Life got in the way
Six months have passed since I last blogged, officially placing me in tardy, unreliable & undeserving of one’s title of ‘blogger’ territory. So much so that I removed it from my social media accounts and quietly stopped promoting posts. No big drama here, no lengthy reason why I had to take a break, literally just, life. Life got in the way. Life being a new job + a Chronic Illness. I took to building this blog when I didn’t have a lot else to do or truly care about; it was a beautiful escape from what was a pretty mundane 9-5 life, living day to day with no spark or kick. Since then, things have changed quite a lot and I think that’s part of the reason why I drifted away. The thing is, I can’t help but feel like I owe past me, more. Does that make any sense at all?
I simply got carried away with life, some of it wonderful, some of it not so magical and the part that is not so magical is something I haven’t talked a whole lot about since I started to blog. I’ve kind of avoided the hard shit because, in all honesty, I’m still figuring it out. But here goes.
My chronic illness
As you may already know, back in early 2017, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness; Fibromyalgia. If you don’t know much about it, you can nosey on the NHS website here. Back then, I had a lot of emotions swirling around this little head of mine. It’s taken me a lifetime of pain, a lot of teary outbursts and a year of my diagnosis to realise how my a chronic illness really is a fucking full-time job in itself. If you have a one too, I’m sure you will agree.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t where I get out my tiny violin & play the woe is me card because really, that just isn’t me. This is however where I make sense of this place I have finally reached. I recently got referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, something that I WISH was offered to every single person on planet earth because only 2 sessions in I am already seeing things much clearer and feeling so much better. During the sessions, I’ve been advised that I am WAY too hard on myself, expecting far too much and that sometimes just trying to soften on myself will work wonders. I suppose this is me softening on myself and actually expressing how I feel.
not sugar coating shit
My illness is hard to manage; I have brilliant days then I have heart-wrenchingly awful days. There’s no telling from one day to the next and all I can do is ride the wave. I have zero control over how my body decides to feel when I wake up in the morning and whether it will get me through the day. I feel guilty for not wanting to see my friends and family because I’m exhausted and I dream of a life where my achievements throughout the day aren’t at the mercy of an invisible illness I have no control over. I worry that the way I feel now can only get worse until I am barely a shadow of myself. I try really hard to hide my symptoms around others, then worry if they then assume I am lying. I get annoyed with others when they innocently complain about feeling in pain or tired when it’s self-inflicted because I have no choice – but still, I don’t bring up my illness. I hate that I have to plan for being in pain, being exhausted or hitting a wall, with no easy or understandable way to explain and express this to the people around me every day. I hate that I am at an automatic disadvantage in every area of my life.
Having to work through and manage all of this and so much more is a bloody full-time job within itself and it’s about time I either admit that or others blumming learn that. The only difference is, I don’t take a lunch break and I don’t take annual leave from this job and I certainly never applied for the position. It’s surprising how long it took for me to realise this but managing an illness like mine and many of yours, whilst also juggling every other aspect in your life (be it an ACTUAL job, your relationship, your gym routine, or just folding your washing that day) is such an achievement in itself. SUCH. AN. ACHIEVEMENT. *emoji hand claps all around*
Chronic Illness: A Full-Time Job while working a full-time job
Now, whilst all of this sounds so frigging depressing, I really don’t mean it to be. And you shouldn’t think it is either! I can genuinely say this because while I know all of this isn’t sunshine and rainbows, it’s my reality now and there’s no running away from it. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve accepted it for what it is, without it defeating me while grinding my little butt off in one of my most exciting jobs yet. For me, that’s the little thing that keeps me going. It gets me out of bed in the morning and keeps the fire within me burning. Until I started CBT, I had no idea how much value and importance I placed around still being able to work in a fulfilling job role with my illness. I always knew I had fire in my belly and the kind of dedication to progressing in this area of my life that would either make me or break me but, I never sat back and actually considered how this plays out in my day to day life now. So here I am, patting myself on the back. Well done to me. And, well done to you too. The truth is, I put 110% into my day job because I love it and it matters to me so when I get home and concentrate on other areas of my life, I’m often out of spoons. (If you are completely thrown by my use of the word spoons here, you might wanna give the spoon theory a read; never have I read anything more fitting for describing my life.) I have to accept that if I want my career, other things will slip; not because I don’t work hard enough, not because I’m lazy but because I’m already working myself 100 x harder than the average healthy 25 year old and I need to cut myself some slack.
You can still be a girl boss and take some time away from the dream to recharge, honey
So, what does this have to do with blogging?
Right now, I’ve taken a week away from work to relax and get back on track, due to jump straight back into some crazy shoot somewhere in Liverpool Monday morning. Before this, I was running on empty and I wanted to rest, simple as that. Now I’ve had my time, space and capacity to so, I find it easy to sit down and start blogging. For a while, I felt super guilty for ignoring something I was so so passionate about for so long. Having taken a step back and truly realised how much I am already doing, accepting the negative aspects and seeing how much I do accomplish, I think it’s about time to say hey girl, you’re doing great – don’t sweat it, you will get it done when you’re good & ready.
Hopefully, I will be posting more regularly now I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug again but either way, I’d love to see you on Insta @aureliablush!