Posted in autumn, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, fall, halloween, happiness, Inspiration, invisible illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis, October

Hello October!

Hello October! My favourite month of the year. 

Where Autumn/Fall creeps in and the trees display magical bursts of colour. I absolutely, love, love, love the colours of Autumn. I always have since I was a child. 

There is just something so comforting about this time of year, where the temperature starts to drop just a little, you start to wrap up warm in snuggly jumpers and the gloves and scarves come out. [I may have bought a new hat and gloves yesterday….along with a new skirt in a nice Autumny/Mustard colour. Oh and a new long, oversized cardigan!]

I start craving hot chocolate, warm soups and stews and casseroles and my slow cooker gets used all the time!

Then there are Autumn walks when I’m well enough, or Autumn drives into the countryside nearby on bad days. Walking on crunchy leaves, collecting pine cones and spotting toadstools and fungi. Nothing better! I find it so magical walking around the woods when the tree’s are displaying such amazing colours, and driving into the countryside around us, surrounded by hills and tree’s in an array of amazing shades of orange, yellow, red and brown is breathtaking.

Then of course there is Halloween! Who doesn’t love Halloween? It takes you back to Trick or Treating as a child, no matter how old you are or feel now. Dressing up in your best costume, face painting and  collecting treats door to door, looking at all the decorations and pumpkins outside peoples houses whilst jumping in piles of fallen leaves. 

Once Halloween is over, you know its only a matter of days in the UK before we welcome November and Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night  and children doing ‘Penny for the Guy’ with their friends. I love fireworks and get so excited arranging which display to go to where you are sure to be surrounded by your friends, laughter, the smell of yummy food, Bonfire toffee and maybe a drink or two. 

One of my favourite childhood books, was Anne of Green Gables, by L.M.Montgomery. And in it, one of my favourite quotes: 

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are October’s.

Autumn and October is also very special to me as my Hubby proposed to me on 28th October 2010 in the gardens of the beautiful Riber Hall near Matlock in Derbyshire. Its an absolutely stunning 16th century building, right next to Riber Castle. The perfect retreat for an Autumn getaway. 

Such an amazing time of year, bring on October and the rest of Autumn 🙂

 

Posted in chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness, life, mental health, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Pain, sad, scoliosis, upset

Dear chronic Illness….

I was hoping to post a ‘Feel Good Friday’ post today, but it just isn’t one of those days. It’s more like a ‘F**k Off Friday’. 

I’m crying right now as I write this, so I will fill you in another time. I just needed to create something to tell my stupid chronic illness to get lost and stop ruining things and taking away opportunities and nice things from my life if that makes sense?

What would you say to your chronic illness? I can’t write on here right now what I would say as the screen on my laptop would turn blue and explode!

I hope everyone else is having a much nicer Friday. 

COUNT TO THREE. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.

Posted in Uncategorized

Three Things Thursday

Hey everyone, the weekend is in sight but first, It’s ‘Three Things Thursday’.

Today has been a good day and I’ve managed to get dressed and leave the house! Yay!

So my 3 things for today are:

Things I am thankful for:

  1. Family & Friends: My baby Bro is getting married in just less than a year, and my lovely Sis in Law to be invited me to go wedding dress shopping with her and her Mum! It was so lovely and she looked totally stunning in everything she put on, we are talking ‘Would look good in a bin bag’ levels here, and she found THE ONE! She then treated us both to a very yummy lunch. It was just so lovely to be out of the house doing real life things. The urge to shout ‘I’m a real girl!’ like some sort of deranged female Pinocchio was strong today!
  2. Sunshine: This afternoon I have felt well enough to sit on the back garden for half an hour and just soak up the sun. It was windy as hell but there is something so relaxing and calming about shutting your eyes and just letting the sun shine down on you.
  3. Feeling ‘OK’: I was terrified I would wake up today and not feel well enough to go dress shopping with my S.I.L. so I’m incredibly thankful to the God’s of chronic pain control that I didn’t have to let her down and sit feeling guilty all day.

What 3 things are you thankful for today?

Posted in Uncategorized

#MillionsMissing

Today, along with thousands of other M.E sufferers around the globe, I am missing. Missing from so many things and its time to be listened to.

#MillionsMissing is a movement to raise awareness for M.E., an underfunded and ignored disease. This September 27th, 25 cities in nine countries will demand change. We will present protest demands asking for increased government funding for research, clinical trials, medical education and public awareness.

[Words taken from http://millionsmissing.org/]

 

 

mills-missing

Posted in anxiety, brain fog, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, depression, dreams, happiness, healing, Healthy, Inspiration, invisible illness, mental health, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Pain, poetry, scoliosis, Uncategorized

Healed by the ocean

I walked slowly, pained, exhausted, yet hopeful.

I knew when I reached it, my soul would respond.

Lifting me, calming me, caressing me.

 

My heavy legs, travelled the path, yearning for healing.

I sensed it was nearing, felt it in the air.

The smell engulfed my senses, salty, fresh.

 

Nearing still, my heart sang, craved it.

I could sense the strength of the tide before my eyes saw it.

The dunes rose before me, protecting the wonder.

 

The wind whipped round my body, as I reached the top of the path,

And there it was, the vast briny blue, inviting me in.

Waves crashed, the power electrifying my soul. Cleansing, purging, freeing.

 

Sitting in silence, staring in awe, the water did her work.

Immediate calmness, and freedom from the pain.

I drank in the energy, let it sweep over me.

 

For those moments,  I was healed.

Free, energised,  invigorated.

A new lease of life, ready to tackle another day.

 

This poem was inspired by my recent visit to the coast. It follows the path towards the beach, with a slight incline before you get your first glance of the sea through the sand dunes. 

I will never tire of that view,  and how it makes me feel.

I’ve always had a fascination with water. It has a natural calming effect on me and I just love staring out into the sea, lakes streams and letting the power of nature calm me and take away any stresses.

Whenever I feel upset or anxious, I seek the water. Luckily, where I live,  I’m literally 5 minutes walk from rivers and streams, and when I’m not well enough to walk, I jump in the car, and drive for 5-10 minutes to one of many local reservoirs and just let nature do her work.  It always works and for a moment, makes me feel I have no worries, no pain, and a clearer mind.

The sea has the same effect ten fold. I would love to live by the coast. But for now, I look forward to my visits and make the most of them whilst I’m there.

 

Text and photo credit:S C Taylor 2016.

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness

You don’t look ill

‘You don’t look ill.’

How many of you have had this said to you? I’ll bet its quite a lot of you. I know I certainly have. Mainly by people who don’t know me well enough to know how professional I’ve become at painting on a smile and pretending everything is OK.

Invisible illnesses.They are exactly that. Most of us are chronic pain warriors and are able to disguise the pain on the days we are able to crawl out of bed and face the big wide world beyond the front door. Our colleagues and other ‘acquaintances’ see the version of us that has taken a long time to perfect. The one that looks ‘normal’, acts ‘normal’ and even cracks a smile and laughs!

Expertly hidden under the surface of this seemingly perfectly fine, polished and healthy looking outer shell, is the version of us that has been so battered by pain and fatigue, that it almost broke us.

The version of us that has had to develop enormous strength to deal with the daily doses of crippling pain, extreme tiredness and brain fog so thick you can’t see your hand infront of your face.

The version of us that always replies ‘I’m fine’ whilst smiling when being asked ‘How are you today?’ when deep down inside it wants to to scream, ‘I’M NOT OK!’

The version that feels guilty and like a huge burden on family and friends when they tell the truth about how depressed they feel and how much it hurts as they don’t want to come across as miserable and like they are complaining all the time.

It’s because of this, that we feel the need to put on an act, to try and be the person that we used to be before the pain, or the person that society wants us to be rather that the sad looking one in the corner who always moans about their sleepless nights and how their pain medication isn’t cutting it today.

I never leave the house, without a full face of make-up. Seriously. Yes someday’s its like a form of torture applying it whilst I’m in agony. But do you know what? It makes me feel good. It makes me feel normal. It makes me feel in control of least a tiny piece of my own life. It is my mask and it hides the pain, tiredness, anxiety and depression that I feel on a daily basis. It may have taken my hours to do it, or some days not so long.Some days I have to sit and rest between eyeliner and mascara. Most day’s I take several breaks between each item I apply.

So when you see me with my mask on, and I say that I’m exhausted or in pain, please don’t say ‘But you don’t look ill’ or words to that effect. If you saw the pain and exhaustion etched on my face under my layers of foundation and concealer, then you’d wonder how the heck I dragged myself out of bed and ask me if I needed a Dr!

I also like to laugh. Shock horror. I’m not all misery and tears. And I like to make other people laugh too. So I join in when people are having a giggle and I crack jokes and throw many a sarcastic comment into the mix. And it makes me feel good, normal. That’s what I did before I was ill, so I’m certainly not going to stop laughing now. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine so I get my fix when I can.

Its because of this, that sometimes people don’t realise that you are ill. That you are constantly battling pain in varying degree’s. They don’t realise that sometime’s, you are well enough to go out, have fun, go to work and look totally normal, and other days, you can’t get out of bed because the pain is so intense and you’ve had 2 hours sleep or you can barely string a sentence together or remember your own name.

This is where the comments come in. People say things like, ‘You don’t look ill’ when you ask to do a lower impact job at work as you can feel the pain getting stronger and you want to avoid a flare up that carrying on might bring.

People say things like; ”She looked fine yesterday” when you cancel a lunch date, or call in sick, all because you smiled and laughed the day before.

And people say, ”I saw her shopping in the supermarket yesterday and she’s off sick!”

Hello! I still need to eat, and buy toilet roll! That supermarket visit might have taken me 4 days to build up the strength to leave the house and to fight the anxiety that people might make hurtful comments like the above.

So please, to the people not fighting a chronic or mental illness. Please stop and think before you utter the word’s ‘You don’t look sick’ as you have no idea just how damaging they can be. And you have no idea what the person behind the fake smile and mask of make-up  has gone through just to drag themselves out of bed today. Be nice.

To those of you living like this day in day out,  keep smiling. Keep laughing when you can and slap on that lipstick if it makes you feel better. Ignore the ignorance and smile, smile smile 🙂

 

Posted in anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, invisible illness, mental health, poetry, Uncategorized

Panic Rising.

Hi Everyone.

I thought I’d share the first poem I wrote earlier this year which got me back into writing again.

When I wrote it, I was feeling incredibly low. I was dealing with possibly losing my job due to my sickness and being off work with M.E, struggling to come to terms with the fact I had M.E, making the decision whether to give up our rented home and move in with my Dad incase I did lose my job and couldn’t pay the bills, worrying about my Dads parents both having Alzheimers and also dealing with the declining health of my Nan who had been told her cancer had returned and that it was incurable.

I was unbelievely sad and felt that my life was spiralling out of control. I was having regular panic attacks on top of everything else and just felt so lost.

On the day I wrote this, I drove up into the countryside near where we live, and just sat in silence on my own, listening to only the sounds of the Spring birds flying by and staring at the rolling hills over Yorkshire and The Peak District heading out to Derbyshire.

Crying at first, panic rising in my throat more and more by the second, I suddenly found words popping into my brain and felt compelled to write them down. I found some paper hidden in the glove box and a pen in my handbag and just let the words spill onto the paper. Once I’d finished, I was staring down at this poem. And I felt calm. Totally calm and peaceful enough to enjoy my beautiful surroundings.

I was still terrified about when the next panic attack would arrive, but writing everything down had made me feel amazing. It’s like most of the anxiety, stress and sadness had escaped through my hand, into the ink and onto the paper.

I’ve continued writing since that day, and that’s how this blog was born and the whole idea of Chronically Poetic. I knew that writing poetry was helping me cope with both my mental and physical health problems, and really wanted to help other people do the same.

Let me know what you think of the poem, and please like us on Facebook and Twitter and start sharing your poetry with us 🙂

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Posted in anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, depression, Fibromyalgia, invisible illness, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Pain, poetry, scoliosis, Uncategorized

The Mighty – To Those Who Find My Illness ‘Hard to Understand’ When They See Me Smiling

I’ve just read a fantastic article on The Mighty, an amazing blog on chronic illnesses of every kind. If you haven’t seen the site, take a look. It’s awesome!

So, the article I just read, is titled ‘To Those Who Find My Illness ‘Hard to Understand’ When They See Me Smiling.’

I was literally talking with my husband about this exact subject yesterday after I managed 1 day at work after 2 months off with my ME/CFS. Most people were lovely and asked how I was doing and I felt comfortable telling some of them how much I had struggled and that I wasn’t 100% but had tried really hard to get into work that day and was coping the best I could.  However not everyone was as accepting and made me feel like I shouldn’t have been laughing on my lunch break with my colleagues or cracking a smile every now and again. Thankfully, it’s a VERY small majority of people who do that, most of my colleagues are genuinely nice and understand the nature of my illness. But those odd few that aren’t supportive can ruin my whole day at times and make me feel guilty for painting on a smile and responding with ‘I’m good thanks’ when they ask how I’m feeling and I don’t have the energy to give them an honest answer about how horrendous I feel and how every step I take is painful and exhausting.

I made it through the day at work by the way which I was so happy about. However on my walk from the bus stop to home, my back went into spasm and I literally had to lean against somebodies house as I couldn’t take another step! My hubby had to come and rescue me and we went to his parents nearby for a few hours till the pain subsided a bit.  We ordered a taxi to take us home, which is only a few streets away but is up a huge hill.

The taxi driver THREE TIMES said directly to me, ‘You just didn’t want to get your hair wet did you?’ when he commented on how short the journey was. The first time I laughed and said I’d got a bad back, the second, I added that I had a M.E and back problems, and the third time, I just sat in silence and felt like crying! It makes me feel lazy,  fat and inadequate when people say things like that! My hubby said he thought he was just trying to make a joke but I don’t think he needed to say it so many times and I definitely took it personally.

Anyway, I digress! The article can be found here: To those who find my illness ‘hard to understand’ when they see me smiling

Have a great weekend everyone. We are preparing for our 5 day holiday next week at a relatives caravan by the coast. I can’t wait to get away and just chill out by the sea. So excited.

I’m hoping sitting and relaxing by the sea will give me some inspiration for some new poetry to share with you all 🙂

Xxx Chronically Poetic xxX