Love

Will You Be My Valentine?

When it comes to Valentines Day,
you are usually one of two people:

The person who sits in a slump,
hidden from social media all day,
because you are single and you don’t want to be inundated with hundreds of Facebook posts from other people gloating about their relationships, overpriced flowers and gifts;

or you are that other person who is on Facebook gloating about your relationship, overpriced flowers and gifts.

Valentines Day is about being thankful for Love,
and spreading kindness…

I’M the person who thinks that this should be done EVERY day.

Love for your friends, family, those who have been supportive to you along your journey, and your partner…

It is also about loving yourself,

so,

my Valentines Day gift to you today is…
one Extra Special Spoon to use on doing something that makes YOU happy,
because YOU deserve it!

Extra Spoons are rare so use it wisely!

wooden-heart-spoon.jpg
If you are having a really awful symptom day,
and/or are spending Valentines Day alone like me;
don’t be disheartened.

Know that I am thinking of you,
and most importantly,
that you ARE loved.

C, xo

Theories of Love.

A conversation between my Doctor and I:
Him: “You need to allow yourself to relax and be loved. Do you understand what I mean?”
Me: “I cannot relax. I am losing my memory, my vision and ability to think, and…”
Him: “Be loved. Relax and be loved. Do you understand that?”
Me: “Sex?”
Him: “I meant more of a massage by…”
Me: “Oh, I’m seeing my Acupuncturist this week and he can massage out my…”
Him: “No, stop. More intimate than that. To feel another’s touch, to walk and hold hands, to feel the person you used to be”
Me: “How, when all I know is the person that I am now?”
Him: “Look up the 5 Love Languages and take the test. Find out where you fit and then allow yourself to be loved. Illness has consumed your ability to feel, so try and not think about the illness. Think about your feelings”
Me: “Is this some positive-thinking-and-you’ll-feel-better-crap?”
Him: “No, trust me”

As noted in one of my previous posts, my Doctor requested that I take a trip away and allow myself to “relax entirely and be loved”. He was ripping his hair out too; hence the ‘break’ that we desperately needed to come back cleansed and start over.
My Doctor and I have become very well acquainted. He knows that I have been struggling financially, am ripping my hair out over my new neurological symptoms and have just had my heart absolutely pulverised by the Polish Meat Beater.

I have felt heartache before, but nothing like this.
I am naturally a carer, a lover, a giver. I gave all of myself to this creature who I thought was perfect, and he stripped me down and made me feel worthless. He was my best friend, and we had history, a spark like no other. It was a build up over many years, and when we were finally each other’s I had never felt happiness or contentment quite like it. We spoke every day. We shared secrets. We knew each other better than anyone else.

Everything was perfect, until it wasn’t.

I was called a Peasant, and he brought my family into the picture also referring to them as ‘lower grade’ after they welcomed him with open arms. I was suddenly unintelligent, that I would amount to nothing in my life and that nobody could ever love me with this illness. Coming from the guy who I thought was my true love, I was beyond devastated – anyway, lets get back to the story.

I left my Doctor’s room mostly confused, and slightly irritated.
I had loved perfectly fine before, but the illness had not helped.
It’s incredibly hard to have a relationship with someone and be sick.
I grew to realise that a partner will always feel the need to tread carefully around you in case you snap, which you will.

It’s a vicious cycle of anger, love, anger, love, and it’s not at all your fault;
Hold me, no don’t touch me.
Kiss me, no I feel nauseous.
WHY DIDN’T YOU HUG ME?! No I’m in so much pain.
I want pasta, no I want salad, no wait I want nothing.
I don’t know how to feel, why don’t you love me?

After my episode with the Polish Meat Beater, I felt defeated.
I didn’t want to hold hands with anyone, or ‘feel another person’s touch’. I was quite happy to never have sex again and isolate myself from the male gene entirely, and then it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I had built up a pretty high wall to protect myself, and all of the energy I spent on loving others… loving him, was now spent on my illness. I was on a constant speed to ‘get better’; take this medication, take another one, eat and eat until hopefully my stomach will just give in and let me have peace, go to this appointment, book that appointment, who else do I see?
My day was solely made up of illness crap.

So, I went home and researched the Five Love Languages that my Doctor spoke of.
I usually don’t buy into stuff like this, but what I found was incredibly intriguing and it actually… made sense.

A man by the name of Gary Chapman wrote a book in 1995 suggesting that Love was made up of five parts, in which he called the Five Love Languages; gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and intimacy.
We each have one primary and secondary preferred Language in which we preach. He makes it known that these Five Love Languages exhaust each human, and that we cannot be truly at peace with our partner or ourselves unless they match or meet our primary Love Language.
For example, one male partner may believe that gifts are of importance to show love, yet the female believes that intimacy is more of an importance. An automatic roadblock has been created, because whilst the male partner is waiting for gifts to be received, the female partner is waiting for intimacy. Okay, so the male partner buys the female woman a gift – the female would prefer intimacy. In order to love wholeheartedly, an ideal partner would have to understand how you need to be loved.

In order to truly discover your Love Languages, one must “observe the way that they express Love to others, and analyse what they complain about and request the most”.

We use all Five Love Languages in our every day lives, some more than others. We mostly use them when we are hurt, emotional and for apologies.
The books summarises that a person will naturally give Love the way they wish to receive it, and if two partners are on different wave-lengths, they will usually have more difficulty within their relationships. Chapman does make it very clear that this theory does not mean that two different Love Language Partners are not a ‘match’. The theory just suggests that until you both exercise the idea of each other’s true wants and needs, you will not love fully.

If you are anything like me, and you have barricaded yourself behind a wall of cement, or maybe you and your partner are going through some communication difficulty, this test is a great step in the right direction of understanding Love. Once you are aware of what you need, you will be better connected to yourself, your current partner, and more cautious when choosing a future partner.

It also made me think about my illness. My Illness has changed the way I love, and want to be loved. My results would have been very different if I took the test a year ago, because I was unappreciative and saw life in a different light. I realised that it doesn’t matter if I am sick – I can still be loved.

My results left me with a sense of empowerment. I felt as though I regained immediate control of how I want to be Loved. I will now be extremely cautious of who I share my heart with. Love is a deep connection, and we each deserve to feel it, but after taking this test I want to feel it the right way. Don’t be with someone who cannot meet your needs and makes you feel unimportant.

I want to be loved entirely.

I am eager to purchase the entire novel, as the website only gives you a snippet of the material.
Society summarises Love as one feeling; you either feel it or you don’t. Well what if some do not know how to feel it?
This post has taught me is that Love is made up of many different levels, and that there are many ways to Love. It is not as simple as just loving.

If my post hasn’t convinced you, just take ten minutes out of your day to take the test. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air from focusing on my symptoms.
Don’t overthink the questions. Some of them will definitely play on your thoughts. Just be natural; the first thing that comes to your mind.

Enjoy,

C, xo

LL V

My sheets still have your scent scattered all over,
So I stripped them clear in attempt to wash you away.

My neck still tingles from where you planted the softest of kisses,
So I scrubbed away your lips until my skin bled.

My body is marked from your bites and nibbles,
So I concealed them from the judging eyes of others.

My desk is the haven for each thrust and moan,
So I sheathed it with tissues soaked from crying with ache.

My fingers were left open for yours to fit perfectly,
So I clenched my fist until it went numb.

My eyes captured your loving gaze in a picturesque moment,
So I closed them in hope that the black shadows would blind me.

My kindness was served on a gold platter and abused,
So I was forced to be selfish and never trust a soul again.

My memories are tainted with your intimate words,
So I blocked them out by repeating your falsities.

My heart beat loud with your name engraved into its tissue,
So I cut deep into my flesh hoping I’d stop it from beating.

My breath was steady when you flashed that gorgeous smile,
It is now erratic and accompanied by chest pain.

My stomach once held an enclosure of beautiful butterflies,
Then the bile rose and killed off each and every flutter.

You promised me the world but left me in pieces,
So I picked up each fragment and rebuilt what you broke.

LL IV

I apologise in advance for disappointing you, but I fear that I am not enough for you.
All that I am.

All that I am not.

And, I don’t know how to be more than this… especially at the moment.

What do I do?

Which road do I take?

When is the right time?

How do I do it?

I am unable to offer what I used to.

I am still selfless, but more selfish.

Most times I don’t listen to full sentences as my brain is weak and lacks in concentration, so forgive me if you have to repeat things.

I might need to hold onto you to walk, and some days I won’t be able to walk at all, but I will try every day for you. I will push myself until I fall.

The nausea will stop me from speaking some days, but on these days I will try to be a better listener.

I will put up a defence wall when I feel threatened, and I will let you win every argument because I don’t have the energy to spare on fighting you.

I fear that the progress I have made will never be enough, as I will never be the person I was before this.

Each day will forever remain a challenge, and I will forever be different to how you once remembered me.

I promise you, though, that I am trying to be more than this illness.

I am trying to be more, for you.

I relish in your energy, using it as a temporary bandaid for my symptoms.

I will brave each bad storm, in hope that when it passes, we can walk hand in hand through the puddles together, all of the way to our rainbow.

I want you to note my flaws, and accept them. Maybe in time I can remould them into something beautiful.

I want forehead kisses when the days are dull and my heart feels empty.

I want you to glide your tongue over every inch of my skin, reminding me that there is a warmer, softer feeling beyond chronic pain.

I want to be reminded of the world outside of this plague of disease.

I want you to love all of me, like I love all of you.

Parents in the shadow of illness.

Thank you for sending through your ideas for my next post.
It was extremely hard to choose from, until I came across a response from a mother, and I knew in my heart that this was the one I had to write.
We hear stories of the teenagers and children going through Chronic Illness, Depression and Anxiety, but rarely do we hear from behind the scenes.
So, thank you to https://perfectlyimperfect05.wordpress.com/ for choosing today. I will try my best to do this topic justice.
Please take the time to read her inspirational work.


The first time I was seriously ill and hospitalised, I was about eleven or twelve. I had been complaining of stomach cramping for weeks, nausea and bloating. My parents just assumed it was a mild stomach bug. They pushed it aside. I woke up one night, though, on the floor screaming and my parents rushed me to the emergency room immediately. 
I remember the night clearly. The nurse unveiled the curtain and whispered to my parents, ‘the doctor would like to have a chat to your daughter alone’. I hated hospitals back in the days, just like any other child. They were white, gloomy and terrifying. My parents left the room, and the doctor came in. There was no time for introductions, he just cut to the chase.
“Are you being neglected by your parents?’
’
“Are you being starved?’
”
“Are you being abused physically or emotionally?’
’
My answer was obviously no, but he didn’t believe me, nor did he believe my parents. What we learned later on was that I suffered from severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and I was losing weight drastically because my stomach and bowels were holding onto food for long periods of time. I didn’t feel the need to eat.
And, somehow, I ended up in an Adolescent Clinic for children and teenagers who suffered from emotional or physical abuse, with a diagnosis of ‘Borderline Anorexia’. Every meeting I had with my counsellor, I was interrogated about my parents and brainwashed into believing that I was mentally ‘doing this to myself’ or that they were doing it to me. 
And after every visit, I ran back to my parents and told them everything.
Obviously, we didn’t stick around there for long.

I remember speaking to Mum about it a few years later, and asking her if she remembered, and she said it was the worst moment of her life. She couldn’t understand how someone would believe that she would want to hurt me. She said that the most hurtful thing is when someone attacks you for being a supposed bad parent.

When I had Glandular Fever, I remember my Mum feeling so helpless – my symptoms were so severe. I just lay in bed every day and night, shaking with high temperatures and there was nothing anybody could do to help me.
When I was diagnosed with Grade II Oesophagitis, they were broke just trying to keep up with my medical bills, trial medication and diet change.
Then there were the Shingles, twice, which left me bedridden once again. My neck glands had swelled to the size of golfballs, and I had excruciating nerve pain. My Dad tried to make me laugh as much as he could.
When I had my Laparoscopy last year, my body didn’t heal as quickly as it did the first time. She let me sleep in her bed for weeks, as night after night I screamed in pain. She would stay awake with me, and for each time I told her I couldn’t do this anymore, she told me that I could.

So, with a few brief memories there, you would already know that growing up, I have unfortunately always suffered from a low immunity and had DIAGNOSED illnesses. I often wondered if they regretted having me, because I seemed to cause an array of problems for them.
Late last year though, my health rapidly deteriorated. I was so sick, and off work for months at a time and not ONE specialist could find anything wrong with me. I was complaining of vertigo, not being able to eat, nausea, insomnia. I was weak at work and catching virus, after virus. My parents took me to appointment after appointment, and sat with me as every person came back and said ‘your results are all clear’.

There was one night where I cried so hard about feeling like a failure and that nobody (not even my own parents) believed me, that I gave myself one serious blood nose.
My partner was with me at the time, and there was blood all over my bed, his jumper and the floor. I held my hands over my nose, but the blood had trickled down my chin and onto the floor. I had created a small blood spilled pathway from my bed all of the way to the bathroom. It resembled a murder scene. My parents came home in the midst of me crying over a sink of running water, blood stained handprint on the mirror and basin, and my partner trying to soak up my blood from the carpet with wet paper towels. I could hear them whispering as I cried. She just won’t stop crying, he told my Mum. I don’t know what to do. My Mum has never been good with blood, so I clearly remember my father entering the bathroom with a cold flannel and he put it on the back of my neck. I (stupidly) tried to breathe through my nose, and a large blood clot flew straight up my nasal passage and into the back of my throat, making me dry retch. I (again, stupidly) opened my eyes and there in the sink was the same blood clot.
My Dad passed me tissues and patted me on the back. He left and returned with an icepack for my neck, and then went to my Mum and Jason, and I looked into the mirror. My face was covered in blood, which had dried at the corners of my lips and the tip of my nose. My Dad had never been so… hands on with me before. I felt like a baby bird with a broken wing.
I knew it was coming. They sat me down for ‘the talk’.
I had had their support for years, but today was different. I could feel it.
“You need to make lifestyle changes”, they told me.
“How do we treat something that isn’t there”
“We don’t know what to do”
“How do we help you?”
“Eat. Just please eat more. You have to eat more”
“We can’t see you like this anymore”
And just like that, they had reached their breaking point.
Their faith in me had diminished and it was only then that I realised how much suffering they had gone through and how hurt they were. They had been there for me every step of the way. They had mostly paid for every appointment, every medication, waited through every surgery, procedure and test. They had sat beside me and experienced the same sickness in the pit of my stomach when each practitioner told me they had no idea what was wrong with me. They dragged me along in shopping centres, because I was too dizzy to walk. They watched me lose seven kgs in less than a month. They watched me lose my dream job, and they saw that my usual confidence had completely disappeared. They cleaned up my blood off of the floor, and face. They drove me everywhere, and took countless days off of fulltime work to accommodate for me; whether it was an anxiety attack, an appointment, a day where I needed someone to help me at home.

I was angry with myself.
I had never once asked how they felt through this.
I had never truly appreciated their help, or guidance, until now.
I realised that we all needed to speak about everything – the symptoms, the feelings.
They were worried that they were going to have to bury me.
I had to make sure they knew this illness was serious, but that I wasn’t doing it intentionally.

And from that day forth, we were all on the same page.
We speak about everything now; every appointment, every single thing that each Specialist suggests. We discuss what medications to trial/not trial. We have an Appointment Calendar so we can work around each other. My Mum has trialled some of the natural therapies with me, and my Dad has actually networked trying to find new trial possibilities. They are continuously checking up on me during the day, and are always telling me not to stress because it ‘makes things worse’.
I inform them of every appointment, and we have received help from family and friends so that I’m not always relying on my parents. I have learnt to cope with the symptoms more independently, so on weekends, they have time to themselves and go on day trips and spend more time together alone. I’m not saying that our lives are even close to normal – because they aren’t. I am still struggling, as I know they are; having to watch me go through this. But things are much better now.
We try not to think of the future much, but if it comes up in conversation, my Dad always says, ‘You won’t be like this forever. Medicine is always growing and one day someone will be able to diagnose you or help you manage this”

I guess we have to hold onto something.

To the parents out there – I am in awe of you and forever will be.
I know now how hard it is for you to watch your child experience something and not have the ability to free them from the pain. Don’t give up hope. Talk to your children. Don’t give up on them, but most importantly, don’t lose yourself in the illness either. make time for yourself and your partner and communicate.

To the sufferers – you can sit back and write as many blogs as you like about feeling alone in your suffering and how your parents don’t understand.
Maybe you need to tell them more than once.
Some parents are in denial – not because they don’t believe you – but because they don’t want their beautiful child to have a problem, let alone a serious one.
Please, try.
And if that doesn’t work, try again.