Posts

Recrudescence

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I’ve faced a lot of hardships in my life, of all shapes and sizes; I’ve lost people I loved, I’ve been forced into situations that I didn’t want or know how to be in, and I’ve made decisions that felt like the end of the world. But the thing is that they weren’t the end of the world. It might not have been easy, but I got through it and I survived. And then it was over and I could begin to process what I had been through. However, the one thing that I struggled to process, possibly because it is never-ending, is my ill-health.
My entire life has been an endless battle of new illnesses, medications and hospital visits. I have lost friends and the future that I spent my childhood planning for myself. I lost my hobbies and my education and, worse than all that, I lost myself. And when my future seemed hopeless and my life seemed useless, I gave up trying. I resigned myself to an empty existence and retreated into my mind, which became a dark and dangerous place.
But then something str…

Chronic Illness Survival Kit

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Having a chronic illness isn’t easy, but it helps to keep with you a few things that can make it at least a little more manageable. Below are 8 things that I take out with me wherever I go that can make things a little easier:
1. Instant Hand Warmers My pain can flare up at any moment, and so it is good to have small, simple ways to ease it a little. Heat helps, but I cannot take a hot water bottle everywhere with me. Instead, I carry about some of the clickable instant hand warmers that people normally use during the winter. These are easy to carry around and activate when I need them. To reset them, I simply boil them when I get home. BONUS: use them just after you have boiled them and then activate them later on to get two uses out of them each time! Make sure not to burn yourself though.
2. Spare Tablets So often I forget to take my tablets, and so I have a little strip of each of my tablets kept in a purse when I can easily take around with me. This means that if I forget to take …

Dear Jameela Jamil

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Dear Jameela Jamil,
I sit here in tears as I write this. I know you probably won’t answer, but you are one of my biggest inspirations and I thought that if anyone could offer words of advice it would be you. Every time I see one of your tweets advocating body positivity or feminism or disability rights I like it and retweet and I think “I wish I could inspire people like she does”. I love what you are doing with iweigh. I love your acting but, even more so, I love your outlook on the world and your ability to inspire others.
I am 19 years old. All of my life I have struggled with illnesses and disabilities that have left my body in a not-so-perfect condition. Don’t get me wrong, I am still grateful for all that I have – all of my limbs, a healthy weight, etc. I have struggled with body image for a decade already, but I thought that I had come to terms with my body. I even wrote a blog post at https://persistingpain.blogspot.com/2019/01/metamorphosis.html about my body positivity and …

Badges

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Dating and Disabilities

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The dating world is one that is difficult to navigate for anyone, not even taking into account disabilities. It was also a world that scared me and, because of that, I had never ventured into it. As I mentioned in my first blog posts – Recrudescence and New Year, Same Journey – I spent a lot of 2018 trying to improve my life. As part of that I felt that it was finally time, at 19 years old, to enter the dating word. It’s not that I have ever felt incomplete without a relationship before, or that I think you need one in order to live a full life. It’s just that I want to start a family some day and, I’m sure everyone would agree, it can take years to find the person that I would want to do that with. I didn’t want to wait until I was nearly 30 and realise that it was too late.
I fantasised about all of the ways that I would meet my soulmate – locking eyes across a bar, bumping into each other at university, being paired up for a group project, blah, blah, blah. But, in reality, that w…

Acquiesce

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It’s been three weeks now since I finally made the decision to hand in my notice of resignation to work. I loved my job, and loved the people I worked with; it was not an easy decision to leave. But the impact on my health was becoming too much and it wasn’t fair to my work to be constantly phoning in sick and leaving them without anyone to do the job.
Making the decision to quit wasn’t as simple as it may be for others, because for me it wasn’t just “this job isn’t working for me, I will try something else”. For me, it meant “having a job isn’t working for me. I am not capable of juggling work and my health at the moment. I need to stop trying and making myself more ill”. For me, giving up my job was giving up my chance of success, my opportunity to socialise, my independence. It meant admitting that I had to rely on those around me to support me. And it meant admitting again that there was something – a basic life skill – that I couldn’t do because of my health. In my eyes, I had …

The Ten Year Challenge

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Since everyone is doing the 10 year challenge, I thought that I would have a look at how I have changed over the last 10 years.
In 2009, I was 9/10 years old. That year I moved house and school, away from all of my friends and everything that I knew. I made new friends and went from being an outgoing, never-in-the-house little girl to an introverted bibliophile who only really socialised at school. I excelled in my studies and learned my way about living in Scotland’s biggest city after spending my childhood in a suburban community. And I began making plans for my future:
At 10 years old, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with my life, although I did have ideas – a nurse, a wedding planner, a teacher, a mathematician (I know, I was a nerd). I did know my dream job – an author – but society didn’t encourage you to pursue unrealistic goals, so I quarantined books and writing to being a hobby and dedicated all of my free time to it. By then, I had started saving for going to un…

Why I Fake How Unwell I Feel

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Something that I am sure almost everyone with chronic illnesses has experienced is being accused of using my illnesses as an excuse – an excuse to stay off of school; an excuse to get ‘special privileges’ such as extra time during exams; an excuse to stay off of work; an excuse to avoid going to parties or other events; an excuse to use a disability parking badge. The accusations are endless.
Those of you making the accusations look at me and see a young girl who looks no less fit or capable than anyone else; maybe you look and think that I am just being lazy. I can’t say exactly what you think you are seeing, but let me tell you what you are not seeing. You are not seeing me arguing with myself as I leave the house because I should be using my crutches but I’m too embarrassed; you are not seeing me trying to hide the pain in my face with every step I take, with every word I write, with every second that passes; you are not seeing me in tears because I am missing yet another event th…