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Every Day is Winter: Living the Groundhog Life

Apologies for the lack of posts lately. Among the things that no one ever prepares you for, I have found, through the better part of the last decade, that to get ahead in life, I’ve had to learn to become my own doctor, come to terms with my childhood trauma, PTSD, and dysfunctional family, AND realise that I probably should have followed through on my childhood ambition to become a lawyer.

It’s all knowledge that I’ve acquired through the baptism of fire. All these great obstacles are daunting, in addition to my efforts to become a published author. It’s a tall order for anyone, let alone for us souls who have to trudge on in spite of our limiting chronic illness.

Spoonies often refer to the “sloth life”, but I feel like I’m living the “groundhog life”.

Every day for the past few years, my declining health has forced me toward being almost completely homebound, and increasingly bed bound. It feels like I stumbled into a version of the Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” It’s like waking up to the same Sonny and Cher song, “I Got You Babe”, every day, and no matter how hard I try to push against the tide, the song just keeps blaring day after day with little hope of an end in sight.

Phil tries every trick in the book to escape his personal purgatory—from learning piano, to kidnapping the groundhog, to attempting to off himself. I don’t particularly recommend any of these besides learning piano, but I do endorse finding your personal escape strategy.

For me as far back as I can remember, books have always been a constant source of escape. I have never been the gardening type, but I have found that I make a decent indoor mother of plants. And I have acquired a newfound sense of joy in cultivating plants on my window ledge that I’ve nursed into prosperity and the harvesting of baby plants. So much so, that our house may soon resemble something of an indoor jungle.

And, by happenstance and the recent heat we’ve had here in England, I accidentally stumbled into the world of naturally fermented ginger beer. It makes sense when you think of it and after doing a little research, I found ginger is rich in natural yeasts and probiotics so that when naturally fermented the health benefits are similar to that of kombucha.

While I can never bring myself to watch overly cheesy daytime television, I must confess that I’m probably on my third rewatch of the shows I enjoy most. But, I feel there’s only so many times I can rewatch beloved movies and series before I start feel a little brain dead.

Enter the realm of documentaries. Historical, political, musical—it’s all there for the taking and I’m totally on board. Although I must confess that I am growing weary of the unending supply of documentaries that contribute to the depersonalisation of women, that is the world of murder mystery documentaries.

Amidst all this, I’m soldiering on with attempts at better health by doing weekly oxygen chamber sessions. I’m working slowly and systematically, to get my GP on board by updating her about my health to try and erode the “me versus them” vibe they created when they declared me to be mentally ill, rather than physically ill. And I’m slowly toiling away at polishing the first draft of the novella I’ve written, inspired by my experience with chronic health.

I remain hopeful that I will soon summit the Mount Doom that has been my legal drama of the past seven years, to hold the executor of my late father’s estate accountable for their failures and the tangible harm and distress this has caused. The greatest of which has undoubtedly been being robbed of the opportunity to fully reconcile with my late father’s death. Because I had to put my grief aside in order to battle the dragons that are lawyers, who by nature and profession, cannot admit to failure even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

After all that has happened over the past few years, it is never far from my mind, how much life with a chronic illness is like living in a great organ grinding machine, where our societal value is that much more diminished by our inabilities. The demons and monsters that we are forced to fight against every day, make Phil’s struggle to become a better person and get the girl to escape Groundhog Day, look tame and mild by comparison.

But, and it’s a big BUT, I have also learned to find joy in repetition, positivity in discarding rather than consuming, strength in the struggle, a new understanding of how much I took for granted in the past—so that I have an increased sense of gratitude in the good that I have in my life.

As Phil says after his transformation “When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."

It is unjust that many of us are forced to live in a sort of permafrost, without acknowledgment or adequate support. However, we do have control over how we experience the bleak and dark winter, by choosing to foster and create our own light.

And it is out of this light, no matter how small, that propitious hope will always find a way to bloom and prosper.

#MyCondition #Fibromyalgia #ChronicFatigue #Thoughts #WritingThroughIt #TheLittleThings #DistractMe #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicPain

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Stream Strolling and Springing 🌼

The Duke’s personal walkies chauffeur called in sick today, so I found myself bestowed with the honour of serving HRH 👑

Given the 27 C / 80 F temperature by British standards effectively borders on officially being declared ‘hot’, we went to one of the local streams so the Duke could cool off.

After being reminded by a post in a CFS support group that cold baths and showers, helps to increase circulation, I joined HRH for a stroll through the cold water.

Every year these flowers blossom in the stream. It is a little thing in essence—but one that brings me joy each year that I get to witness their arrival.

#TheLittleThings #Joy #RoomForJoy #MyCondition #ChronicFatigue #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #Dogs #SpringMania

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The Bare Necessities, Mother Nature’s Recipe

Lately, I manage about a once or twice week evening stroll with the better half and the dogs. We are lucky to have a woodland walk nearby our house, where we can let the dogs out the car to roam and not worry about walking too far—the scamps are mainly there for the smells.

Tonight we came across a deer on the road and waited patiently for it to cross the path. Of course, the Duke and Little Spare immediately went into tracker mode while I picked some fresh nettle tops to make into pink tea. As I was walking this little blossom tumbled into my hand making me felt like spring was shaking my hand.

I know it doesn’t sound all that special, but after I was hospitalised amd became partially bedbound, the mundane has became exciting again. And for me it truly is a whole lot of small things that when strung together, become the bare necessities that help me to forget about my worries and my strife ☺️

#Thoughts #WritingThroughIt #DidAThing #ChronicIllness #MyCondition #Fibromyalgia #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicFatigue #TheLittleThings #DistractMe

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Iron Cross Shamrock

I had never heard of this shamrock before. It’s called the “Iron Cross.” The leaves are purple-green. This is the flower when it blooms. #Flowers #TheLittleThings

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The Name’s Muck… Lord Muck

Double post from me today because this photo from our dog walker was too funny not share! I think it’s the pug in him, but Lord Muck’s mantra is “if it’s a kind of water and I fits, I sits!” One time he did this, it was so thick I spent about 5 minutes just laughing at the state of him at the front door while the dog walker profusely apologised, all the while he just sat there looking very happy with his chonky boi self 😂

Now it’s rainy season, we have to do near daily baths and the Duke is rather displeased and indignant about it all like “Jeeves… I worked very hard on rolling in that mud and fox / sheep poop so it would camouflage me. Now the other dogs are going to laugh at me tomorrow because of how stinky you’ve made me with this thing you call ‘shampoo’ except there’s not even any poo in it!”

Us Jeeveses are fickle beasts like that 😆

#Dogs #MightyPets #Laugh #funny #alwayslookouththelightsideoflife #TheLittleThings #DistractMe #Pets #ForTheLoveOfDogs #forthelols

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Happy Furriday!

If there’s one thing The Duke has taught me, in addition to understanding that my rightful place is to carry out his bidding at his barking orders, is how to do radical self-care right…

On walks, when he has had enough, he simply sits down and refuses to go any further. When he is sad, he lets me know by climbing into my lap, demanding cuddles. When he is afraid, he squeezes himself between my feet for protection and comfort. When it’s approaching dinner time, he borks for my attention to get me to attend to his needs. When he is in the mood for a bit of fun, he scamps, he runs, and jumps like it’s the best thing ever. On walks, he finds ways to assert his independence by following his own path—turning the act of walking into a game wherein he is the cleverest boi, who delights in having outfoxed me in his own pug-mix way.

After he swims, he shakes himself off each time with the verve of a puppy. When I rub behind his ears each night and give him belly rubs, he sighs as if he is letting go of all the day’s worries. And when he sleeps, he does it enthusiastically—as if napping and resting form a part of his daily duties. When he is tired, nothing can stop him from catching some zzzs… not even trips to the groomer where he has often had to be groomed while snoozing! If he is cold, he will find a blanket, carry it across the room, and fashion it into an appropriate bundle on which to make himself cozy.

He does not reproach himself for not doing more. Instead he delights in all these small things like he is living his best life. He is the poster pug for radical self-care, and he has taught me that there is still great joy and life, to be found in doing less 🐾

#Dogs #MightyPets #Selfcare #TheLittleThings #DistractMe #MyalgicEncephalomyelitis #ChronicFatigue #HypothyroidismUnderactiveThyroidDisease

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Thinking About The Season Ahead

🎭 Hello!

I am a blend of emotions this past week, but I am doing better. I have slacked on my classwork for my University studies. I pray that I can make it through without struggling too much. I seriously need help to make it through this class because of how difficult my emotions have been. I believe it's #hormonal but I am confident that I am going to be OK.

I am curious about you guys though, how are you?!



Symptoms Worsening #RareDisease #TheMighty #MightyTogether #IIH #IdiopathicIntracranialHypertension #Migraine #IntracranialHypertension

Champions adjust, and I am currently learning this the hard way but that's okay. I have my faith and my support system. I try to count my blessings. I started having blackouts. I can't ignore it. I see spots and sometimes can't see anything. I constantly feel the pressure in my head now the lowest it goes is a 6, sometimes I get random stabbing pains in my eyes. I've been getting episodes of weakness where I feel lightheaded and dizzy and I lose my balance, it makes me concerned that I will pass out, especially since I'm still working full time as a Medical Receptionist. My vision has worsened. My glasses are now too weak of a prescription. I go to Lens crafters Saturday thank God. I can't drive, which I never really did to begin with besides practicing. I realized this when my husband told me "don't feel bad because even if you wanted to drive I wouldn't let you right now because I'd be afraid of what could happen if you have an episode on the road." It never even occured to me until now. I count my blessings daily. I'm alive I'm fighting. We will find a cure. We will not suffer alone. 👊🏽 #IdiopathicIntracranialHypertension #IntracranialHypertension #RareDisease #ChronicIllness #ChronicPain #ChronicMigraineSyndrome #Migraine #PsuedotumorCerebi #rarediseaseawareness #TheMighty #MightyTogether #CheckInWithMe #mightystrong #ChampionsAdjust #StayStrong #CheerMeOn #grateful #TheLittleThings


Reflecting On Father's Day & Making This a Good Week

Good morning everyone!

Father's Day is a complex holiday. For me, it's a day to express gratitude and to spend time to with my amazing and supportive dad.

For many of my friends it's a difficult day. Some of them lost their dads long before their time, some didn't grow up without a dad in their lives, and some have strained relationships or have even had to remove their dads from their lives.

My Monday morning started differently this week. After a busy weekend spending Saturday with my dad, volunteering at the Humane Society both days, and general errands, I hadn't spent a lot of time with my wife and she said that she needed some extra hubby time last night. I made a nice dinner to make up for things a bit, but unfortunately I fell asleep very quickly from the busy weekend.

This morning I made it a point to spend an extra 15 minutes in bed with her to get some extra snuggling in before I went to work. Sure, I got in about 30 minutes later than I normally do, but it was well worth it seeing her slight smile and hearing that content breathing and sigh when I said we should stay in bed a bit longer than normal.

The little things in life are more important than the daily grind. Take that extra 15 minutes in the morning to spend some time with your loved ones and pets. Work will be there no matter when you get in, those little moments won't.

#Love #TheLittleThings

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