Emotional Challenge

By far and I mean FAR the biggest challenge I face is a mental and emotional one. Something Doctors totally fail to realise. It is not the pain, not the ‘conditions’ themselves. The diagnoses: Two slipped discs, one herniated disc (That’s 3 prolapses folks!), sciatica, juvenile myclonic epilepsy and neuralgia might be the root cause of my challenge but they are by no means the worst of it.

I read through my blog, again and again. I count every ‘like’. I think of every friend and relative who has visited me, called me. I look at every picture. I scoure the web for resources and positive stories. I look out of the window and try to see the glory in the forget-me-notts and the blue-tits nesting. I save every message of love and support. I tell my husband every bit of positivity I can find. Yet I’m still choked up, I’m full of exhausted tears.

change

I am only 28years old and yet looking after me was recently likened to someone who is 82! Over the last few months the life I have known has steadily disappeared before my eyes. ‘Managing epilepsy’ for so long has meant that perhaps I am closer to ‘the edge’ than others. My spinal injury seems like the final straw. WHY me? I think. Have I not done enough, handled enough, am I not enough?!

Enough

Ultimately this is why I can never totally believe in the Christian God. I believe in energy, in nature, in Gaia and the earth goddesses. Nature is cruel and hard and real. Natures energy passes from one thing to another, it shows no mercy and favours no one nor anything. It is a higher power than I, worthy of fear and worship. I stand humbled at the alter of Gaia not of Jesus.

Gaia music

I have always loved being a super busy active person. Previously I never let anything stop me. I have always been social, loved meeting new people and creating community events wherever I’ve lived. As I can’t drive because of Epilepsy I have always walked everywhere. Now I can’t do that.

Bashing the keyboard hard today feels good. Take it out on the page, show people what problems with my spine really mean. To not be able to go anywhere has been one of the hardest things that has ever happened to me. I can’t pop over and see friends, I can’t organise anything, I can’t go to a cinema, salon, restaurant, park, I can’t go on holiday, I can’t go anywhere new in-case I can’t lie down, I can’t go on buses, trains, aeroplanes…I can rhyme! I am totally reliant on other people to visit me, to take me to appointments. My darkest fear is that this injury is going to prevent me from being able to have and care for children…

dont

When I was diagnosed with epilepsy I remember thinking I should set a life goal. It was this: To find a loving husband and have healthy children and be able to make enough to support ourseleves independently, healthily forever. That is still it. That is all I want, all I have ever wanted. I have the husband bit, is it greedy to want the rest?

I feel that I am becoming a burden, something merely on people’s ‘to-do’ list, I can’t bear the thought that I can’t go and meet them or help them out. That is so painful a thought it actually burns my mind but I want to write down. Following this I also want to take a minute to refer people back to my blog where I wrote about how to not say the wrong thing.

I know these things are meant with love, but they are the wrong things to say. I got a wonderful email today all it said was “you are amazing. xxxx” It was the perfect thing to say and made my day. Thank you.

believe

My husband just appeared with a new Swiss ball for me. WOWNESS I ACTUALLY SAT ON IT! IT HELPED. He is a mind-reading hero. I am so blessed. Feel so much better writing this all down. I can breathe again. Off for a picnic in the garden which we’re going to pretend is the beach. Dream on. Choose Happiness. Choose Real Friends. Choose Love, One Love.

friends

 

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I choose Positivity

Today has been another hard one and I’m getting really tired of it. My brain is aching so all I’m going to do is collect together some positivity and wisdom from minds far greater than mine. Read them, look at them, listen to them, soak it up, meditate and believe in the power of my body to heal. I have done so much research my brain in ringing with it. My dreams are full of spinal drawings, discs, hernitations and prolapses. Soon I hope. Until then, I choose One Love. I choose positivity.

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Set Backs

Yesterday was a good day, infact most of the week has been good it has been easier to be positive. That was until out of the blue last night around 6pm things started to go downhill. I developed a constant deep ache on my right side, sciatica down my right leg and then shooting pains around my pelvis, hip and through my pelvic floor muscles, I filt sick and dizzy, my brow beaded with sweat.

I had to be helped up stairs, helped to get into bed, helped to go to the loo…. It was exhausting and terrifying. How am I supposed to know if this is normal for spinal injuries? I am trying so hard, but the fact is it’s pretty terrifying. I cried that I wanted Valium. I am SO tired of this. I just want it to stop. I haven’t walked more than half a km in over two months, I haven’t been anywhere except Doctors on my own for over two months! Surrounded by hot water bottles, I sung childrens songs I know to distract myself, did breathing excersises, Juan sung a Krishna chant to me as tears rolled down both our faces. I recited the names of all the gods and goddesses I can think of, visualised myself at Bantham. Slowly it started to work, the spasms lessened, my breathing eased, I didn’t take valium. Finally, with the help of rescue remedy, Neals Yard Relaxation oils, ibuprofen and paracetamol sleep found me. Today is better than last night, but I am weakened, I ache alot more and the excersises which have been so relieving are not so today. This morning I sent an email to my wonderful physio, who despite it being bank-holiday emailed me straight back with a message full of reassurance, which is largely all I needed. I am proud I haven’t succumed to drugged numbness and proud that I am smiling and laughing with my husband today.

Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. -Joseph Campbell

Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, “This is what I need.” It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment—not discouragement—you will find the strength there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege!! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow. Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes. -Joseph Campbell

 

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Discovering Alexander Technique

I arrived in Brighton for my introduction to the Alexander Technique in the worst possible state.

I was nervous about the session. I have tried so many doctors over the years, seen so many therapists, that starting something new, whilst interesting and hopeful also rekindled old fears and worries. Mostly things I usually ignore, but faced with a new person, random and forgotten fears rattled around inside me. All of this combined with heat(finally UK!!), Brighton weekend traffic, diversions, the lack of a map, BURSTING for a wee…and the fact that my husband was driving… turned my arrival into a scene of such marital-bliss I would’ve given any soap-actress a run for her money! On reflection I feel pleased that, I at least kept my arms and legs inside the moving vehicle at all times and also managed NOT to commit G.B.H to anyone that I love or myself…and thank the universe my husband is the worlds most patient man….I am blessed. (Top Tip: If you, like me are prone to outbursts of mega-stressy-mental-case-irrational-no-one-except-a-baboon-might-comprehend-you-outbursts-random-crying-etc marry a Latino they are CH-I-LLED OUT!)

Marital Bliss

Marital Bliss

So from this charming scene I burst chaotically into the Alexander Technique Brighton studio to meet Mark Claireaux (M.S.T.A.T.). Sweating, dropping my bag, phone ringing as I entered….Mark was very friendly and most importantly CALM. The whole studio felt very peaceful and had an immediately calming effect on me. Mark talked quietly to me about exactly what the Alexander Technique does. He observed how I walked, how I sat and moved and he asked me to observe my own body too, placing a hand on the back of my neck as I moved from sitting to standing, I noticed my neck muscles tightening and flexing painfully.

Mark talked about how toddlers are much more free in their bodies than adults and we can learn from that. Much of what he talked to me about reminded me of some Cognitive Behaviour Therapy I’ve had. Ideas of letting go of fear and tension which we hold in our bodies ran through much of the discussion. It was also about listening to my body, in a still and mindful way, learning to get my head, neck, spine and pelvis to work together. I found it fascinating, different to any ‘excersie’ I’ve done before and I also saw links into aspects of Liz Koch’s work on Core Awareness which I have recently been studying.

Mark worked with me in the Constructive Rest Pose. Mark told me during this time to ‘Accpet’ any pain I had and not to try. This was a tremendously relieving thought and I became aware of just how hard I have been trying. Trying that hard is simply exhausting. When I stood up he asked me How I felt? Reflecting on my experience there I was amazed to reply that I felt much better. I felt more grounded, stronger, straighter and in less pain. I feel like I actually did very little and yet alot at the same time.

Constructive Rest

Constructive Rest

In the course of the last year I have been to see GPs, Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Osteopaths, Anesthetists, Cranial Osteopaths, Dental Surgeons, Chiropractors, Acupuncturists and probably some more I can’t think of! This was the first treatment other than Physiotherapy that I have left feeling, calm, positive and stronger. I am looking forward to continuing to work in the Constructive Rest Pose and I think that the Alexander Technique could compliment my yoga practice in the future too. It is an achievement to have sought out another treatment for myself that the fancy-pants consultants haven’t told me about and I would recommend anyone  else in pain and interested to have a go! You never know what you’ll find till you try. One Love.

Finding my way down different paths.

Finding my way down different paths.

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