September 18, 2014

September 18, 2014 was a major turning point in my life. I was on my way from school and a lorry hit my cab from the back, causing all the joints in my body to literally rattle and weaken. I experienced a quite an intense whiplash; with my neck and spine feeling the most amount of stress. Just few weeks earlier, someone at school had bumped right into my left shoulder, causing it to move out of position once again. I was barely healing from that injury when this accident happened. My left arm was in a sling and just as I settled in the cab on a long ride back home, I opened my sling up to give my shoulder a little rest when within seconds there was a loud bang and I thought that was it.

It took me a few seconds to actually register that a lorry hit my cab and a few seconds more than that to notice that my body was in shock.

The impact of the whiplash was so great that I couldn’t move one bit. I still remember how the traffic police just peeked into the cab, looked at me and got us to move to one side of the road and rode away on her motorbike. She didn’t think it was necessary to ask me if I was okay, and I assume it was because I looked completely alright! There was no blood, no visible injury for anyone to think that I was in severe pain – but I was. At that moment, I thanked my stars for being alive. It could have looked a lot worse but I was alive. I was in immense pain, but I was alive. I was breathing. I had no strength left in me to even make my way out of the cab in order to take down the details of the lorry etc.

That accident led me to make some even greater changes to my lifestyle. I was at the brink of having a major burnout and I didn’t want to fall into the dark pit of pure despair once again like I did around the time of my diagnosis. I had been working and pushing myself through life as if I was born with a fit and normal body, taking on too much and practically functioning on an empty tank. I was comparing myself to those around me who were blessed with a body that allowed them to continue to work according to their plans, pursue their passion and hobbies and I was only causing myself too much suffering. There were people around me who expected much more out of me and I was one of them too. It was this accident that made me see my reality, and for once stand up and make that tough but highly necessary call. It was time to prfioritize my health, my dear body, over anyone or anything else.

For months before September 18, 2014, I was hanging by the edge of the cliff, unable to take that leap of faith, which was required in order for my situation to really change. I feared screwing up and I doubted I could survive the consequences of those decisions. I was worried-sick, even though I knew I had to hold myself together and take that leap. I was suffering every single day, caught between what I should do versus what I need to do and want to do, and was experiencing terrible amount of fatigue and pain. I didn’t have it in me to close my eyes and trust that I knew what was right for my body. My personal expectations and those of others tied me down too much and kept me from giving myself what I needed at that point in time. Seeing that the life of those around me was far too different from mine used to make me feel as if I was at fault or as if I didn’t do enough and that wasn’t true at all. How my life has panned out wasn’t my fault. I didn’t consciously choose this situation and neither did I choose these circumstances to be born around or with. These were the cards I was dealt with and it was up to me now to stand in my own power and play them in a way that’s true to who I am and my condition.  This wasn’t a race against time or people. This was simply something I had to learn to work around.

It was also around this time that I understood that different doesn’t mean bad. It just means different. Sometimes different is good. Sometimes different is even better.

This accident finally made me realize that I had to stop. I had to pause and breathe before anything. I hadn’t given myself that permission to just take it slow because I was constantly thinking about my past goals or about not disappointing people. For months before the accident, I couldn’t gather the courage I needed in order to finally let myself rest. To say enough is enough and realize that it doesn’t matter what people say or feel, even if they’re our loved ones, because no one really knows what’s happening to us or our story as well as we do.

This accident FORCED me to STOP. It forced me to question my priorities. Was I my own priority or had I been giving priority to everyone else and everything else?

It was this accident which once again proved to me that not everything is in my control. I was looking after my body well, making sure I did what was needed for it to function, and did what I could to be more aware of my surroundings in order to not make any “mistakes” and hurt myself… AND guess what? This accident still happened. No matter how much we try to do things a particular way (often times we refer to it as doing things “right”), there will always be incidents that are totally beyond our control, and this accident was one of them. More often than not, these things happen because they’re meant to make us think. To force us to jump out of our comfort zone, or make that difficult decision, or simply to teach us something we are yet to learn.

It took me months to feel a slight amount of relief from the impact of the accident. Till then, I was popping an obscene amount of medicines to get me through the day and look and feel normal. Dealing with the post-accident stress was another story of its own. My skin was covered with a faint rash, which took a long time to disappear, and I was waking up at night dreaming of being hit and falling apart. At times, getting onto a Silvercab makes my body cringe a little, and I can’t help but be reminded of the accident and the effect it had on me.

Today, one year later, though there are still a few question marks in my life and there is a fair amount of instability and uncertainty associated with this condition and its consequences, I am so happy that I took those big steps forward. In some ways, this accident really helped me pick out what I needed to focus on. I chose to do things that felt right to me, even though I didn’t have a clue about whether or not they would actually turn out to be the “right” decisions ultimately. The thing is, I am now fully convinced that any decision made in favor or who I am at the very core of my being, and what my body truly needs for a condition that I’m born with,  has to be right; or at least must be one step closer in the right direction.  In fact, what is right for us today may look different tomorrow, depending on where we are our life anyway. Who says we can’t change our mind later? We might not be able to go back to that exact time, but we can most certainly learn to adapt and make better decisions as we move forward. Today, I’m  putting together a lifestyle that serves my present state and figuring it all out one day at a time. Some goals and dreams look significantly different from what I once thought I’d want, while some continue to stay strong. It surely requires a lot of patience when you have to rediscover all the possibilities while dealing with limitations so very real. 

My health has brought me closer to myself.

I’m relieved to finally have been able to write so much much about September 18, 2014. I barely spoke about it with anyone, so writing a blog post about it is a big deal.  

With that, goodnight and have a wonderful weekend!

❤︎

It’s Time Again.

Over the last eight to ten days, I have been looking and searching and texting and chatting and writing and talking and asking and answering so many things  that I think my brain is practically dead out of the excessive energy drainage. Nope, this is not something I am able to handle. Though I’ve gotten better, and certain choices that I made are proving to be right, I don’t think I have an unlimited supply of energy stored inside of me to handle so many things all at once.

It’s been a crazy hunt this time round too, and even with my physical limitation, I have managed to overcome this hunt. It’s a little accomplishment and worth a mini celebration because such factors add to the stability I need, which allows me to then work on things that I want to work on!

ODAAT has been on a pause for about a week. I came back home from a 6 week long family vacation and a new disc injury, ready to settle in and start with things I had planned to work on for ODAAT. Within a few days, I found out that I had to leave again and I was reminded  how unpredictable things can get once more! Not everything goes according to plan all the time. I wasn’t expecting this; so when I found that I had to leave, I wished I hadn’t unpacked from my vacation. The amount of energy lost in packing and unpacking just cannot be underestimated. I felt bad that ODAAT had to be on hold again, but my mantra has been One Day At A Time for a longggggg time anyway and I’ll just have to create another ‘flexi-plan’  when I’ve finally settled down in my new place. Looks like it’s time for yet anther directional change. A BIG major directional change. Leaving a place all of a sudden, managing a new disc injury and feeling weak from it, knowing the possibility of your close friend leaving and having no idea if you’d find a place just in time sounded like a bad combination of things to happen all together.

But it all turned out fine.

I looked up places like a mad woman, day in day out, could barely nap, had terrible sleep at night, and the concept of self-love faded off my mind for a bit because I was convinced that finding the right place was more important in this time of my life more than anything else. When you’re doing a lot of internal work, looking after yourself and working towards a future once again, the last thing you want is to be in an environment that doesn’t serve the same purpose for you. I decided that finding THAT one place for me to live in is going to be a true gift of self-love that I can give to myself at this point.

Yes. Uncertainty multiplied by a about a million.

One thing that was particularly different this time too was my fear level. I knew that place was out there for me; I was just a little nervous about the time that I was left with. I did my job to the best of my capacity (fine, I did push my body by a fair amount) and because I have to always think in terms of my body, the time limit just made no sense. Even then, I am happy to have handled this entire situation fairly well. Sometimes looking at the most unexpected events in your life as an opportunity to grow makes so much of a difference. This is an opportunity for me to grow. Thankfully, it’s been progressive, and even though it seems like ONE FAT LEAP FORWARD again, I’m less afraid of falling. I’m very very  grateful to have been in this place for the last ten months or so, learning to look after myself, taking baby steps forward and around the house, and having a very understanding flatmate to share this little place with.

The way I found my existing place last year was either a random stroke of luck or something that was meant to be this way. I’d like to think it was both. Back then, I was sure about my decision but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to survive. Finding a place that gave me all the space I needed along with someone I could speak life with, just sitting on the couch on random nights, was a great start to my goal towards becoming more independent.

I now look forward to yet another chapter of my life and as daunting as it can get to do this once again, I am ready. I’ve seen that sometimes you just have to let go of the cliff first to realize the immense strength and power you have residing within you or to notice all the different arms and fluffy, padded cushions just waiting to receive you. Support comes from all over the place if we are willing to open up, share our vulnerabilities and ask for help – neither of which equal to weakness.

Happy Wednesday!

A Space.

I’m going to have to make a big decision soon and I just want to write a little bit about it. I’m sure I’ll be able to write more once things settle down a little bit.

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“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” – Nancy Levin

It’s something that matters to my existence once again (nope, no drama here); to the stability and certainty that I find beneath my feet; something that could add to a little bit of  stillness to the hypermobility. It’s not just a  pretty space we’re talking about, it’s a space where I can be me, just the way I am , with myself, and be there for myself like I have been over the past ten months or so. A space where I get the peace I crave, where my body feels safe, and gets the rest it needs. A space where my mind can breathe, and the air that fills me, heals me. A space where I would spend most of my hours in the day. A space that reminds me that it’s all okay.

We need this. Each of us. This stability, this certainty. We need this. A space that prompts us to think, to become our best selves.  To bloom into what we are yet to become. We need a space that acts like a reminder, that even int the worst of the times, we are here for ourselves. I know I’ll be safe, no matter where I go. I will be taken care of and things will fall into place.

I’ve found myself in such a situation countless number of times. I’ve known exactly what I needed, and exactly what to pick but I still was in a strange sort of a dilemma, which really shouldn’t exist. I’ve been surrounded with fear and worry, and little sparks of strength and courage that rest deep within the core of me.

 We usually know, don’t we?

How do you people deal with such situations? Do you put your situation above your health and fundamental needs? Or do you allow yourself to get what you need first before dealing with a situation at hand? Can any other situation be greater than your own health? I’d love to hear, if anyone is willing to open up and share. I’d love to learn.

An Excuse?

Before I write about what happened today, I’d just like to say – my intentions of sharing such an experience are rather clear – one, I wish that by reading these things we write, other ‘normal’ people are able to at least understand what sort of an effect their words or actions could have on people with a rare or chronic illness, even when they don’t mean to cause harm. I am aware that most of us don’t mean to, but does it really hurt to pause and think about it for a moment anyway? And two, I want to let those who are like me know that we are on the same side. We’re a team, no matter where each one of us is located or if we’d ever cross paths, we face similar situations and that we’re getting better at handling them through our experience. 


Someone asked me this morning how I was doing and since it had been a while from the last time I saw her, I gave her a quick update about the latest injury I’ve had. She heard me out I think and said something like, “Well, at least you don’t need an operation.” I said,” Yep. I don’t. I doubt that would help anyway.” She goes, “ Well it’s probably not that dire then.”

Fair enough. It probably isn’t that dire but it is causing me a lot of pain. And it’s not the same amount of pain someone else with healthy collagen would feel if he were to have a bulged out disc. 

And this happens next. 

She asked me when I plan to visit my brother and I told her that as much as I would LOVE to visit him, I do not think it’s a good idea at the moment. Given that a 20-minute taxi ride can take a horrible toll on me, I don’t wish to take on a 30-hour long journey for now.

Our conversation was going fine, I was telling her that if I do end up traveling anywhere, it would possibly be to see him first etc. Just then she goes, “NICE! You know what, just travel on Business Class. Come on, get your dad to get you on a Business Class and just go meet your brother! You have an excuse so that shouldn’t be a problem. Your back! Hahaha. Good excuse to travel on Business Class, eh?”

Honestly, I’m quite surprised that what she said didn’t get to me. It didn’t make me tear up on the spot and neither did it make me angry. I know she didn’t mean to say it the way it came across to me. I just made a mental note that I want to share this on my blog because sometimes even the closest of our people, or our health professionals, may end up making certain unintentional comments which can make us think for a bit. Depending on who I’m with, I decide if I wish to communicate my feelings or let it go. 

My reply to her was rather ‘normal’. I calmly said, “ Of course, for a long flight like that, I would need to fly on Business Class for sure.”

I’m guessing some of us who are reading this and are not dealing with an illness may find nothing ‘wrong’ with what just happened. You might even think I’m choosing words to focus on. You’re right to some extent, because I am. But you may be wrong for the reasons you come up with as to why I’m sharing this.

I don’t think what she said was ‘wrong’ per se, but it was something that reminded me of other times in the last seven years where I received similar comments, and I thought about all of us around the world who face such situations on a day to day basis. If I were someone who did not have an illness, I’d probably make a joke out it immediately. I do that even now because it can lighten up a situation and sometimes I don’t because not everything is meant to be light and funny all the time.

We don’t use health as an excuse. It’s not an excuse for us in any way. If anything, it’s the very opposite. If anything, we wish our health excused us for once. I doubt any one of us would like to use it to our advantage or something. 

Up till now, I don’t remember a single occasion in my life where I used my health as in excuse to do or not do something.

My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to submit incomplete design projects back in University. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to cancel on my friends’ Birthday parties. My health wasn’t an excuse when I couldn’t deal with the noise around me because of the heightened pain level and needed space. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to tell my boyfriend back then to carry my bags. My health wasn’t an excuse when I couldn’t do some basic household chores. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to leave Design school. My health wasn’t an excuse when  I had to make a special request to the Business School to let me audio record my exams instead of writing them out. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to tell my group-mates that I couldn’t stay back after school for group meetings because I attended a 3-hour lecture that morning and had no more energy left. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to apply for the Disability Liaison Unit a year later. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to stay home instead of going out with my brother because I was tired from traveling to the doctor that morning. My health wasn’t an excuse  when I had to tell someone next to me at a movie hall to exchange seats because I needed the aisle seat. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to use a seat meant for the handicapped even though I looked young and fit. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to take an elevator only meant for the handicapped. My health wasn’t an excuse when I had to spend a lot of money on taxis. My health wasn’t and excuse when I had to ask someone at the grocery store to help me with my basket. My health wasn’t an excuse when I decided that some relationships in my life must change. My health wasn’t an excuse when I decided to live on my own and learn to look after myself slowly.My health wasn’t an excuse when I decided to take my time for myself and make drastic changes to my lifestyle.

My health wasn’t ever an excuse.

My health was the reason; it was the reason I chose (or choose) to do things a particular way to reduce suffering and pain for myself, or fulfil my fundamental needs because I have a body that is very very different. 

So, nope. My health is not and will not be an excuse for me to travel on Business Class to see my brother.

 

Lower Back Injury

It’s my back’s turn now.

Last Friday when I went for a walk (which started off as a slow stroll) I got a call from a friend and we got into a pretty intense discussion about how my anti-inflammatory diet was coming along. I got distracted, and ended up walking faster than my normal pace, which, is the fastest I’ve walked in a very long time. With a lot of love, patience and care, I had managed to build my back up to a point where by I was able to manage about 20-30minutes of walking per day. I had put in a lot of effort to look after the constant pain I had in my lower back because of a slipped disc and a sublaxed tailbone. I had a routine of some sort, with Pilates and Physio, and my daily walk, and frankly, I was starting to feel more in control. Walking to nearby places or a really short bus ride wouldn’t hurt my back as much.

Before last Friday, I had noticed a slight increase in pain level, though I knew it was only because my general activity level had gone up (my brother is here for a break so there’s more happening in a day) and because I wasn’t able to stick to my daily routine as per usual. That’s okay, it happens. I had expected a slight increase in pain anyway. What I did not expect was for my back to flare up to this extent because of that one walk. Those few minutes of walk where I was busy talking on the phone and less in tune with my body has caused me to be almost bedridden. The pain level is insanely high now. My muscles are in spasm and the pain is shooting down my legs. My back feels stiff and wobbly at the same time and a few steps forward make my legs weak. I don’t have enough strength to hold myself up and I’m literally limping my way around.

If I am very honest about this, I can say one thing, it’s been MONTHS since I experienced so much pain in my lower back and tailbone. It is very very sad to be in this situation, knowing the amount of time and patience it took me to build myself up to where I was last Friday. It’s a little upsetting, because it can take a very long time yet again for my back to recover, and then to slowly strengthen it. For a while, I felt stupid. I felt silly. I thought I made a big blunder. How could I do this to myself, I thought. I spent the weekend being very mean to myself, beating myself over for being careless. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t fair; the way I was treating myself.  I was only adding to my suffering, nothing else. Besides, that’s not the way I would talk to a friend who is injured, so why talk to myself like that?  I didn’t make a mistake. I didn’t intentionally hurt my back. Yes, it’s very that true I have a greater control over my body and I am better in tune with the pain I feel, but I’m still human and humans make mistake. I do expect myself to be more cautious about most  things I do throughout the day (that’s a lot of decisions to make in a day by the way and that means being extra alert all the time) but how can I expect myself to NEVER EVER get distracted? That’s not right. It’s hard to forget about the pain when it’s in your body 24/7 and for five years that too, but it is very possible to get distracted once in a while, like, when you’re on the phone with a close friend. I’m here now, in bed, unable to move and I have imagined the worse already – what if it takes me yet another three years to feel how I was feeling just last Friday? And that thought is not only disheartening and demotivating, it is SCARY. What if I have further injured my back and made things worse than where it started ages back? SCARY too. What if I’m not able to do things for myself again, like I was finally learning to? SCARY AS ANYTHING CAN BE. The list of ‘what ifs’ that I can come up with if I utilize my creativity to its maximum can go on if I want it to and frankly, I don’t want it to. So I’ve stopped, because again, this does nothing else but add to the suffering I’m experiencing at the moment. I’d rather tap into the strength and faith that I now have and remember that I have done this before. I can do this again.

In 2012 when I was diagnosed of HMS, I was uncertain about my future and how I’d survive…. but I did. I was scared beyond anything. Today, I’m injured and I’m in pain and I can’t walk but I’m certain I’ll heal. I’m certain that I’ll recover. I’m certain that I’ll walk again, get back to doing Pilates and continue making my way towards my dreams and goals. I’m certain that there is a future, and that’s a BIG improvement from where I was then. What is uncertain however, is, the time I’d need. But time is never certain for any of us, right? Today, I have a team of medical professionals (well, it’s a different story that my current Physiotherapist is out of town right now so I’ve been looking around for someone who I see for the time being, and this means explaining your entire medical history all over again, getting more of the same information and sometimes less of the kind of support you need at that time. It’s always a matter of trial and error, which can be tiring when you’re dealing with a back injury) will support me in this. I have a few people around who see my condition a bit better. But above anything, I have learned to accept my body enough to give it what it needs so if it needs even more love, patience and care now that it is injured, I’ll do it all over again. I will have to keep reminding myself that even if it may seem like I’m starting all over again, I’m NOT.

Things can get challenging again  from here, and I’m well aware of it.  However, over the past few years and especially last one year, I’ve gained more knowledge about my condition, I’ve developed more strength in myself and I am way more in tune with my body than I was when it all started. I feel more equipped with the tools I need in order to manage this injury – and that means I’m NOT starting from zero.

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Managed to get an appointment with a Physiotherapist I used to see back in 2012. She did some Radio- frequency and Ultra-sound on my back to aid with healing, and taped it up for additional stability. Taping works well for me because I think it provides just enough support and takes some weight off the body while its in pain.

I have a better foundation in general – a deeper understanding of what to, and what not to do for my health and even if the pain is terrible, I try to look at it differently. I need to be kind to myself and get through this one day at a time, just like I do with any other joint. I need to remind myself now more than usual that it is OKAY to take time and slow down, or to prioritize my health over anything else. There is no rush, there is not race to win. That’s what’s needed. I can’t be harsh or punish myself for getting a little distracted. After all, I have a condition that I’m dealing with and that makes it possible for me to unintentionally overuse or over-exert my joints and muscles. So if it was anyone else in my place that got a little distracted while on phone and walking, I bet he or she wouldn’t have injured his or her back this way. I do enough for my health otherwise and I am aware and conscious of the pain I feel. I am doing enough and I need to keep trusting that I am. With the pain level being at almost a nine out of ten today, I would do anything to be able to go back to the “normal” seven that I managed to bring it down to. And if ‘anything’ means mainly rest, being nice to myself and allowing my back to heal, then that’s what is going to happen. If ‘anything’ means choosing what I feel is right for me, then that is what is needed.

  ❤︎

Today Is The Right Day

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It requires conscious effort to really embrace the present moment, accept how things are and do the best you can do in order to live today. But I understand now that it’s important; especially for those of us living in a ‘rare’ body. Because things can get really very uncertain. Each time I drift into the future too much, I make an effort to bring myself back to now. It does require a lot of practice and quite a bit of conversing with myself, over tea or something.. but then that’s the only way to move forward. To know what today is like, to make the best out of today and be hopeful about tomorrow. Keep going. One day at a time. One step at a time. Sometimes even  just one hour at a time, really.

It’s kind of a daily practice now. To think about now, now and only now.

For now. 

❤︎

Sunday Afternoon Before Napping

IMG_4791Hello. Meet my Left Shoulder. It decided one fine day, about 5 years back, that I needed to stop. That I needed to breathe and let go. And that I had to be there for myself before anyone else. It is this shoulder, my left shoulder, which took me from being in Design class at 6:00pm one evening to an MRI machine at 9:00am next morning. It is this shoulder that first gave me a signal that my body wasn’t doing fine. That I really needed time for myself. I fought to be fixed. I fought really hard. But my body continued to weaken. There were more joints lined up after my left shoulder and I had no clue. I really didn’t know better. That’s where this journey began, in the midst of not knowing. This journey to come home to my own body. To be okay with where I am, to know that it’s okay if things looked different from how I once thought they would be. To learn that different doesn’t mean bad. It simply means different. Different can mean better; just not the same. To know that strength comes only from within. To be alright with emotions. To be okay with falling, and to stand up again stronger. This journey has opened me up to a new world. A world where nothing is more important than health. A world of love and acceptance. Of the body, no matter how wobbly it is. Not matter now unstable it can be. To be grateful for it, not because it could be worse, but because it isn’t. To know that pain and suffering is real but not feel defeated by any of it. To realize that sometimes we are where we are  for a reason and to dig deeper into that reason so that one day when we look back, we see how much we have learnt. How much we have grown. To live in the present moment, focus on things we have control over and things that can be changed. And to come to terms with things that we can’t fix. To be okay with limitations and to think about possibilities. To wake up everyday and smile. To keep moving forward one step at a time. To look back once in a while, not at how things were supposed to be, but to see how far we’ve come. And see that we still have it in us to continue. To be our own inspiration.

❤︎

April Till Now.

Here’s my list of complaints:

  1. I still haven’t recovered physically from that super fast walk on April 11. My knees and lower back still hurt and I’m not managing to keep up with my daily walk at all. I’ve needed  extra painkillers again.
  2. No Pilates for the past 2 weeks, after managing pretty well through March.
  3. No pool. This sucks.
  4. I’ve been exhausted out of my mind. My brain has had a pattern – process, process, process SHUT DOWN, process SHUT DOWN, SHUT DOWN, process, process SHUT DOWN, process, process, process, process, SHUT DOWN… [for the past 15 days or so]. Tiring.
  5. Why did everything have to happen at the same time! All kinds of emotions at once? Really? Tiring.
  6. I’ve had an icky diet! Sick diet! Eww. Other than lots of mental processing, I ate all kinds of food that I usually don’t eat. No, NO.  That doesn’t mean I follow some sort of a fad diet to not put on weight and NO I don’t starve myself (I’ve come across far too many people in the past who believed that HMS happened to me because I didn’t eat enough!), I eat enough for my body and I can’t live without dark chocolates. I have a sensitive stomach, which I have to look after AND I am experimenting with some anti-inflammatory foods. So when I say I had an icky diet, all I mean is that I didn’t eat like I generally would. I ate too much for my body to handle.  I didn’t feel like cooking at home and it’s not as if I ate “right” outside.
  7. My sleep has been especially messy. I’ve been waking up every hour or so, feeling terribly warm at night and sweating at 18 degrees. I’ve been getting up way too early, even before the birds….
  8. And then spending rest of the day in more pain. Tiring.

And now onto the positive things that came out of this month:

  1. I feel much better that I sorted some things out over April. It was time. Things could have been a lot worse, but I handled them pretty well. I remained true to my needs, trusted my decisions and I did what I’ve been wanting to for sometime now. It’s always challenging to deal with ultra-sensitive topics! I feel so relieved now.
  2. 37bf1c620a0ce6440322baf1dd5b64c8I feel much lighter now; after experiencing some heavy emotions. Good thing  I didn’t distract myself too much from all that!
  3. I got some practice with saying NO.  A couple of incidents took place which made me realize that it has become especially important for me to say a clear NO and mean it.
  4. I was presented with an opportunity to look at my entire journey (like watching a movie about my life), since the day I was born till today, and see for myself that I really have come a long way. A really long way…
  5. While my mind was doing it’s own thing, a part of my heart opened up a bit. I came across new people, new perspectives and new ideas..
  6. I received beautiful compliments for my blog. It was encouraging to hear good things about it from friends and strangers! People want to read more.
  7. My Patient Story was finally published on Global Genes!
  8. I sold one of  my patterns! YES! I work on these patterns whenever I’m able to. I take custom orders depending on how much I can really manage.
  9. I threw away some more old stuff to make space for the new. It turned into a major highlight for this week.
  10. I got a chance to take things at my own pace. Without any sort of rush, without anyone pushing me to “feel better quickly” or to “be okay already”. I got my time to cry if I wanted to, laugh if I felt like, stare at the ceiling, sit and breathe, write, draw, stay in bed through the day with hot packs…..and just give myself the space and freedom to experience whatever I needed to in order for things to slowly fall back into place.  There was a time this wasn’t possible at all and I’m so grateful that it’s possible now.
  11. I think I’m ready to put everything back in place now :)

Conclusion:

Wow, looking at my list of good things.. I don’t think I want to even complain anymore. Just because April brought up some negative stuff and ruined my routine doesn’t actually mean it was THAT bad. Yes, it messed with my feelings and caused my body a lot more pain, but it propelled me forward along with all of that.

Alright April, you haven’t been that mean to me. Thank you.

Happy Weekend!

Still Need More Time And That’s Okay.

 OKAY. de137adfd5d1e012c45110808210e67dI still don’t feel all that well. I still feel mentally drained out.

You know how it is like when you have exams? The actual exam period obviously gets very stressful, but once you’re done with your final paper, you still take a few days to recover from the exhaustion you experienced during and before exams.

I’ve been feeling like that somewhat. The post-exam fatigue.

Except worse.

I stayed up quite a bit last two weeks because my body was in a lot of pain AND because my brain had lots of things to sort out. A few things happened last week that completely zapped my energy away. I mean, dealing with pain in the body is one thing and when coupled with something emotionally or mentally triggering, I’m just left too charged up for anything else. It then takes me about a week after that to really regain all the energy and finally come back to my routine. My body requires EVEN more care and patience when I feel this way. But it’s during these times that my attention also shifts to my mind and heart. I tend to give more importance to how I think, how I feel.. my thoughts and my emotions, and not just the physical pain that I experience51926853745859c2fd95141ee3735e18.

It’s these times when I see what it is like to really be human. Experiencing physical pain makes me feel alive enough I think, but to experience all kinds of emotions and thoughts together with that is a different story altogether. That’s being human, that’s being more alive than ever.  I don’t hide away from these things now. I think it requires some amount of courage to look straight at your thoughts and emotions and to figure them out, one by one, with patience and care. Just like my body needs my time, my mind and heart need my time as well. I’ve taken a while to understand this.

I gave myself this week to recover, to work through things slowly, without any kind of rush. Clearly, I’m not there yet. It’s Thursday already, but I require more rest. So even if I take a few more days to start feeling normal, that’s okay. I’ve been totally off routine this week –  I haven’t been able to go for Pilates, go into the pool as much or even walk like usual. Things are sort or and sort of not going according to my goals for this week. My main goal this week was to recover, which is happening slowly. But everything else.. not really.

It is also during such times that I have to be honest with people around me and tell them I’m not in a state to deal with anything new. If I need to, I make sure to tell people that I’ll catch up with them when I’m better. I simply can’t take in more information from anyone else when I have so much to sort out internally for myself. Since young I’ve had a tendency to listen to other people’s problems and to help them out – but these days I need to put myself before anyone else.

I’ve noticed what hela2454ac9d3e89a7ff709038bb5beeaa0ps me feel better (other than sitting with myself) during such times is talking to complete strangers about something totally unrelated and light, or spending time with people who know that I take my time through things. I have my own way of processing thoughts and emotions, and I don’t appreciate being rushed through this. For a moment I may feel like dancing on “Desi Look” or “Chittiyan Kalaiyan”, and the next moment, I may want to run to my room to calm myself down or cry my heart out. Having this sort of a freedom is so important to me now!

There is a general pattern to how I  function and I’m okay with it – I feel like crap, I let myself feel like crap, I work myself out of the crap and I don’t feel like crap anymore :) So right now I’m some where between working myself out of the crap and not feeling like crap.

I allow myself feel what I need to feel, I look at my thoughts and keep the healthy ones, and then I slowly bring my focus back to present, back to where I am and where I’m headed. Sometimes this takes longer than usual. But so what?

OH. And I eat a lot of dark chocolate.