Injuries, fatigue and new highs

 

This week has been an interesting one and exhausting af. I already started the week quite low on spoons because I haven’t had enough rest at the weekends for the last couple of weeks. Monday, I had work and then went climbing as I had signed up to a coaching session. I found it really useful and after, with the help of some friendly gym people got pretty far up a v3-4 that is soooo not me. Crimpy and overhanging. I blame the attempts on that problem for the state my left hand is in. I also completed a V3-4 which I had literally just been misreading the pervious week! (again friendly people are useful). I also did a few of the comp problems that looked challenging but doable in no more than 3 attempts. It was nice to see that there was a range of problems at a level that I could do in a comp setting tbh. Seeing as I wimped out of the comp for that reason.

So we come to Tuesday when I find all the tendons are sore. In both hands. I’d been struggling a little with my right hand but nothing major and no issues with climbing just tendons overreacting cause hypermobility puts more strain on them. But such is life, hey? We had four hours of no work to do and I legit went crazy and signed up to paranationals. Although I’m not a route climber by discipline anymore and find bouldering way more fun and social despite being more of a challenge I want to get myself back into competing and a) I’m a paraclimber b) I definitely feel more secure competing on a top rope.

Wednesday was a climbing day (and a work day but nothing of interest occurred). Climbing was good and despite my best intentions to not put too much pressure through my fingers I may have but didn’t make the situation any worse and did a V3 I couldn’t do the first move of a month ago in two parts, completed another V3-4 and flashed a V2-3 antistyle comp problem. So it was worth it.

Thursday I climbed again and really did my fingers in on some two finger pockets on a 6b+ I didn’t quite manage. But that’s okay. I couldn’t try it more than once because of my fingers but I know I have it in me. Shame I don’t go to that wall often enough! I think It’ll be a couple of weeks now until my next visit.

The middle left hand finger got destroyed a little more on Friday when I was putting my jeans on. Yes putting my jeans on. I had a rheumatology appointment and H-eds was mentioned for the first time and there was talk about referring me to a fibro clinic. Also had another three viles of blood drawn and was left not feeling at all well and with no head in the game at work but some days that’s how it is. We win some and lose some. I went home after work, rested and ordered wagas cause I was just so dizzy and also deserved it.

Saturday, I worked on an application and rested before I went climbing and despite only intending on 4s and 5s ended up flashing a 6b and 6b+ and finishing off a v steep and elongated 6a+ (I can confirm when the auto belay lowered me I was on the floor. It was exhausting). I also tried a couple of 6cs and got pretty far. One I tried to project a little and got most of the moves down but was just too weak to send. The other I didn’t want to try twice as it was crimpy and although slabby I was conscious of the stress on my fingers. But 6c I will get you again.

Then I got home and realised my tendon was a little more of a mess. So now we are buddy taped and hopefully all will be good by Wednesday (my next climb). My elbow has also been playing up again as I have a loose piece of bone or something in it and injuring it by falling a few weeks ago aggravated that so would rather not one hand climb. Also getting lots of rest as I can barely stand without almost passing out today!

Feeling useless

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Do you ever feel so useless that the slightest critique gets to you?
Do you ever have such low self esteem that everything feels like a personal attack?

Or is it just me?

I don’t know why but I have no self-esteem. I constantly feel like I am of no value, a burden… useless…

I get over it at times. I feel great. But it’s still underlying and lingering in the background.

I feel unaccepted in the things I do.

The decisions I make.

I feel trapped – like a bird – desperate to fly but not given the space to do anything.

Maybe that’s why I just booked a holiday to Berlin even though my life’s so uncertain right now…

So I can fly. So I feel less useless.

So I can explore, be independent and grow. To escape from the toxic environment I am in.

Recovering from low self esteem is a long winding road. It’s certainly not linear.  But it is possible if your given the right space and time to heal.

Sometimes it won’t feel possible. If you’re going through a vulnerable patch but it is! And if your experiencing this, you need to keep going. Keep pushing yourself and putting yourself out there and it will get better!

 

Taking a mental health break

So, it’s the summer holidays. I should be getting myself out there, gaining valuable work experience and what not. But am I? No. And not that I haven’t tried. Despite not wanting to be a Lawyer, I have kidded myself enough times that I do and periodically applied for vacations schemes throughout the year. I have scrolled through job sites to try and find summer jobs that I can realistically get to without a car from home home, because I’m not interested in paying for summer halls and then having to work x amount of hours just to break even.

And there is just nothing, that I stand a chance of being physically capable of doing, that meets all of the above criteria and will allow for a 2 week holiday, give or take a few days for me to go to Columbia with my university at the end of July/beginning of August.

But that’s okay. Yes I could do with the money. But it’s okay to be doing nothing with my summer.

As some people might see it, or maybe that’s my perfectionistic over-achieving mindset seeing it like that and actually, no one really cares that I materially lack work experience. Because A) It’s not like I’ve never been employed and B) I have reasons for lacking work experience compared to some of my peers.

So, to make myself feel less bad about this 3 and a half months of rest. I’m calling it a mental health break.

The reality is, even i can push through my physical health issues enough to be reliable and do a good job, the need to be reliable and do a good job and constantly not feeling like I’m good enough would be detrimental to my mental health. It has been in previous employment situations.

The reality is, even if I only worked 16-20 hours a week, I would be worried of doing much outside work incase it made me too ill to do my job. Which would mean neglecting friends, family and the wonderful summer sun. Which would aggravate my depression. I’ve learnt this from doing my degree this year. I had to take EVERYTHING else out of my life and I ended up suicidal, self harming again, falling into a pit of despair, disappointing my family and losing two of my closest friends. I don’t want to be in that position again.

Not only that but I want to be physically strong enough to manage doing everything timetabled for Columbia. Which okay, even with pushing myself to the max, could be an unrealistic goal. But the best chance of me attaining this is to spend the next two months resting and trying to build up my muscle mass through gentle exercise so walking upstairs doesn’t make my legs feel weak anymore. So I can pack more than two items of clothing before my arms start to feel weak. I want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity that I’ve worked hard to get. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Even if I do feel my dad is looking down on me for “wasting money” on going on a trip abroad rather than doing some more useful work experience with my time.

Further along the line, I need to be mentally and physically strong enough to finish my degree. Third year is the toughest and most intense year of a degree there is. The perk, if I get my module requests in on time and have passed my exams, I’ll get to do 4 really exciting modules which I’m really enthusiastic about and looking forward to.

I’m going to admit. I haven’t really been physically or mentally strong enough this year. I’ve had to study from my bed most of the time and I’ve missed more lectures and seminars than I would like to admit. I’ve pushed myself to go in a state in which I know I shouldn’t be attending even more times.

At the end of the day. I’m giving myself my best chances of getting my degree. And okay, maybe in the long term this won’t fare well but that’s okay.

This most recent academic year I haven’t really had a chance to do what I really want to do. And I haven’t really had a chance to relax. Lesson 1, forced rest and relaxation are not the same.  I haven’t had a chance to write fanfiction, use this blog as much as I would like. Indulge in TV, especially new series of things that require following. I haven’t read a book, just for the fun of it since last summer. And not because I’ve been off having the time of my life, I haven’t even been that social this year, because my health has prevented me.

Purely because my foggy brain and fatigue means I need to put way more time into my degree with way less energy to do the degree with. Which is also okay, because I love my degree, if I didn’t love my degree I wouldn’t still be doing it, I definitely wouldn’t have preserved through the past year of it.

So actually, I think I need this time. To just enjoy summer. To find myself again, to think about what I’m doing after my degree. Am I going to run off and do a psychology conversion, followed my a masters in forensic psychology? Am I going to go for the NHS policy and strategy grad scheme? Am I going to go into social work by doing one of the  grad schemes available? Or maybe I’ll try and get my hands on some volunteering with vulnerable people and become a probation officer?

Or maybe neither of these are the path I will take, but that’s okay too. It’s okay to take time out. It’s okay to not know what I’m doing with my life and it’s okay to study law when I don’t want to be a lawyer or become an academic. This is my path in life and eventually, I’ll figure out where this is all going, where it’s all taking me.

Until then it’s time to ride the wave, remember it’s okay for me to be taking such an extended break from life. Because that’s what I need right now. A break. I need no pressure, and time to heal, both mentally and physically.

Finished 2nd year law//A year in review

Wow! First things first, that went quick. It seems like it was only yesterday when I moved into my student house and now I’m packing up and getting ready to go home for the summer, with an exciting trip planned at the end of July.

Thinking of it, it’s been such a good year, despite all the really bad things that have happened. I’ve grown a lot as a person and achieved things I never thought I could. I came into second year knowing it wouldn’t be hard, but not quite realising how much my health would affect me. Now maybe this was naïve of me, considering I’ve been ill since I was 10. But I’ve always for the most part been able to push through pain before. But pain, fatigue and all my other wonderful myriad of symptoms have been bought to a whole new level this year.

I knew it would be tough when after one day of freshers week (No I was not going round acting like a crazy fresher) I was left feeling dreadful. And everyone around me could tell, that façade I normally have, or atleast used to have that covered my illnesses from those around me slipped.

Even then, nothing prepared me for how hard. I was kinda of the perspective of well if I have do do it, it’ll be fine and it’ll get done to the standard I expect of myself.

Boy was I wrong.

Try prepping a seminar when your so fatigued that you can’t read the words on the page, let alone make any sense of them. It doesn’t work. It really doesn’t work. Everything just feels like working through this relentless fog. It’s a constant fight to try and gain some ounce of comprehension over what is going on. Or prepping a seminar when your in so much pain that you can’t even begin to think about anything else, but the excruciating pain that’s going on in whatever part of your body, and if your lucky, your entire body.

Not to mention going to lectures and trying to be an active member of various clubs and society’s. Eventually I had to give in and realise that I was way over doing it and it just wasn’t working.

This came after a 2 week migraine, when I realised things had to give. I had to stop being so involved in various clubs and society’s and just try to keep up with my committee responsibilities if possible. But even then, it seemed not to be. I started the year on two committees, and attending 2 other society’s, I’ve ended the year on one committee and barley attending that society.

It got to Christmas and I realised if I wanted my degree and I wanted to stand any chance of coming out with a 2:1 or a 1:1, that my degree had to be my absolute and No 1 priority. I’m gonna be honest, law has kinda become my life. Especially in the run up to exams. And although on the one hand it has been so bad for my mental health, to not have a life outside my degree. I have finally realised I love law.

Which sounds weird to say. Law degrees are notorious for their difficulty and intensity for anyone, but I do. I love law. Even the dreaded law of trusts has grown on me over the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had multiple breakdowns, a suicide attempt and I even started self harming again. It’s not all good. But if anything, it’s just made me stronger. Made me start to realise what’s important in life and also made me realise the No 1 thing that destroys my mental health is comparing myself to others. In any way, shape or form I can.

But despite the multiple lectures and seminar’s I’ve missed, I’ve done it. I’ve managed and honestly it feels amazing to have worked so hard for something. Especially when multiple tutors have told you to take a year out and you yourself have nearly dropped out on many occasions.

This year, I’ve learn’t more than just the never ending lists of cases and statutary provisions. I’ve learn’t that I am actually a capable Law student. Something I’ve never actually belived before and I still struggle. But my grades don’t lie. Last year I was only getting 2:2’s in my coursework because my priority was my extra-curriculers. This year I’ve got 2 1:1sts a 2:1 and a 2:2.

Even if I drastically messed up my exams, which considering if I had a CFS diagnosis I would have had extra time. The fact that I finished those exams in themselves is some sort of miracle. The last time in my life an exam was so painful was when I had a cyst rupture on my ovary during a GCSE chemistry exam.

And exams have never been as exhausting, never has it been so difficult to fight through that fog, because normally, any adrenaline will make up for it. It’s just a relief that I did it and I managed.

Now maybe I won’t feel the same when I get the results. Let’s face it I probably won’t because a lot of my perfectionistic mindset has come back since the first 1:1st. But right now, I’m happy. I’m happy because I’ve achieved things I never thought I would. I did my best. I might even go as far as saying I have done more than my best. I have pushed myself beyond so many limits, and I can truly say It has made me stronger.

6 weeks of 2nd year

Hello again readers of my blog. Today I am coming to you after 6 weeks of second year. Well six weeks of lectures. 7 if you count freshers week and 8 if you consider the fact that reading week is almost over.

The last 6 weeks have been hard. I started out trying to do it all. climbing, model UN, my two committee responsibilities and of course that all important degree. Swiftly realised trying to do it all wasn’t going to happen. It’s not good for my health. And after a 2 and a half week migraine I’ve learnt I need to start taking it easy and listening to my body. Which means sacrificing things I love to prioritise my health and that all important Law Degree.

It also meant learning to say no because lets face it if I haven’t been able to get out of bed, or even lay in bed and watch TV all day, let alone do any uni work. I shouldn’t be leaving the house to go to something extra curricula. Even if it is one of my committee responsibilities.

Saying no is really hard. Not being able to do what your body should be able to do. Not even being able to push through anymore it really frustrating. Especially if your someone like me who likes being busy. When you physically can’t it hurts and it’s an adjustment process.

Over the last couple of months I’ve pushed myself well beyond what I feel healthy enough to do on a daily basis. I’ve got behind on uni work and somewhat caught up again. And all I can say is I’m proud of myself for what I’ve managed. I’m proud of my strength in dealing with all of this and still committing myself to my uni work 100%. Not using “I’m not really feeling well.” as an excuse to slack off and skip all my lectures or not put the effort I know I can into my seminar preps or coursework assignments because I can’t really be bothered.

At least now I know. I’m doing the best I can and no matter what comes from it, at this time in my life I can’t do any better. Not without sacrificing my health even more than I probably already am.

It’s like being more ill has made be more motivated to do my uni work because feeling too ill to do things a significant amount of time leads to a lot of boredom if you don’t at-least try to push through some of the time.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been pushing for diagnoses. Having blood tests, pelvic ultrasounds and going to physiotherapy appointments. All of which are enough to exhaust me. I’ve also learnt how much love and support I have around me. I couldn’t be more thankful for it. It’s funny actually how much support you get when you start opening up about your issues and trying to be honest about what is going on.

But yes, after the last few weeks I can tell you that anything is possible. Well not anything. You have to choose your priorities, but once you set your heart on something you will manage it. You may just have to take it at a slower pace than others do.

I can tell you that studying full time on a highly demanding course whilst being chronically ill is hard and sometimes it feels impossible. But I can also say that if you want it enough you will get through it, somehow. It may take you 4 years instead of 3. It may mean you can’t indulge in the typical “uni life” as much. But you can do it.

I am going to take that “I can do it.” Forward into the next few months and final year of my degree. Because unless I get so ill that I’m forced to drop out then I can do it.

The Difference between being Well and Chronically sick.

One of the biggest problems us Chronically ill face is the lack of understanding from those who don’t suffer the same afflictions. Which, I get it. You can’t understand something like this. Something that you’ve never been experienced before and sounds so alien from your healthy person life.

I feel one of the best ways to describe it is through Christine Miserandino’s Spoon theory. Unlike the average human being us chronically ill have a limited number of energy reserves or symptom tolerance in a day. And yes technically we can go over those in a day, but if we were to do that then it would leave us with less spoons for the next day or more. Until we were to just completely stop.

Image result for spoons

Now imagine each daily activity takes away a certain number of these spoons. Even the most simplest of them.

Lets start with getting out of bed. Yes even that takes spoons from us. Now lets think of taking a shower, that can also take a lot of spoons from the Chronically sick. Even more if we were to wash our hair, or shave at the same time.

Now you’ve got the gist of things you can see that even after completing tasks that are mindless or even refreshing to the average person we end up severely compromised.

When you have a chronic illness you are constantly fighting. Constantly pushing through relentless pain and fatigue. Not to mention the whole host of other symptoms that we can sometimes face with a chronic illness.

Yet most of us look perfectly healthy and able on the outside but please understand that this is not the case. Our body is fighting a war on the inside which is invisible to everyone looking from the outside.

This is why we may not want to socialise. It’s not even that we don’t want to. Mentally we probably do. Mentally we are probably bored of feeling physically capable of nothing. But physically we can’t do it and if we do it will just continue and heighten our daily suffering.

And we don’t want that. We don’t want to end up back at our worst for weeks or even months on end when we can prevent it. Most things in life are not worth that. Not atall. Related image

So please try to gain a little understanding before you judge us or frown upon out attitudes or work ethic. If we say no. Please don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s that our bodies are fighting a war that you could never understand.

We just don’t have the same unlimited number of spoons that the average healthy person has. We have a limited number.

I’m Not Selfish, I’m Mentally Ill

Hello all,

Today I want to make a blog post about well the title says it all really. I feel it’s a common belief from the none mentally ill population that people are selfish, when infact maybe even unknowingly are suffering from a mental illness. Ive heard many a person say suicide is selfish. But they don’t give any thought into how a person who has reahced that level of depression is feeling. Yes it may come across as selfish but to a person with a mental illness. Suicide or any action isn’t for selfish reasons it’s because they can’t see any other way.

Lets just take an example from today that happened to me. Today I was mant to be going to the races and for lunch for my grandads birthday but this moring I couldn’t handle it. I thought about it. I really did think about trying to go. Trying to challenge myself so hard and I thought about ths not for me. But because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I didnt want to be a disapointment as per ususal. But I looed at some sample menues and decided I couldn’t handle it. I mean the fact that they were sample menus would mean a level of uncertainty in not knowing what I could have. What if there was nothing I liked? Nothing atleast half safe? On top of that there wuld be the calorie issue. This 3 course meal would lead to too many calories. Too many unknown calories. Again that uncertainty. Would I get the nutrition I’m after? Probably not. And it’s not just the food it’s the being around people and food all day. It all seemed too much.

And yes I felt guilty for maing the decision not to go and I still feel guilty just not as so now I’ve had some time to think and calm down a bit. I know my mum and brother think Im selfish for sure. Both saying I’m wasting money… And oay my brothers 9, he can be forgiven. But my mum. She knows I’m mentally ill. I would hope she’d be more understanding. Apparently not.

But whatever people think I’m not selfish. Im mentally ill and yes sometimes that may make me come across to others as me being selfish and rude but that is the way things are at this moment in time. The best thing I can do is to work towards getting better and maybe one day I’ll be able to go out to eat even where there’s uncertainty as to the menu, calories and atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 weeks in re-recovery

Hello everyone!

Today marks 6 weeks since I started recovering from my eating disorder again after relapsing and I thought I’d make a blog post abou what I’ve gained in those last 6 weeks. Other than weight of course.

  1. Probably the most important thing first. Happiness. I’ve finally started enjoying life and feeling actually happy.
  2. Fitness – six weeks ago 20 miniutes of hiit killed me I’ve done 30-60 mins every day since saturday and I’m fine. (todays workout was hard though) I couldn’t imagine ever being able to do that 6 weeks ago. Looking forward to starting up running again in the spring! (Winter running is not fun)
  3. Intelligence – I was two marks of an A* in my business mock. It came as such a shock to me. I know without the carbs that wouldn’t have happened.
  4. Enoying food taste and flavours – I’m slowly learning to appreciate food as what it is and not worry so much. It is still an issue but little changes are being made by the meal.
  5. Energy – I’m no longer constantly zombified!
  6. Sleep – I am sleeping better most of the time. Some night I do still only get 5 or 6 hours but it is better than the 4-6 I was getting before I started recovering again.

Just goes to show. Recovery is always worth it !

 

2016 goals

Hello everyone, I’d like to first wish you all a happy new year of health and positivity in 2016!  This post is going to be about my goals in 2016.

  1. Find true recovery from my eating disorder – this encompases a lot of things. To be free from worries about food, portion sizes and calories. To not worry about not exercising enough and be so focused on my weight and body shape. To finally be at peace with myself.
  2. To get fit! I know this sounds realy contradictary to my last goal but I have found that exercise really helps lift my mood. So I will do exercise excluding walking the dog atleast 3 times a week. This could be 2 hiit workouts and 1 climbing session or 3 hiit workouts. Obviousy if I feel strong enough and want to do more then I will but not if thats because I need to burn more calories or due to any other ED thought.
  3. To find balence in my diet and  healthy middle ground with my caloric intake. I am struggling with this at the moment. Okay I would say my diet is probably more balenced than most but caoric consumption… I seem to eat 3000+ or undr 1000+ and I want to find that healthy middle ground that I can maintain weight at and not still find myself hungry.
  4. To build my blog, youtube and other social media’s. I’m really passionate about spreading the message of recovery and wanting to inspire others to recover so I’m going to really work on building upp my following so I can reach as many people as possible!
  5. TO PASS MY A LEVELS WITH ABB MINIMUM! This is the biggest one. I am so excited about going to uni and studying law. ABB is the grades I need for the choice I’ll put as my insurance when hear back from the final uni so that is my baseline goal for all things education.
  6. To prioritise mental health over grades. Last year I pushed myself way too far. Which lead to my relapse. This year I’m going to focus on me while still working to do my best. Aiming for reaistic grades not perfect grades. And when it all gets too overwheming I will promise to myself to take time out.
  7. To do some volenteering or fundraising work.

So thats it for my 2016 goals. Notice how I’m not calling them new years resolutions. Thats because I hate that term. Please comment your goals for the new year.

What is Real Recovery?

I’m writing this post today as I feel there is a misconception as to what so called “real recovery” is on social media sites such as instagram.

On instagram real recovery seems to be classed as following the minnie maud guidelines, always listening to hunger cues and cravings and being positive at all times.

THAT IS NOT REAL RECOVERY.

Real recovery is doing the best you can on any given day. Fighting your eating disorder one meal or snack at a time. Some days it may be listening to hunger cues and cravings and others it may be restricting because you really can’t do anything else. And THAT IS OKAY. That is fine so long as you pick yourself back up the next day, the next meal even.

What I’m saying is that recovery isn’t all glamorous it isn’t all positive. And you can struggle and be in “real recovery” you can be negative when in “real recovery.” So long as when you are struggling you pick yourself back up and never give up.

Real recovery is continuing to fight even though your heads a mess and the world seems to be turning against you. That is what real recovery is.