I need to get me some curtains

I went to see my herbalist today – she’s so rad. It’s amazing when after so long of looking, trying, attempting…things do click into place. She’s ‘on it’. She’s taken my health into her hands and letting me let go. Until now I have been on it. Now it’s her turn. This is healing beyond words. For so long I have needed to have control, to keep the notes, to watch what’s happening from day to day or hour to hour. But now I can hand it over…let it go. Of course, I am aware and conscious to what’s happening and that is something we all need to be, but there’s a balance. There’s a balance of healthy awareness and overwhelming or obsessive awareness that both come from not enough support, or more importantly – not the right support.

Healing happens in so many ways. Words are just one element of the mix. There’s the nourishment that comes from movement, food, self-care, love, fun, connection, distraction/focus on your passions. As I dealt with the morocco trauma last EMDR session, I have noticed how with something like that – for me – I realise that actually the healing doesn’t necessarily come from sitting down and talking about it. In a way, this just lays the foundations. The buildings of healing that build themselves strong, and form a protective shell around you, come through all the other stuff too. I’ve been craving people, love, friendships, this week and now I realise why. That feeling of safety and that feeling of love is one of the most healing things out there. I have a felt a deep sense of unhappiness about the lack of Sofa Time happening in my life at the moment. I met up with an old friend, who’s more like a sister, yesterday. We hadn’t seen each other in at least 8 months, which is so freakin’ long. When we sat next to each and hugged, I welled up and could have burst into tears. It took all my might to keep the tears in and I almost ran out of the tipi we were in, to the toilets outside to sob. I didn’t. Instead I stayed there and just let the pain come in a wave and get shoved back down again.

It was a pain that was from a lacking, a longing, a missing. I miss that – I miss family like friends around me. I miss sitting on a sofa knitting and watching telly, or snuggling up in a bed and talking until 2am, or just lying in bed and rolling over and reading our books back to back until we drift off to sleep. I miss this closeness with friends. My old home town, where I have just got back from visiting, is the epitome of this for me. That’s what those friends do. Here we are so close but we don’t have so much of the snuggles. Snuggles are important. Maybe I need to initiate some.

It’s so amazing since working on Morocco, there has been a freedom in my body that has come. And there has been an inkling of awareness to the fact that someday soon it will just be something that happened to me. It won’t hold the charge or the disgustingness or the terror…and it is SO almost there, I can feel it. I feel like beneath it are layers of healing that kind of overwhelm me, but I see that even through this slight snippet of healing that has happened the last two weeks, the empowerment and connection in myself that has come is mega. So that is worth it, for sure.

In session today with my herbalist, we spoke of my sleeping. Which we often do seeing as it’s a bit of a bitch. It has been for a while – it’s the first thing to go, as she says. Well I’m not sure where the hell it went but I hope it’s having a jolly good time on its holiday. I sleep, but I go to bed late, midnight ish, and wake early, 7am ish. I am an early bird, we all know that is how I roll, but I am an early night bird too – I am certainly not an owl, although I feel like I’m becoming one recently. Anyways, to cut a long story short, it turns out I need to buy some curtains…I love not having any. Our windows are mega massive and when I moved in there was a shonky half-curtain with a safety pinned extra bit of fabric to the bottom…it looked shit. So I took it down and love the big wide window and the fresh light coming in in the morning. But I don’t like that I am not getting enough sleep. So maybe this is (one of) the answer (s). That and this healing game that is happening. I have a feeling (that has been there for a long while), and so does my rad herbalist, that all this physical palaver that is happening and has been happening for a long while, is so so down to all the trauma. I mean, it just makes sense. On paper and in my head. It was a nice pat of reassurance to hear my herbalist confirm this today.

Maybe in my new house, I’ll invest in some proper good cosy thick-ass curtains, and I’ll turn into a morning Robin rather than a groggy night owl. That’ll be nice.

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Fudging flare-ups

Reading online about flare-ups, the spoon theory, and reading comments from you lovely readers, it does nothing but reassure and comfort these big fat stints of chronic fatigue, like the one that is happenin’ over ‘ere.

Jeez.

Truth is I think I have kinda forgotten that I’ve got chronic fatigue because there’s so much other shiz going on in my life at the moment. There’s the EMDR, which leaves you completely whacked afterwards. There’s the Somatic Experiencing which kicks up your nervous system and re-regulates it. There’s the trauma memories that have been surfacing on their own accord, and the emotions that have come with them: the anniversary of my overdose, the ten tonne weight of grief for my mom (or lack of), and the smack of shame that I’ve been experiencing. There’s my Liver. And then there’s the anger that’s been hitting hard these past few months, rising up, roaring around and then settling back down again, leaving me exhausted in its wake. All these things have big physical effect…all different to chronic fatigue. Every day chronic fatigue is a big feature, but more like an underlying current beneath the river of whatever-other-shit-is-going-on, instead of it being the river running through my day like it has been for the years before…in the bad spells I mean.

Each day is something COMPLETELY different, emotionally and physically. Just as intense, but varying in the what and the why and the how. In a sense, this has given me faith. It is heartbreaking, but it weirdly gives me faith that this is trauma release happening. And my health healing. Take the liver for example – it’s not going to be effecting me this way forever. I am doing all that I can to support, repair and nurture (MILK THISTLE)…so sometimes I find myself worrying about the state of my health but in this specific case when it feels so so liver specific, I can take reassurance in the fact that everything I am doing is right. If I was eating milk thistle but going on mega long weekend benders, mainly involving litres of Cider, then perhaps I wouldn’t find so much comfort in this…although it might be a bit more fun. Both my herbalists (yes, I have two) say that they believe that the majority of my symptoms will ease – both emotional and physical – as my liver begins to repair. And I really really believe them.

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I haven’t had a flare up like this in a little while that hasn’t been directly from either a therapy, that flippin’ experiment with those drugs, or something else. I don’t do very well in these times. It’s the pain that gets me the most. The shooting pains that come and go, the consistent painful ache that shudders through me, the painful sensitivity to light and sound, and the need to just have my eyes closed. In these moments I just want someone here that knows. That understands. That can make me a cup of tea and laugh with me at the ridiculousness of it all…and cry a bit too. It’s just mental how you can go from a day feeling just a little bit crap, to a day of feeling like you are being eaten from the inside. This is the hardest bit to explain about this experience – I mean, how the hell are people around supposed to understand this sporadic and unpredictability it holds? It just kinda makes sense that people might think we’re making it up…”how can your body just suddenly collapse for no apparent reason? You seemed fine yesterday… Maybe you just need to stop thinking about it. Maybe you just need to go for a run, or have a good sleep.”

UGH.

In my heart I know why it is here but it just breaks my heart to actually admit why I feel like I do today, because I feel like as a 25 year old I SHOULD be able to do the things that I know have brought this spell on…but ‘should’ is a fucked up word.

  • I ran three freakin’ minutes for a few trains, two days in a row.
  • I woke up at the crack of dawn and went to a car boot sale with friends for a morning.
  • I have had shitty nights sleeps, falling asleep real late and waking early each time, with the sleep being bonkers and not restful at all.
  • I have been doing a lot of work on the computer. Not even that much, but for me, more than normal…I’ve been getting excited and totally absorbed by it too, ignoring needs for a naps.
  • I had a mega intense emotional week last week with the anniversary…and the body remembers, yo.

So all in all, these few things that someone my age ‘should’ just be able to do, I know is what took the wind out of my sails…particularly the running for the trains. But jeeeeez man. And y’know the screwed up and confusing thing? Some days I would do this and it would not have the same effect…yes, I would feel shitty afterwards or the following day, but I wouldn’t be attached to my bed crippled with pain, sensitivities, nausea, aches, and tiredness, like I am today. Truth is though, I am getting so much better at rolling with what comes my way rather than sitting and working it out…like I have above.

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All I can do is have faith that with this trauma release and nervous system re-regulating, this chronic fatigue will regulate and fuck-the-hell-off too. And I think it will. To the extent that it is here anyway. Sure, it may well be a sensitive point for me for a long time, and I reckon it probably will. But if it just means that I need to take it a bit more easy, then that’s cool. But if it  I worry about what on earth I am going to do as work, and I wonder whether applying for the job I mention in the post before, is not such a good idea…who knows. But one thing I do know is that I literally cannot go on how I am feeling now, to determine the rest of my life. No-one can, but I know for me I particularly can’t because I am in the midst of a big fat trauma healing/release time…and so things are ever-moving. And, maybe as the rest of my physical and emotional symptoms are a bit more consistent, as the acute trauma release stage passes, then at least perhaps I’ll be able to manage this chronic fatigue better…I’ll know that by getting up at the crack of dawn to go off on an adventure with friends, after a week of not-good nights sleep, will be too much…whereas at the moment I just am living for the moment because that is all I feel like I can do. With time, perhaps this will ease and I will be able to know my baseline a bit better. I have faith I will.

It is hard to not just push myself when I feel like this, because I feel like crap every day in some way…but this kind of crap is different. Really honouring it, resting, NOT pushing myself, is the only way that it doesn’t stick around and doesn’t hurt even more. One thing about my days being so different, is that I really have embraced the self-nurturing title…this is huge. Before I would have desperately tried to make the most of every moment of every day, with whatever energy I could find within myself…but now there feels a desperate need to TAKE IT SLOW. To not panic and fret that I haven’t done the million things I need to do in the day…that I haven’t walked to the bank to do the thing I have been needing to do for a week now.

Nope. Instead, on days like this it is simply a matter of eating, and looking after myself, that I have all the spoons for.  Because maybe tomorrow I’ll have a few more in my back pocket, and I’ll be able to do the things I ‘need’ to do. And if not tomorrow, then next week… One thing I have learnt to trust when your energy and health feels a dwindling and chaotic mess, is that things really do always work out. When you can’t do something, you then do it at the time you CAN…and it always always ends up okay. It really does.

Chronic fatigue, you’re a (confusing, painful, and unpredictable) bitch.

PMS: 3 days or 3 weeks of chaos?

The menstrual cycle is a bitch. But it is also the most incredible things too. Just reading those words may make some of you cringe and want to run a mile from this post. That’s totes cool. Normally I would … Continue reading

Dance walks, tattoos & babies

The last ten days have been lush. They’ve been rough but the lush has definitely outweighed the rough, and I haven’t felt this in a long long while.

Last year I started Project 365 – taking a photo every day and posting it on twitter – but when the cafuffle hit last year this was brought to a swift end, but was soon taken up again in more of a haphazard way. I cannot, and will never, stop taking photos. It’s just what I do. But I just miss the routine of one pic daily – instead I take a whole bunch. So, instead of just sharing them on instagram I decided to start properly sharing them on here too. These are, after all, the snapshots of the wholesome bits of life. The reason I love photographs is that no matter what shit is going down, taking photos helps you capture the beauty, or fun or homely cosyness that’s always there too. So, here’s a taste of my last ten days.

My lovely friend and neighbour, Dee introduced me to the activity of Dance Walking. Yes, it’s as cool as it sounds. And yes, we look as cool as it might sound too. It involves a walking silent disco. It’s like what you do when you’re heading home at 3am, drunk, except we were doing it at 4pm in broad daylight, completely sober. And one time in the rain. We intended on just hitting the woodland walk and heading up the hill to overlook part of the city, but ended up starting as soon as we’d set foot on the quaint little street just down from our roads. Lads cheered us on and high fiving us as they passed, one cool lady joining in with our silent groove, and various car toots and the odd weird grin from passerby’s who wondered what the hell was going on. It was wonderful. And now it’s all I want to do when I have energy – go for a city groove.

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I’ve been loving taking up a seat and looking at the city lights when it’s dark. I’m still not a city girl – I’m a country girl without a shadow of a doubt – but there’s magical about a city at night.

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I bought a SLOW COOKER. Best investment ever. Since then I have successful stunk out the house but have been, twice (or sometimes thrice) daily, eating bone broths. Anyone Paleo will understand this. Anyone not Paleo, get on it – they are so good for you it’s bonkers. And they taste out-of-this-world-delicious too (provided a hearty hunk of butter is added).

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I discovered what my hairstyle is when I fall asleep immediately after a salt water bath.

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I began my project for my herbalist – growing a whole range of herbs for the shop and photographing their lives as they grow. From seed, to seedling, to bud, to plant, to on the shelf as a tincture or tea. Pretty cool.

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I seem to be having birds wander into my life all the time at the moment and I’m loving it. This little fella, and his girlfriend, sat with me by the canal in the spring sunshine. I’d just come from an intense therapy session so some water & duck time was well needed.

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I finished off the editing I’d been doing for This Place Is Yours whilst my toes soaked up some sunshine. Super cool project – check it out. Editing was medicine for my soul.

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I went KICKBOXING. So. Cool. A load of anger had been brewing and I needed an outlet…a new one. And I fell in love with this. I felt like I was back in my teenage days. I arrived late (obv), and jumped into the jogging in a circle. Then we needed partners and I looked round the room with a worried face…but a lovely girl ran towards me immediately saying how she had a tonne of aggression to let out. I squealed ‘me too!’, and so we set about following the instructions and lamping each other, left hook, right hook. Then apologising. Then lamping each other. Then apologising. Then kicking each other. Then apologising and checking the other was okay. It was brilliant. Turns out I’m a bit of a natural. But it also turned out that these punches and kicks I could give so solidly, were not so welcomed by some pad holders! This will be a talent I develop I hope – knowing who to throw all your strength at in class, and who to lay low with. I woke up the next morning and could hardly move. It was worth every ache.

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For ages now I’ve had an obsession with graffiti/street art. So, I decided to give it a go. And I totally fell in love with this too. I dream of taking this up big time, but my environmental conscience and eco-anxiety was too strong and I don’t think I’ll do it again – it’s just too flippin’ full of chemicals…unless I can scheme a method of creating non-toxic graffiti spray paints.

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I hula-hula’d.

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I cwtch’d with this lovely thing.

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I learnt that slow cookers and shared houses don’t work so well…they get turned off. So, in return I leave a moody note.

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I ate NACHOS, as y’all know.

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I went veg warehouse shopping with new friends.

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Me and my broth lunch hit the road together most days.

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I napped and meditated in the woods or by the stream every day…this, too, was medicine for the soul.

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I planted some more funky seeds.

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I said hello to Vera.

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I ate CAKE. (Hippy wholesome cake, but still cake.)

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I felt so undescribably ill for a lot of the week (nothing to do with the nachos or cake – these were an attempt to help this shittyness!). I felt rough beyond words – like mega toxicity mixed with flu-like symptoms and so much physical pain…ugh. But, I worked out a few contributing factors, the main one being that my liver needed another boost. So, thanks to my herbalist, I got on the milk thistle and yoghurt again. My liver is thanking every time I eat this.

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We had lots of these. This is what life is about.

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I have indulged in daily salt baths to detox this crap outta my system – such a treat too. Eating dinner, watching Before Coco Chanel, and daydreaming that I was Audrey Tautou.

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A lovely friend I hadn’t seen in a year and a half hit the city with her lovely boy. We had numerous coffees, a walk, a dinner party and a fun packed trip to Ikea. It was lovely.

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And, I bought NEW BEDDING. What a treat.

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And…I got a tattoo! Better photo coming soon.

Photo on 2013-03-25 at 14.12 #3

The camera didn’t capture other coffees, walks in the woods, cosy writing time and naps on the sofa, but these were included in the ten days too. All in all it’s been really rather nice.

Haircuts & haggling

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