wonder when / if I ever will get better. Baking six cupcakes for an hour leaves me so weak that if I don't lie down immediately afterwards I'll feel extremely dizzy and weak, which is something that the Instagram caption doesn't tell you. Popping into a few shops in town makes me feel horribly faint and shaky, often meaning that I can't enjoy myself as much as I'd like to. And simply tidying up my bedroom leaves me nauseous and drained for the entire day. Heck, it's even taken me 3+ hours to write this short blogpost due to brain fog.

Having to contend with this daily does wear me down, but despite the fact that it does, I'll never, ever give up and lose hope. I just can't, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. How do you stay positive under testing circumstances? 


Don't forget that you can find me in all of these places too!


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