Alot of people feel that 2019 was a crappy year. It had some pretty crappy, soul wrenching, internal screaming and extreme frustration amongst other things for me. It has also had some good bits. It was definitely a year of growth for me. I finally came to the realisation that can be best summed up as : ” You wouldn’t walk around wearing tight shoes or shoes that are too big for you, right? So why would you hold onto relationships, things and ideas if they don’t fit. You’re not a tree. Move. Says me who is just now attempting to do this. Still. If it doesn’t fit, move on. If it’s toxic. Move on really quickly!
In the first half of the year I really battled with being over medicated by a doctor who didn’t even understand my pain levels. I went into a very dark place. A place where I woke up with anxiety attacks. Through speaking to my psychologist I started realising that some of the medication I was on (I was on 12 different meds specifically from this doctor alone) was actually causing depression. So here I was a complete wreck. I decided that I have to take back my life. (Not the first time I had to do it so I knew I had alot of hard work ahead). I did the work. Stumbling along but eventually I crawled out of the abyss I had been straddling. This was not my only battle.
I had so many different battles in different realms. I wish I could say my health improved dramatically. Unfortunately as the last half of the year proved my Lupus has ramped up. The regular flares. The flare that had me hospitalised for 9 days. Honestly, this is scary. I’ve been more sick than well for the last part of the year.
I’ve started with the pain management clinic. I had the pain block epidural for my neck (see previous blog posts). I am meant to have them every three months. I was afraid, after the last one I really suffered for a long time, my body just couldn’t physically handle the one due in the first week of December . I will resume treatment in the new year. I will also be having a rhizotomy on my SI joint area. So lots of procedures coming my way. Dear Lord. Not looking forward to it. It really takes a toll on my body.
Our medical aid contacted us and offered me a free treatment plan for my spine. I’ve decided to take them up on their offer. So it’s a twelve week programme that includes biokinetics and stuff. Anyone who knows me knows I hate exercise (except Yoga). I don’t understand people who run. I only run if someone is chasing me!!!!! I am so glad that as per my rheumatologist I am only allowed to walk and swim in a heated pool. It’s the best excuse ever when people want me to exercise for fun. So let’s see what happens with this programme. I will definitely be blogging about it. Who knows it might be very beneficial.
I’m going to be making some lifestyle changes. Some big, some small. I’m not putting them out there yet. I’m not calling them New Year Resolutions. Just things I want to do. I might do it. I might not. I might try and fail. I will absolutely talk about it in my blogs. The biggest change will be putting myself first. The #mefirst movement has already started. Thank you to those who contacted me regarding the post. Let’s stay in touch and make sure we are sticking to #mefirst! I need you to keep me on track too!
I have the propensity to give people too many chances. My husband sat with me after I had been hurt one too many times. We agreed about the toxicity. He said that I was ignoring obvious signs. I was ignoring the type of people I was dealing with. No more. It was really hard. I battled with being a good person and forgiving. Turning the other cheek. That is who I was but people treat you the way you allow them to treat you. I knew this. It finally clicked. The execution of this is the hard part for me though. This time my husband helped me stick to it and reminded me of who and what I was dealing with. He reminded me of my self worth. Why allow some people to shirk this strong belief. What did they do to deserve it? In fact where abhorrent behaviour was displayed why was I even entertaining any kind of relationship?
Coming to Cape Town. Going on holiday with my family. Having chats and check ins by friends and family who love me. Just the immense amount of love, attention and such consideration and respect these people show me, reminded me of how people who love you are supposed to act.
I have, after extending myself so much to the betterment of certain people in my life come to realise how unhealthy these relationships have been. I ignored the pain. I ignored the signs. I took it on the chin. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. To love unconditionally. Whether I was loved in return or not was not important because I was responsible for my own behaviour right? Wrong!
What a dumbass. It took a whole year but finally through a series of events I came to see the truth. Painful yes, but never did I think that it would feel so good to sever ties! I’m so grateful to my husband for enforcing it this time. Normally he would let me do my thing but he had become disgusted and angry with some really abhorrent behaviour. No more. He felt that these were people who would never change and didn’t know how to be authentic or see the world or life the way we did.
I felt stupid but I knew I had stayed true to who I was, it was just with the wrong people. I didn’t feel bad for loss because the best part was that I made new authentic connections. The universe made it clear. Out with the toxic and in with the amazing! People I actually connected with on an mentally stimulating, cosmic and emotional level. Relationships that flourished into sisterhoods and brand new ones where we just immediately got each other on such a deep level. People who understood my vision. People you may see me doing collaborations with soon! They’ve been like a Christmas tree. I’m just opening gift after gift around this tree. Exciting stuff!
I’m excited for the new year! Going into it with the #mefirst movement at the forefront of mind. Going forth with people who genuinely want to see me succeed. People who want to be a part of the movement or the many iniatives I have planned for this year. New relationships and continued growth of the amazing ones I have. I have some damn amazing women in my life. From friends to family to friends who have become family. I also have amazing men in my life. I have amazing family. I am blessed.
A special thank you to my soul sister Anna Mc Alpine. My sounding board, my confidant, my cheerleader but most importantly my soul sister. Bizarrely we share so many similarities like medical issues as well as other traits! Like for real sisters! Our lives were forever changed when we met the Mc Alpines. Our Johannesburg family. Amazing people. My Godson Jarod who I watched turn from an amazing kid into an amazing young man is my unicorn. I’m putting it into the universe for 2020. I want to be healthy enough to visit them in Brisbane, Australia. It’s so overdue.
I have so many things planned for this year. I’ve found things that make me happy and passionate. Yes, I was put on long term disability. Coming to terms with this was a process on its own. Something I will talk about in a future blog as it is something that needs to be spoken about. My psychologist’s fear was around my mental health if I was going to be put on disability. Not anymore. She is very happy about my new ventures in lupus awareness. The different platforms I want use. Most of all this blog.
This blog has brought me immense joy. Never did I think it would blow up like it has. Thank you to everyone who has supported me. A special thank you to those of you who believe in me enough to share the blog. You have not just shared my blog you have raised awareness about Lupus and Fibromyalgia and for that I thank you.
I’m astounded when I look at the stats! I have readers from 25 different countries! How amazing is that? I was sitting on 3300+ views after just 3 months! It’s beyond my comprehension. This has inspired me so much. At one point my little brother asked me how many views I was on. When I responded with “2500+” he reminded me that I had said when I hit 2000 views I would start a YouTube channel. I had totally forgotten! I had thought it would happen in like 6 months or something, not 2 months! He has been on me about it for a while so I said “In the new year” so let’s see what happens with that. I love that he loves my blog. As a typical teenager he thinks everything is boring but he actually enjoys reading my blog! What a compliment! You know.. teenagers.
More importantly these stats translates into awareness for me. It means I’m getting the word out. That’s exactly what I want to do. It’s time to do more and take this further. I have been working on plans to do just that. 2020 will be the start of serious dedication to Lupus Awareness and to really getting out there and giving people with Lupus a voice. We will be heard. Not far behind will be fibromyalgia, chronic pain and illnesses as well as mental health. Yes I want to save the world as usual. I can hear my husbands voice. *facepalm*
For this year we switched it up. I spent. New Year’s Eve with my family. We’ve decided to do a Thanksgiving. Yes this year has been hellish but there has been movement and growth for us as a family. Things to be thankful for including being thankful for having each other. Like most families mine drive me nuts. Often. Bunch of crazies. But I love them all. They love me. It’s authentic. I’m mindful that not everyone has this. I am thankful. Sometimes I think we should take time out to be thankful more often. Even for the little things. Acknowledge the good things that have happened and are happening. Something as small as getting the perfect seat by the window on the plane or whatever. I’m going to consciously try to get better at this.
My lupus was flaring and I attended NY festivities in my comfy pants and my gown. Zero make up. I will be more open about the disease and what it actually looks like. I will allow for days where I don’t pretend to be okay and “let it all hang out”. New Year’s eve was one such day. I couldn’t get dressed up. I couldn’t put on make up and hide how I look. I was just too fatigued. My hair looked like a rats nest. Creatures live in there. This is me on a not so great day. Yes. I feel sick and tired of being sick and tired. I mean really. On holiday. On new years eve. Like bloody hell give me a break! It feels like a literal monkey on my back! Go away already! Ugh. I’m not going to let this crap dictate my mood. It may restrict me getting all dressed up but this funsnatcher will not win all the time! I had to dissapear a few times to go and lay down because my lupus was throwing a tantrum.
Thank you again for following or glimpsing into my life. I hope you continue this journey with me in the new year. I really hope you become part of the #mefirst movement! I also hope you help spread lupus awareness and spread this blog. You never know who might need it.
Wishing you a blessed, incredibly amazing year ahead. May you make the right connections that feed your soul and be surrounded people who will uplift you and embrace you with positive energy. Here’s to authentic relationships and prosperity in all areas of our lives in 2020!