An interview with me on the key to happiness and being present
Since coming out about my illness (M.E) and working with the M.E organisation, doing a couple of interviews and trying to answer all of your questions on it, I thought I would pile together some of the important and life changing questions from you and answer them in this post. I wanted this post to be about happiness, clarity and well-being, finding an internal strength and calmness even through the struggles and that’s something that I am on my way to achieving in full. I was sent these questions by most of you as readers, but the lovely Lindsey McKeon (who I interviewed before) asked me a few too and you can see those three first. I put them first as I think that’s fitting for the order and because she always asks such thoughtful and inspirational questions, which gets me started off well, but the rest of the questions are just as important and help give the interview depth.
So why am I doing this interview? That old saying about when life gives you lemons, I see it as you have three possible options.
1 – You accept the lemons, you eat them, you go about your business. Sometimes slicing them a little or sprinkling them on your food, but the general rule is that you eat them.
2 – You complain about the lemons, you wanted oranges instead. You sit there and watch them go mouldy, getting angry at having the wrong fruit.
3 – You make lemonade. I know this is the usual answer, but it’s the toughest one. Making the lemonade requires a lot of juicing, knowledge, other ingredients and patience. It’s the toughest one of the options, but it’s worth the most.
The general rule here is that you can get upset about life’s obstacles and situations, or you can accept them and not do anything to change them, or you can pluck up the courage and change your situation. It will require a lot of effort on your part, but it’s doable. Don’t let life’s lemons leave a bitter taste in your mouth, take control and be the juicer as you are the one in charge. I wanted to show you how I took charge of my illness and how I don’t let it get me down anymore. I hope it’s helpful!
What was your experience when you were first diagnosed (with M.E)? Your biggest fear? And how has that altered now?
It was a mixture of emotions actually. It was kind of a relief to finally know what was wrong with me after a year of back and forth with the doctors, but at the same time it was overwhelming to know it was something that couldn’t be fixed. It was quite daunting and I suppose my biggest fear was actually the fear of unknown with the illness. It effects people differently and you never know from one day to the next just how it’s going to be. M.E is really hard to explain to others, especially when they ask you your symptoms or what exactly is wrong with you because it’s everything. You can’t just narrow it down.
Another fear I had with the diagnosis was knowing that it’s a form of brain damage. A certain part of my brain that controls functions and movements and a lot of other parts got damaged from swelling. The swelling was caused when I was 14 by the virus that I had, so there’s damage to my brain now from that. This frightened me as I didn’t know what to expect or how serious it was. As everything we do is controlled by the brain, it’s not easy to do daily activities. My brain doesn’t compute things correctly and if I walk for about 10 minutes, my brain can think I have ran a marathon and confuse itself with that. Sometimes I can wake up after having slept and my brain thinks its ran that marathon again or has been run over by a truck, so I feel paralysed. It can decide to not recognise my legs are attached to me anymore and if I try to move them, I can’t because they are unresponsive. Some days I can’t remember anything, I can’t speak properly and I can’t understand anything that someone is saying to me because my brain doesn’t function right, but the damage from the swelling is very temperamental as varying pressure and changes happen, so some days it can be ok, I don’t notice much going on, then other days it’s horrendous. This was a huge factor in fear for me.
As I have got older and had to learn to cope with it over the years, it’s got a lot easier. I don’t feel like I have any fears regarding my M.E now as I have experienced everything I think there is to experience with it. I wouldn’t class it as a fear as such, but I guess not knowing my future and knowing how things are going to turn out for me or go in the coming years is daunting, but I’m not scared of it. It’s definitely changed me as a person and my outlook on life though.
What are the benefits of your passion towards fashion blogging, how does it help feed your soul/spirit on a daily basis?
I would say the benefits for me are endless. Being a fashion blogger led me to be able to have a social life online, a purpose, something to do and something that would inspire me. After years of not being able to work, not being able to go out and socialise or really enjoy life, it was a much needed escape for me. It allows me to be creative which is something that’s incredibly important for me as it helps feed that creative part of my brain, which in turn gives me happiness and satisfaction. It’s been a true life saver and to know that I have a whole little community out there now through my blog is amazing. I can’t say what I would be doing without it, but as I’m not able to hold down a full time job or a job that I go to due to the illness, it’s let me live as much of a normal life as I possibly can. I’m now self employed through blogging and writing so it’s a part of me now.
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