{December thoughts}

{december thoughts} this year, for most part of the first quarter, felt like a new beginning. new start. my mind was set on creating the new. I felt some resistance but I still thought it was all about quickly settling into the new. the more i look back to how the year unfolded, the more i realise that this year was all about endings. completions. old cycles finishing.

and you know what, though the process has been emotionally and physically draining, it has created so much space in my life for the new. the shift has been subtle but clear.

i used to think endings meant something was off, but no, endings can be amazing. sure, sometimes endings are painful but endings create openings. endings help you pick out on things that no longer serve the person you’re becoming. endings gently and sometimes forcefully make you grow. endings are refreshing. endings are opportunities for you to believe and trust all over again.

i’m spending the rest of the month clearing and releasing everything that isn’t working for me anymore. this is a good time to do some self work and ask yourself, “What is it that I do not want to take with me into 2019?”. make a list. let go. ✨

{blood and years don’t matter}

I’m experiencing deep emotional pain right now. I’m going to acknowledge that, let it be until it leaves, and also keep in mind that I’ve done my very best.

Self-awareness doesn’t mean that you’ll never make mistakes. It means that even if you did, you will pick up on it and respond in a way that best aligns with your highest self.

It also means that you walk away from things and people that take away from you.

Trust me when I say this — it doesn’t matter how long you know someone or if you share a blood relationship with that person.

What matters is how much you and them evolve as people, how you communicate and whether you’re truly there for them.

This year has taught me that no matter how much healing work of acceptance and forgiveness you do, some dynamics never change. You do the work for yourself; so that you can create a life and relationships that are supportive.

It doesn’t excuse their behaviour and all the nasty things they may have done to you, but it frees you from the suffering of it. It frees up time and energy for better things in life.

In the last two days, I’ve reached a completion with two relationships in my life. I am very peacefully convinced that I have tried my best and that I no longer need to keep anchoring the relationships.

I am not longer available for it.

I am letting go, with love, what I thought I shared with them.

❤️

A small something

I was diagnosed with EDS type 3 in 2012, and have since been learning to live with theeillness. Before my diagnosis, I spent a good four years searching for a reason behind my deteriorating health and found no answer. Imagine being 18, three months into the course you loved, and suddenly starting to fall ill day by day. I tried everything that was “supposed” to help only to find out that it’s not a one size fits all kind of a situation. No one knew what was wrong with me and some refused to believe that someone in their late teens and early twenties could possibly be in so much pain. The struggle was real and it was beginning to affect my lifestyle. At one point, I thought I was living someone else’s life. It was devastating and unexplainably miserable. All it took was one medical professional to sit with me and really listen to my complaints and put together all my symptoms since young, which really didn’t seem out of place at that point.

After years or greiving over my old life and resisting what was coming, I finally started to work on acceptance and letting go. I could no longer run away from the fact that this was a chronic illness and the only way to move forward was to make peace with it as though it’s part of who I was, because it is. Sure, It doesn’t define who I am, but it plays a major role in every little or big decision in make in my life. It affects my energy levels, makes me put emphasis on bigger and greater things in life and hence also changes how I choose to live my life.

Things were only getting from bad to worse. The longer I held on, the more I struggled. The more everyone around me struggled, too. When I could no longer push, when my body started to scream and not just whisper, I figured it was time I made major lifestyle (my passion/activities I enjoy, the people I spent time with, my daily routine etc) and career change in order to accommodate and honour my health. And so I did.

I no longer see a point in creating suffering for myself by trying to push my body beyond its limit. It’s hard but I’ve realized that you have to make a choice every morning, to get up and do the best of your ability. Whatever your best is, is good enough. I’ve also realised the importance of staying true to your personal experience no matter what anyone says and also finding people who trust you.

Over the last few years, I’ve been working on adopting a new perspective towards my health and the choices I need to make. Firstly, I tell myself that these choices and decisions are FOR my health, not BECAUSE. Secondly, I choose to believe that I am fighting my illness by loving my body. Thirdly, I take conscious steps towards forgiving and letting go of what I thought my life “should” have been and adopt an attitude of gratitude as far as possible.

I won’t lie – living with chronic illness is tough. It complicates your life and makes you feel as if there is nothing more to life but being sick. It makes you feel like you have to climb this never-ending mountain all yourself and that no matter what you do, it’s not enough to change anything or make a real difference. It makes you think about the meaning of pain and suffering. Question your abilities and sense of self. I know the extra suffering that comes along with the physical pain.

Then again, every day is a new day and all we can do is acknowledge our pain and learn to work with it. It might require you to reassess your path every now and then and do what is in alignment with your health. That choice to work with your body while taking one little step forward towards what you love, or what frees you and makes you feel at peace is what reflects your strength and courage. It’s not your illness that defines you, it’s how your choose to live with it that does.

You have the choice to do something every day that makes you experience a small victory. And many victories put together allows you to overcome the burden of living with a life-altering illness.

Keep in mind that this ‘something’ I’m referring to doesn’t have to an incredibly big task or fit the expectation of the society in any way. It could be something as basic as getting out of the bed, holding a brush and writing a letter, doing an extra shift of your part-time job, washing your own hair, maybe cooking yourself a meal, meeting someone you love, reading a book to nurture your mind… anything that makes you feel like you’ve taken a step forward on that given day is a good enough start.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

and, remmeber, you’re allowed to pause for as long as you need to before starting again.

Love,

MD

A box from the past

#rarediseaseweek #2018

Just yesterday, I found a box filled with all my design stuff which I hadn’t seen in many years. It seems I had forgotten about it and left it with my dad because I wasn’t ready to accept my new reality (and discard anything) and nor was I able resist it. I was experiencing the most horrible internal conflict of all time

To hold on or to let go.

My heart knew well that I needed to let go because I had fought enough and my body was changing. But my mind wouldn’t let me.

Holding on would mean disrespecting and dishonouring the one and only vessel I had for the rest of my life. I had to learn to accept it for what it is but how could I let go of all the things I loved, planned and wanted so much? I was suffering in every way possible.

I knew I had to pause but it was hard to put away my dreams and aspirations for a long period of uncertainty, of not knowing and having answers. And that was scary. But I did it any way because I could no longer neglect the messages from my body.

So when I decided I was ready to jump off the cliff, leave my full-time job, learn to live on my own and put my body first, I told myself I’d deal with this box when I am able to see my past as just one part of my life and not a reflection of my worth . Leaving the box behind, I remember feeling as if a burden of expectation to be the “perfect one” was lifted off my shoulder and at the same time, a heavy sense of grief towards my old self engulfed me.

Who am I without my dreams, I thought.

I know nothing off this path I have carved and imagined. I will be lost. I am lost. And what if I am never found again? What if, despite all my effort and desire to leave my old self behind, I can’t do it? How will I live from here, with the burden of having and wanting to be perfect and knowing that I was born in an imperfect body?

Does honouring my body, which feels like the right thing to do, equate to failure?

Will I be a failure in everyone’s eyes?

Am I a failure in my own eyes?

Here I am now, all set to let go of this box and its contents because they don’t serve the present me.

Maybe it all made sense to some extent then, at the age of 20 and in that once healthy body. I knew nothing more. All I knew came from old, expired programming that I grew up with and around. Today, I believe I am a better version of myself and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Of course, my past has served a purpose; it lead me to this day. It taught me the importance of tapping into my inner strength, finding courage to do what is right for the sake of my body, mind and soul without letting the external factors lead me into believing that what I knew was the only truth.

Today, I understand that those around me need not understand me, and that it doesn’t matter if one thinks of me as less but it can be disastrous if I ever let myself think I am not enough. Because I am. And while my path is new and least travelled, it reflects a truer version of myself. It is taking me to a place of peace with my body. I believe and I’ve noticed that this internal shift brings me closer to a life of joy and purpose, one where I wake up everyday knowing I’m making a difference whether or not it is visible to whole wide world and where I live each day as gracefully as possible.

Here I am now,

ready to let go of this box,

both literally and figuratively,

and make space for the new.

With a heart full of gratitude and a lightness, I am ready to give this part of my life a complete closure because I had already said goodbye a long, long time ago.

#chronicillness #ehlersdanlos rarediseaseweek #ehlerdanlossyndrome #hypermobility #EDS #rare #illness #2018 #awareness #pain #suffering #fatigue #brainfog #past #lettinggo #memories #interiorarchitecture #goals #dreams #aspirations#acceptance #health #mind #body #soul #purpose #healing #love

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If you have a story, write. If you have a story that changed you for the better, write for sure. Because when you do, you heal and create a safe space for others to heal.

There can never be enough stories of struggle and harsh realities which lead to strength, courage and acceptance.

Don't let your story confine you.
Let it become a catalyst for your growth, your ability to adapt + respond and your enthusiasm for life.

Love,
MD

#throwback to December 2012

This is me just four years back (4/9 joints down) – a point in my life I would never want to go back to, even if someone paid me a million dollars for it.

I had received a diagnosis just two months before this photo was taken. My parents’ divorce was at its peak and there was so much uncalled for responsibility around it. My career and life plans were falling apart. My boyfriend of 5 years and I were going through a very painful break-up. I was popping 8 painkillers a day + 6 muscle relaxants + non-addictive sleeping pill and yet finding no relief. I had migraines which drove me mad and there was this annoying, buzzing noise at the back of my brain which just never stopped.

I couldn’t close my eyes or be alone in a room because I feared my body might fail me in some way. I rarely slept and if I did, I got nightmares and I’d wake up drenched in sweat. At times I was afraid I’d never wake up. I had palpitations and sudden fall in blood-pressure a number of times in a day. I would lose balance as I walked. I couldn’t wash my own hair or even dress myself. The creative inside me was no where to be found. My body needed energy and I couldn’t eat. I was hospitalized a few times because I started reacting to some medicines.

I only got weaker.

I was trying to hold onto my life, every bit of it, and the harder I tried, the more defeated I felt. My body was screaming at me and I didn’t listen. People around me wanted things out of me that I simply couldn’t give. I needed myself more than anyone else and I kept putting everyone else before me.

There was nothing familiar left about me or my surrounding. I didn’t trust my body and I didn’t trust anyone else either. The fighter in me could no longer fight. I thought I knew what strength was all about but I clearly didn’t.

I needed to let go.

And after what seemed like eons,

I finally started learning to let go,

to accept what can’t be changed,

and to work with my body.

There is more to learn + create,

but right here today,

It’s all okay.

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.

❤︎

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.