Still Plodding On – Just!

I have been struggling for quite a while and I have been in what feels like a year long hibernation.

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I have been working hard on trying to gain control over my symptoms and start to recreate a world from the dusty, smashed pieces of my life left behind after my relapse couple of years ago. However, I have hidden from my blogging in spite of the comfort it used to bring me as I felt like a fraud. I wanted this blog especially to be a positive space but for well over a year I have found little to be positive about despite my best efforts. I have also been struggling with accepting the physical damage that my relapses has brought on over the past decade and I have not been able to look in to any mirror bigger than a compact size without crying, and or, having a panic attack. Due to this insecurity I felt I could not talk about makeup etc. I felt, and to be honest still feel, ashamed. I feel I have failed in life and this time I felt I could no longer mask it with makeup and positivity, so I hid away.

I still don’t want this space to be a whining list of little miseries and self indulgence but I also want to be honest about the challenges of having multiple chronic conditions. I have avoided writing about this last year as it still very painful to admit and examine and I am still worried about how people would react when I have to admit that I have been struggling, that I am not as strong or as OK as people think I am. I am still worried about not being strong enough, of failing. When I am struggling to get dressed or brush my hair I do feel like I am failing like being ill is my fault that it represents my failing, my weakness. I know that it is not logical to think that way, that no one asks to be ill and that illness is not a fault or failing but the weight of chronic illnesses can drag you down into those murky thoughts and make you feel that you do not deserve to be around, to be seen.

I have had another biggish flare a few weeks ago and I am fed up. Fed up of waiting for things to change. I want to move on and I want to get better and I want to start re-engaging with the world again, so I thought I should start back in a space that I have felt comfortable and surrounded by diverse and understanding  people. So I hope to keep posting and start trying to be me again. So hello to those of you kind enough to read this and I hope to start posting in my usual way again. I may be in pieces but hopefully I can start to put them into a new beautiful picture, a mosaic if you like -cracked but just about holding together. x

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Hello again!

These past few months have been the worst time in my life. I have had chronic conditions for 10 years and have never suffered this bad before. I am still very shell-shocked by it all and I’m extremely weak and confused but I’ve been stuck inside my house (majority of the time in bed) for too long. I am trying to force myself to start to pick up the things that I enjoyed before by doing at least one small task a day. I am trying not to feel sorry for myself but it’s so hard! everyone’s strength runs out at some point. I thought that my blog, make-up and you lovely people would be the perfect place to start my journey back. As a lot of time has passed I have a lot of catching up to do, so how are you all? xx

The Sisterhood of the World Nomination

sisterhoodoftheworld

The lovely Kira from https://kirabmoon.wordpress.com/ kindly nominated me for this award. A big thank you to Kira and please take a moment to check out her blog. Many of you probably know how these awards work but the rules are that I answer 10 questions and then nominate 7 other bloggers and ask them to answer the same 10 questions.

First the questions:

Why do you have a blog?

I wanted to connect with people and whilst I can be quite awkward in most social situations I am at my best when I can write. I also wanted to show that being sick and disabled is not an ‘old person’ thing, that it affects people of all ages and that those of us that are inflicted by such things want the same access to life experiences as healthy people – especially the fun stuff!

What inspires you the most?

Can’t choose between two so I will have to say animals and literature.

Favourite animal and why?

Again, I’m going to be a chicken and name two – cats and dogs. I have two cats and one dog. I’ve had cats since I was 9 and they are amazing animals, smart, funny, strong and affectionate. Cats also make you work for their love which I kind of admire.

I have always wanted a dog and when I got my health up to a decent standard a few years back my dog Keats was my reward (unfortunately I have relapsed quite dramatically 8 months ago). Keats was worth waiting for! Dog’s are devoted, loving, sweet, and kind. My dog follows me everywhere (I mean everywhere!) and can never get enough cuddles. One of my favourite things to do was to go on walks with Keats but since my relapse my friends and family now have that pleasure.

What is your favourite colour?

Red! Like the poppies which are my favourite flowers.

Do you prefer the ocean or mountains?

Ocean. I love the sea, the sound, the taste of the air, the enormity of it and it’s movement. I’d love to live by the sea.

Tea or coffee?

Tea. I love the smell of coffee but I can’t bear the taste.

How many languages can you speak?

Embarrassingly only one and that is my native language. I’d love to learn French and Russian but at the moment I struggle enough with English.

What made you happy today?

My animals.

What is your dream?

To have a fulfilling career that enables me to travel and have a house by the sea. If I could get paid to write that would be pretty amazing!

What is your favourite food?

Fishfinger sandwiches. I lived off them whilst I was at uni.

Secondly, here are my 7 nominations:

https://effingfibro.wordpress.com/

https://rhosynmd.wordpress.com/

https://peachteapot.wordpress.com/

https://faloolar.wordpress.com/

https://undiagnosedwarrior.wordpress.com/

http://therheumaticrollercoaster.com/

https://zoerising.wordpress.com/

Learning to be social

Our world’s can become very small we are burdened by chronic illness and people can seemingly drift away from you as you become increasingly confined to your house or bed. It can be lonely, frustrating and incredibly dull! As illness and pain snatch you further indoors the world can seem so distant that it can become alien. When your bed becomes your world Earth may as well be in another galaxy. I had no knowledge whatsoever of social media and only really used the computer for shopping and typing. Technology baffled me, I only opened a Facebook account a few years ago and did so reluctantly.

I am naturally a shy person who feels awkward in many social settings so I feared that as there are much more people online I would find loads more people to be awkward around and 100 more opportunities to make a fool of myself. But in January I became sick of being excluded from conversations and wanted to connect with others. I was and still am often confined to bed so the only course open to me was to use the internet to reach out. I had zero knowledge of social media but after looking around I thought blogging would suit me, so one restless night searching for a distraction from the pain I made my first post.

Blogging has been such a source of comfort for me these past months. I love writing and always felt more comfortable in that medium than any other so I’ve felt less shy and felt more comfortable to express myself. And blogging, best of all, has brought me into contact with some incredible people. As I’ve enjoyed blogging so much I started to think about other social media sites as I know many of you bloggers out there have several other links on your blogs to Twitter etc. My knowledge of how such sites work and how best to interact with them is very poor but I decided to give them a go. I warn you that I have no clue what I’m doing but if you would like to follow or contact me any other way there are some social media icons at the side of this page you can click or you can click these links below or on my About Me page.

Twitter: @moderngirlsick

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/elliesimaginary/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/elliesimaginaryfriend/

My blog will always be main focus but I thought it might be fun to branch out a bit. x

Contact

I’ve only just realised that I haven’t properly written on my about page – duh! I really thought that I had written one but it only shows my Gravatar and not one specific to The Modern Girl’s Guide. As I haven’t I will do. But until I write one properly if anyone would like to contact me my email is elliesimaginaryfriend@gmail.com

I will sort myself out one of these days! x

Oops!

I started a sister blog to this one a few weeks back looking at the social and political issues related to chronic illness and disability but someone has kindly told me that the link I posted hasn’t been working. Oops, this is my fault – I typed it in wrong. Here it is again if you had tried but failed to find it due to my mistake.

https://theillrepresented.wordpress.com/

I hope the link now works. I am no techie and this time last year I would have shied away from anything other than basic typing and internet shopping. I have learnt so much this year about widgets, embedding links, blogging, Pinterest, Instagram etc. but I still feel lost most of the time as I still don’t yet really understand it all. x

I’m chuffed, so thank you x

200 Likes

I know people don’t often post their ‘reward stickers’ for how many likes they get but for a blog that’s only been going 4-5 months I’m really grateful for all the support people have given me. I started the blog as a way to connect and share experiences with others and as a means of giving me something positive to focus on. Chronic illness cruelly isolate people and I’ve found blogging a great way to fend off this isolation. So a huge thank you to those of you that have taken the time to click ‘like’.  x

likes = smiles

Sister Blog

I’ve just made my first post to the sister blog to this one. This blog is all about making the best of being ill, focusing on beauty. My new blog, which will run alongside this one will look at illness and disability on a personal and socio-political level. They are very different blogs so the new one may not interest those that enjoy this one but if you wanted to take a look it is called The Ill Represented.

 https://theillrepresented.wordpress.com/

Thanks for your time. x

[I have edited the link as I embarrassingly typed it in wrong – so sorry, should hopefully work now x]

Hiding in Anger

I have been distant from this blog for a little while as I’ve been struggling with the anger and frustration that constant pain gives. My aim was to keep this blog light-hearted and a little informative. I wanted it to express the small things I enjoy, a means to engage, to escape the bleakness that often encases me. I still aim to keep this blog light but I was unable to rally to the sentiment so that’s why I stayed away. I have realised now that the anger/frustration is a part of my story as a legitimate emotion and to deny it can make things worse. So I have now decided to let the rage out but I will do this on a separate blog as I hope to cover wider areas of concern for those of us with chronic illnesses and/or invisible disabilities, such as politics, healthcare, welfare and rights.

The other blog will be a little more ‘serious’ so that way I can keep this blog as I intended – fun! Those of us with chronic illnesses often have to separate areas of our life off into manageable pieces and have a duality to our characters (often a split between pre-sick and post-sick self) so I hope that this ramble has made some sense. I hope to set up this new blog soon, but first I have to visit the pain consultant tomorrow.

Thanks x

100 Likes

Just found out that my blog has received over 100 likes. Thank you all for being so lovely and a massive ‘Like’ right back at ya from me. xx

J