mylivinglist

Strawberry Fields Adventuring.

Hello, my beautiful readers.
How are we all feeling this week?

I apologise for these long absences. I keep having lengthy flare ups, and my recent one was a neurological one. I have been suffering awful migraines from my neck pain; so awful that my vision began blurring, I had this consistent brain fog and full force dizziness that left me with horrible nausea that I could not get rid of. Upon visiting my sweet Doctor for the fifth time, his worry had me sent me for yet another MRI. When my results (obviously) came back as negative yet again and I was a blubbering pained mess in his office, crying that I could not go on another day with these symptoms, he said, “Cass, I suggest that you take the time to go away for a few days, and allow yourself to really relax and be loved. It gives me time to clear my head, and time for you to clear yours”.
(I will be writing a post on the be loved part very shortly, as he took me by surprise).

I explained to my Doctor that I would probably not feel much better “clearing my mind” when it was my body that was plagued by the unknown disease.
Yes, I was/am stressed.
I was stressed about money, my options, the future and my everlasting symptoms, and I was sick to death of the people in my life not caring anymore. I was tired of explaining the same story to them.
I didn’t want to be shoved aside by yet another Doctor and told to “take a holiday”, “think positively”, and “relax”.

Which leads me to my little spontaneous getaway – yes, I managed to get away with my best friend for a few nights to a beach two hours from here.
I was incredibly ill on the night we arrived, and I felt so disheartened to know that I could potentially have a continual flare up whilst I was up there.
Who knew that a two hour car ride would be so exhausting?!
BUT by some miracle, I awoke the next day and felt incredible… the best I have felt in a very long time.
I took advantage of this feeling and managed to tick off a goal from My Living List, whilst enjoying some incredibly tasty meals and dessert, a nature walk (whilst linking arms with my best friend, BUT nonetheless a walking achievement!), a visit to a tranquil spa retreat on a mountain and, a beautiful quiet moment at a secret beach.

I (naturally) awoke the next day with sore limbs, a very upset stomach and pain, but I can look back to this one day and remember how happy I was to be living.

I thought that I would share some photos of my big-adventure-day-of-good-health, with you.

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Sneaky mid-strawberry-bite.

 

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Fields, and fields of these beautiful berries!

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Enjoying my tub of strawberries.

 

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The beach that we were not allowed to walk on…

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The mountain of spas surrounded by nature.

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My favourite dessert (which I haven’t had since I first became ill) – creme brûlée

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A secret beach that we literally stumbled across (no editing to this photo!)

Sorry for the short post; I promise to write more next week.
I hope that my little adventure brought a smile to your face, and I really hope that you write your own Living List; because you never quite know when you will receive a moment of good health to achieve and explore!

Love and hugs,

C, xo

My Living List.

My apologies for my recent absence. I am sitting here fighting through my brain fog to write this piece, so I apologise also for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

I could sit here and tell you that I’ve been busy, which I guess is true to some extent.
But truth be told, I just couldn’t bring myself to write.

I hit a low point – one of those extremely low points where you cannot find one single strand of string to hold onto and live through another day. I went through a lot in a short month’s time. I dealt with heartache and the loss of a relationship I was quite fond of, I had numerous inconclusive, boring appointments, I faced issues with my Government about my health, and I naturally battled my inner Depression and Anxiety demons as a result of everything.

I was not brave enough, or well enough, to write or read.

But here I am, well into 2016 – a year I never thought I’d see come, and I thought that it was time to write.

I spent New Year’s alone, and as I sat there counting down the seconds until we “welcomed” 2016, I thought, what the heck have I done this year?
What have I achieved?
This illness, the appointments and symptoms had naturally consumed me and I was ending the year emotionally and physically battered, and alone.

Good ol’ Social Media being inundated with joyous posts from others about how much they succeeded during the year, photos of their adventures, messages to their loved ones and a list of New Year’s Resolutions that were either diet or travel related.
Of course I was jealous. I couldn’t stand it. My entire year had been a blur. I had some ups, but mostly downs.

I didn’t want to go into 2016 feeling the same… losing another year to nothing.

I’m not sure about you, but I was left questioning myself.
Was I to blame for not having achieved anything?
I thought I was strong enough already battling something that most people couldn’t dream of feeling or going through… I thought that I was trying hard enough? How much harder could I try to get better? There were so many thoughts, and then I realised that I had lost myself in trying to achieve optimum health and became an ill zombie.
I was given the bad end of the health stick, and I naturally signed my life away in an instant. Appointments and symptoms were my life now. Every time I planned to go back to work, I was stopped by another flare up and I lost myself to the feeling that I would never go back to work again.
I didn’t think that I deserved to be happy.

I didn’t know how to be sick and be happy, so I stopped living.

What I should have done was realise that I was still very much capable of achieving things. They might not be as big as other people’s achievements, but they were achievements nonetheless.

I was going to be sick for a while longer, so what was I capable of achieving?
How could I make this year a little more memorable?
How could I accept my illness and live at the same time? I had forgotten what it felt like to have muscle strain from laughing, and I had forgotten what it felt like to take a spontaneous adventure.

And all of these thoughts prompted the ultimate question, how can I be happy?

I created a Bucket List, which I prefer to call “My Living List”, and in 2016 I plan on achieving one or more things from my list and continuously adding to it.

I invite you to write one too.

I am sure that there are a handful of things that you wanted to do before you got sick, so tell me what is stopping you from achieving?

Being Chronically Ill?

Maybe some of your dreams are a little out of reach because of your current circumstances, but I assure you that there are small things you can still do. I also know that we can’t plan things, as our symptoms usually don’t cooperate with plans. But, there are small, exciting, uplifting things that you can still dream of doing.

You deserve to be happy just as much as a healthy person.
Your goals don’t have to be big or adventurous. They can be something small like getting up and out of bed, taking a few steps outside, writing a blog, doing something independently, laughing more… or you can take a leap and write your craziest, most daring dreams in hope of achieving them.

I began with a mixture of both.
There is no timeline on when the goals have to be achieved, and the best thing is that you can write blogs about your separate achievements! Share them with the blogging world! The blogging world is fantastic, so connect, make friends and help each other achieve your little goals!

I do suggest though that you don’t make the goals generic and all about your illness. Of COURSE we all want to be illness free, or manage our symptoms better, but the entire point of this is to focus on things that make us happy and give us confidence. Instead of writing “finding a cure for my illness”, I broke my goal into much smaller chunks and said “have one week nausea free”.
You have to keep your symptoms in mind, but don’t let them stop you from living. Take everything one day at a time.

I surprisingly feel much livelier already having this list to guide me through the year.
I have horrible symptom days like today, but I am really pushing myself that little bit more to get out beyond these four walls and the shadows of my illness, and live.

Join me.
Take the time to sit down and write a list. Do it with a loved one, or on your own. Grow your list and start crossing these dreams off day by day, so when the end of 2016 comes we can both look back and not feel regret.

Instead, we can stand together, proud, for making the most of every as many moments as we possibly could.

Remember that if you choose to post your list to your blog, please tag “mylivinglist” so others can find you! Happy 2016 to my loyal followers. May this year bring us all better health and happiness.

Here is my own personal list that I will continue to add to:

  1. Get my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care
  2. Get back to work casually or part time
  3. Go for a half an hour walk alone
  4. Go for an hour walk alone
  5. Do 10 Minutes Workouts for a month straight
  6. Complete the 30 Day Squat Challenge
  7. Start Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  8. Finish Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  9. Try and say yes to going out, unless you are having a 10/10 bad symptom day!
  10. Get a job in Childcare/as a teacher
  11. Write a Children’s Book
  12. Publish a Children’s Book
  13. Spontaneous Getaway
  14. V̶i̶s̶i̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶F̶r̶u̶i̶t̶ ̶F̶a̶r̶m̶ ̶
  15. Go to a park full of beautiful trees
  16. Dressup for a fancy dinner
  17. Sleep in a tent, under the stars
  18. W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶l̶o̶g̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶s̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶s̶ ̶
  19. Hit 2000 Followers
  20. Drive for an hour
  21. Drive independently
  22. Tolerate more vitamins and less unnatural medication
  23. Dance to Flo Rida’s “Sugar” Hiphop Routine
  24. Go overseas
  25. Volunteer
  26. Don’t hold onto negative energy and hate
  27. Makeup and hair makeover
  28. Have professional photos taken
  29. Go to dinner with Childcare girls
  30. Go to dinner with Red girls
  31. Go to dinner with Spotless girls
  32. Have one week nausea free
  33. Have one week dizzy free
  34. No alcohol for two years
  35. Be able to say “I feel better in the stomach”
  36. One more piercing (eight as a total)
  37. Tattoo to signify strength
  38. Go to three football matches
  39. Cook something organic and yummy
  40. Volunteer at Royal Children’s Hospital
  41. Start Foundation for Invisible Illness
  42. Visit my overseas blog friends
  43. Visit a shopping centre alone
  44. Go to a spa retreat
  45. Conquer a Ferris Wheel (when less dizzier)
  46. Sing for an audience
  47. Read an entire novel
  48. Visit the zoo
  49. Donate toys to Christmas Tree
  50. Move out of home
  51. Start Pilates
  52. Don’t go to sleep angry!
  53. Have all of my certificates framed
  54. Eat one of those fancy burgers advertised everywhere
  55. Dye hair entirely blonde
  56. Go camping
  57. Eat waffles (gluten free waffles?)
  58. Walk barefoot on a tropical beach
  59. Pay for someone else’s groceries
  60. Learn more Italian words
  61. Catch a train or bus independently
  62. Be confident to take a photo of myself every day for thirty days
  63. Romantic kiss in the rain
  64. Attend as many birthdays as possible
  65. Meet someone famous
  66. Eat from a Food Truck
  67. Write for a magazine
  68. Learn to swim
  69. Refrain from using Social Media for a week
  70. Have one specialist say “you have made improvements”
  71. Be healthy enough to donate blood
  72. Visit the snow
  73. Go to a Dressup party
  74. Cut out coffee from my diet entirely
  75. Make/try Kombucha tea
  76. Hit 100+ Facebook page Followers!
  77. Write fifteen poetry pieces
  78. Make a difference in someone’s life
  79. Laugh until my chest aches
  80. Grow Strawberries!