Lessons learnt from Salsa

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I went to a salsa class and social the other day and wow what a learning curve. It has been a while since doing any kind of dance and although I did salsa in Colombia we didn’t partner so it was my first time doing partner dancing and god was it hard to get used to the man has to lead thing. But anyways, here is what I have learnt.

Your partner will make or break you. Now obviously there is personal responsibility to get the moves right but if your partner doesn’t know what he is doing you are done. And if he does know what he’s doing then your golden. These golden moments reminded me of how important it is to lean on and to trust other people.

On a less deep note I realised how little coordination I have and how my brain can’t cope with making my body move multiple parts at one time to form a sequence. And maybe this (well definitely) these are the same issues I’m having in climbing at the moment. I think It’s why I often climb better on my own and in a relatively empty centre (move dependant). There’s less information for my brain to process and it means I have more space to think about what I’m doing and get my positionings right. Rather than that panic blank when you feel pressure to be fast because people are waiting or shouting beta at you that you don’t always want whilst on the wall as it confuses the little head even more. But my coordination, processing speed and brain body connection is definitely something I need to work on!

That’s it for this week. As next week is international eating disorders awareness week (I know NEDAW was this week) I will try and write some sort of EDAW thing!

What even was this week?

Seeing as I don’t really have the cognitive energy for a proper post I thought this week would be a week in the life.

Monday I had an ultrasound before work. Oh don’t we love those bright and early trips to the middle of nowhere to get an ultrasound. Fortunately this medical centre wasn’t as in the middle of nowhere as my previous ones but it was out of the city. I think it was clear which is irritating because it means I’m going to have to push to ensure that referral is made which I really don’t have the energy for but such is life. I found it was painful though despite the fact that the ultrasound wand wasn’t pressing too hard on my abdomen. Asides from chaotic, work was actually okay on Monday. Horray for one day in which I don’t go home and have a mental breakdown. (Okay an exaggeration but Friday hit hard).

Tuesday work got all the more chaotic and I had a climb after work. Honestly I was going to train hard but I ended up chatting and projecting a few things as my bod was struggling. I did get a burly swirly that I was proud of and some roof work so was still sore mind you!

Wednesday we worked again and still chaotic from Tuesdays happenings but it calmed down a little. I had the most efficient service in boots ever when grabbing my prescription and then climbed at the women’s group. There were loads of us this week which is incredible to see! I took it quite easy cause injuries and shit but tried to get back on the roof and que soreness.

Thursday I wasn’t doing good with my ME but got through work regardless. No rest for the wicked hey? A few things made Thursday a really bad mental struggle. I don’t want to provide details on here cause privacy of myself and others. I also don’t want to give the wrong impression about my feelings towards anyone because it’s not at all one person and part of it was I didn’t have enough energy to feel happy. I was essentially a shell of a human who went home, made dinner, had a bath and then slept.

Friday I came into work feeling more rested and more positive as a result. Even with some pretty hellish cases and some phone calls to make! I’m definitely becoming more confident talking to applicants on the phone though and it’s nice to see some progression there. It hit rock bottom after a talk with my manager. (Yes I’m kind of implicating here but I honestly don’t know who or what or idk. Maybe I’m just an awful person.) But I came home cried. Drank tea. Tried to make myself less empty shell so hard to see her way through the next 10 and a half months in this job if she even passes probation like and a little more (faux) positive for an evening at the wall.

The evening and night really made my day. I didn’t really climb well or much because endometriosis hurt like hell but got a couple of projects and then went out out and um didn’t sleep cause chronic illness hates me and alcohol and a normal 22 year old. I felt pretty horrendous (not hangover or drunk horrendous) until 2pm and then madly headed to a climbing competition. Didn’t do particularly well – there were problems there that I know I have in me but just could not do on the day! Either because my joints were playing around or due to general strength issues even once knowing the beta! But had a good time regardless and enjoyed socialising and not having to put pressure on myself.

And that concludes the post.

Hopefully next week will be more positive and less painful. Despite many little wins and moments of joy, can’t say it was a great week!

Lets change the dialogue (Stop the blame game)

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Put your hands up spoonies if you constantly find yourself blaming yourself for flare ups. Even if you know you did nothing wrong and it was just one of those things. Or maybe you did. Maybe you pushed it too far. But knowing our limits is hard and you to give yourself some grace.

I seem to constantly place the blame on myself and yes sometimes that is warrented. Like today for example. When I decided to go climbing unfuelled and under hydrated and fatigued super quick. Good sesh. Got my 6C proj but not the state to train in and that warrants blame. What doesn’t warrant blame is the little (or big) flare ups that likely would have happened anyway.

We need to stop this. Not only because of how it makes us look to other people, especially judgemental non-spoonies but also for our own mental wellbeing.

Flare ups are the nature of the beast. We could wrap ourselves up in cotton wool. We could live the perfect lifestyle, do all the yoga, drink all the celery juice and believe it or not they still happen. Life is so so hard to manage, especially if your young and ambitious. Trying to balance everything when you have multiple chronic illnesses is impossible.

Blaming yourself for flare ups is one way to end up very mentally ill and constantly hating yourself and thinking your not enough.

A) You are enough

B) We have enough to deal with without depression and anxiety, which most of us already have because pain changes the brain. (It has been scientifically proven).

So we need to change the dialogue and stop blaming ourselves for our flare ups. We’ll be much happier for it and maybe people will respect us more if we stop blaming ourselves.

 

Why I climb and will continue to do so even if I can no longer work full time

 

I feel like this is round 2 of “if your well enough to do x then you can work.” But god am I angry and upset and generally don’t like my job and no ones even done anything major yet. Also haven’t been off sick despite severe pain because god forbid people see me have a life.

I’m in a really bad pain flare this week. Endo = fibro going haywire and later on will lead to HSD going haywire. I’m also normal person sick which doesn’t help matters and incredibly busy! (Doing things I enjoy and want to do but still.)

So I guess it doesn’t take a lot to piss me off and make me feel out of sorts. Functioning at a v high level I.e being out of the house other than to sleep with 8/10 endo pain is fucking hard and yes makes me easily irritated with peoples ignorance to the realities of living with multiple chronic illnesses.

I once said to my friend that if I got signed off sick I would climb every day and okay. Maybe not every day cause bodies need breaks and only if i wasn’t signed off sick cause I had to have a surgery or something. But near enough. I stand by that and this post will tell you why.

A) I have HSD and H-EDS has been thrown around a few times. One way to combat these illnesses or atleast that part that causes joint dislocations is to be hyper strong. Our tendons are under more stress than the average human because our joints hyperextend. Building muscles helps prevent injury and pain. In addition to this we also seem to start to decondition  quicker. Meaning. I need to climb. Climbing is the only exercise I can do that doesn’t make my ME worse and the only exercise that relives that awful brain swelling feeling that causes so much dizziness. Don’t ask me why don’t ask me how. But it is. Even gentle Pilates will leave me stuck on the bedroom floor. Climbing is my physio. It’s my road to recovery.

B) My mental wellbeing is also important. Climbing makes me happy. It makes life worth living. It pushes me to be accountable to myself. Makes me better at taking my supplements, try  to get adequate rest and eat a better diet. All of these things are hella expensive and take a lot of commitment. I would much rather spend my money on fun but this is the reality and when I climb, I remember how far I’ve come and that I need to do my best to balance everything. Tagged onto this is I need to see people. Life with a chronic illness is incredibly isolating. My gym is very social I love it. It is almost impossible to go through a climbing session without speaking to someone. My view to health is that your physical wellbeing affects your mental wellbeing and vice versa. If you want a healthy happy Hannah she needs to climb.

C) There is a big difference between working 8 hours a day and having a short sesh at the gym or a chill social sesh where you spend more time laying or sitting on the mats than climbing. This is especially true considering the different types of energy. Yes climbing is cognitive but not in the same way as reading and analysing information for 8 hours a day. It can be so easy to be quick to judge as to whether someone is faking or not. I know, I too have been guilty of this in the past. Not necessarily faking but just picking and choosing.

I urge everyone to be more mindful and maybe think a little more before judging. It can be hard to see something from the disabled persons side even if your disabled because we’re all so unique but try and if you need to ask questions, ask ahead.