Shining Lights

I stand and look out of our kitchen window. Bare feet, cold on the whitewashed floorboards. Origami cranes hanging from the latch sway with my breath. My seedlings sit on the windowsill bending towards the light yearning for warmth, stretching up, as if trying to break the glass and reach the sky. I wonder if they will bare fruits for us. I stare out to the blue morning sky, the shaded grass, dew filled, fat and green. The salt wind just lifting the leaves on our new potatoes. If I squint I can just see the faery folk traipsing home after their nightly dance in the Elder tree, leaving behind them a trail of fresh green buds, a fat wood pigeon and a busy starling or two. Soon its branches will reach out across the grass by our back door, a friendly branch to keep our home safe and later provide some flowers for cordial for us and The Fae folk too. A rosy picture of our life.

credit: Arthur Rackham

credit: Arthur Rackham

A billion tiny miracles that fill my heart with joys; I’m standing, I’m looking. There is food and water at hand, imagination, hope and ancient wisdom in this land. A safe place and a roof that’s mine. A moment of mindfulness, calm and stillness. A moment of gratitude for the little things.

via: Adele Hope pinterest

via: Adele Hope pinterest

And I am reminded of this; I think therefore I am. My thoughts are all I can be certain of, therefore they are all that really matters. So I might as well make them positive and happy. That power is mine and mine alone. It is all I have to share with the world. With thanks to epilepsy and TMS I have learnt that even in the very darkest and saddest of moments there is always something beautiful to behold, something worth witnessing and showing up for. It truly is our strength not our weakness which frightens us most and if we can only let our lights shine it helps others to do the same. Choose Love.

shine by me

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Redefine Possible.

I’ve found it hard to start writing today. Procrastinating, avoiding… this blog has been such a source of comfort and support and today’s post feels a bit like a goodbye. It’s not, I’ll keep writing, but I’m getting further and further into the light…there is so much to see here that more often this blog is a treat, rather than a necessity for me now…

credit: David Butali on Flickr

credit: David Butali on Flickr

and breath and back up…this blog is basically a journal of my story so far. It does not tell it all, nothing can ever show all of something, but is a record of this time in my life… this post is a summary of where I came from and where I am now.

All my life I have been angry. Inexplicably furious, with my family, friends and most especially with myself. It tore through me, ripped at my heart and gauged out my eyes. Frustration is my best friend and constant companion. The world was confusing and scary. I saw things, I missed things, partial sentences a….the school……the ste….day…..away with the fa….what? WHAT WAS GOING ON?! I became the world’s best ‘Coper’ I hid my confusion, covered it up with lies, false smiles and forced concentration. I became so good at being un-confusable that even I stopped being able to tell it was a lie. I lied till I no longer knew my own truth.I held back as much anger as I could, often it boiled over leaving a trail of smashed plates and butter-dishes, dripping in shame and guilt. I sucked my thumb, I got blinding headaches and night-cramps. I curled up in bed and screamed silently into my pillow. I was fine. I was FURIOUS.

credit Mya

credit Mya

At 15years old, I was diagnosed with epilepsy. Things made sense. I simply had to take my ‘coping strategies’ up a notch and I was fine. I was still furious. But fine. I changed schools several times. When I left school at 18yrs the first pains started. A ‘neck spasm’, back ache, a ‘bad-position’. Slowly these ‘pains’ became more frequent. At 22, I’d had to leave to university places due to epilepsy related events, the pain got worse. About once a month my back would ‘go’. I’d have to take a week out. I started seeing Doctors. A few years later I was involved in an employment discrimination case. My Epilepsy became MUCH worse. Six months after this my back pain became disabling and chronic. That was a year ago now. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t move. Scribbled on the top of a notebook dated 13/2/13 I wrote Please Please Please let me be able to hug my husband tonight…hugs where too painful… It is good to remember and write about this, it humbles me and reminds me of my strength. I started trawling the Doctors again. Drugs, epidural s and possible surgery where all on the cards. Slipped & herniated discs diagnosed. Endless physiotherapy giving only temporary relief. For months it continued. I was forced to leave a job I loved….days turned to weeks and weeks into months where I barely moved. Half my family live on the other side of the world in Colombia, a Dr told me long-haul flights where out of the question. I honestly thought I would never be able to visit them again.  I lost my trust in Doctors & surgeons. I started my own research….

FN

I found Liz Koch & Dr. Sarno, I learnt about TMS, I found Georgie Oldfield and slowly, very, very, exceptionally slowly I began to get better. It started with walking, just up stairs on my own to begin with. Standing in a shower on my own, doing the washing up, things I’d once taken fore-granted, chores became my daily achievements, my joy, my adrenaline-rushes. I started to learn about Mindfullness and Meditation and as I learnt I healed. I took less medication, for both pain and epilespy, I began to believe I could heal. I began to understand what living-in-gratitude really means. I started a gratitude-practice. I transformed my life, from the bottom up. I moved house, I changed my priorities and focused whole-heartedly on a holistic vision of what it means to be healthy in every aspect of my existence.

Credit: Monique Willemsen

Credit: Monique Willemsen

A year on from finding out about TMS and I have just returned from a trip to Colombia to see my family… This trip  involved, jet-lag, walking, carrying, hiking, immense heat, altitude, sitting down for long-haul flights, 24hour journeys, dubious foods, a language barrier and medicinal differences. It is one of the biggest achievements of my life.

It was not entirely pain free and as I type I have some sciatica, but I am working on it. I believe in my ability to heal now. I never thought I’d be one of those people on TMS forums posting success stories, but here it is! If you are reading this and have chronic pain, I want to say to you even when it seems impossible, even when you are TOLD it is impossible, it is not. I’m the proof. I’m grateful for the opportunity TMS has given me to learn about my body, for the chance I’ve had to change my life and I am confident I will continue with more health and happiness than ever before. Thank you for all your support. One Love.

Happy with my shell and my life!

Happy with my shell and my life!

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All wrapped up in our bodies goo

Today is beautiful. I have no pain. A glorious realisation of JOY! After all the storms the sky seems washed clean and the sea’s calmed its thrashing. The savage winds have dropped to a breeze and I can hear birdsong. I slept well and for some reason a poem or perhaps a song I learnt as a teenager jumps into my mind. I can’t remember who it’s by, probably some indie 90s  singer.

on joy

credit: booksandwich.blogspot.com

It is from a time before I even knew the word epilepsy. I was 13, maybe 14. At that time I wished I’d been born when Kurt Cobain was alive. I revelled in teenage angst, self-loathing and intense crushes on slightly older, geeky guys, who, OBVIOUSLY, where in bands, sang about suicide and rolled spliffs faster than I could say marijuana. I had green Doc-Martens and jeans so baggy about five other legs could’ve fitted inside. The NME was my Bible and every penny was saved for CDs from HMV. Alarming similarities can be found between My Mad Fat Diary and my actual real life circa 1998.

teenage me

This is the poem. Cheesy. 90s.  Teenage happiness that still make me smile today.

I think that I have never seen

An organ stranger than a spleen.

It’s purpose odd and quite obscure

Perhaps it helps to keen us pure,

All wrapped up in our bodies goo

You’ve other stuff inside it’s true

I’m glad you’ve got such things inside

‘Cos the world is nice with you alive!

Smells Like Spleen Spirit!

Smells Like Spleen Spirit!

 

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Healing Hurdles

The waves crash and hiss, crunching pebbles that here never seem to turn to sand, tumbling stones sucked from under my feet, my boots sucked down and released with a squelch. I look out over the swelling horizon, trying to sync my breath with the crash and hiss, watching my belly rise with the waves. On and on, crash, hisss, crash, hisss, an endless dance of water and earth a game that I am temporarily part of, my boots a battle-ground, first taken by water and then by the earth.

waves

I am procrastinating, seeking the healing power of the elements, distracting myself with the tide. Imagining all the creatures also listening to that crash and hisss, the elephants on far off shores, whales sounding in the deep, men on ships, on beaches and in the air, all listening with me; crash, hisss, crash, hisss, crash…….I am avoiding my truth, perhaps my final hurdle on this journey and it’s a big one.

sea

I’ve been thinking about it for over a week now. I’ve got more pain than I’ve had for months, it’s lasted all week. It’s got worse. A constant stabbing in my side, burning down my leg. My whole body is bruised, stuck, my joints all screeching their frustration with me. I’ve resisted the stronger drugs, choosing to slow down and listen instead.

me

This nawing, nagging nugget of truth I want to speak of but am ashamed, embarrassed and fearful of…the fact is, I hardly dare whisper it…I am nearly WELL…and this single fact terrifies me. It is infact terrifying me so much that it has/is making me sick again and giving me pain…

There is not a single part of me that wants to keep this pain in my life. However, for a year now, it has, despite my best efforts, defined alot of my life. It has changed my life. Loosing it open the door to the question of ‘What if…’ What if I am well? What if I go back to fulltime work? What if I can’t get a job? What if I got a job and then experience more discrimination? What if I get sick again? What if next time I can’t heal? What if next time my relationships don’t survive it? What if next time I don’t survive it?! What and  if………..the two most terrifying words for me today and the fact is, that if pain remains, then I don’t have to face the What or the If.

Since this thought has occured to me it’s as though my body has been saying shhh it’s OK, see you still have LOTS of pain, you’re not well…it’s OK, no need to think What and If… well, I don’t want to listen to that body anymore. My beloved Godfather, a wise-fellow, once told me that anything worth doing is scary. If it doesn’t scare you then it’s probably not worth it. Well this is terrifying me, I am shaking as I type. Perhaps because achieving holistic health & wellness, in body AND mind is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THERE IS and therefore it’s scary as hell!

alive

Today I choose to accept this fact. I choose honesty. I choose positivity. I choose to know TMS does not own me. I choose life and I choose love. I choose love. I choose love. Do you hear me body?! I CHOOSE LIFE AND LOVE.

pinterest

 

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