This is the year I save my life.
I know that may sound pretty drastic and extreme, but my current health issues have reached a point where drastic and extreme action is exactly what I need to recover.
I’ve been wanting to blog about my journey back to life again for some time, but I have never felt quite confident enough to go for it. I know that there are many health-conscious souls in my community, and in a way…I have been scared to share this ‘flawed’ part of myself in case I’m judged, or people change their opinion of me.
What I need more than ever, right now, is accountability. As I’m not an overly social person, I feel that staying accountable to blogging about my journey may just give me the momentum I need to keep going (and hopefully, inspire others who may be in a similar situation, too).
So…this part of my website is all about my journey back to health.
What exactly is wrong with me, you may be thinking?
My health issues are not life-threatening, however they are serious, debilitating, and often misunderstood.
Here is my story, in the smallest nutshell I can possibly fit it into…
I grew up as a healthy, happy child, in a healthy, happy home.
When I was 16, I came down with glandular fever. My life has never been the same again.
I was really sick with the fever. I had to stay off school for a whole year, pretty much bed-ridden. I remember having my assignments sent home for me to work on, which I attempted amongst the extreme bouts of fatigue and pain.
Although the fever left after a year, I didn’t feel myself. I was told it would take time, and I had to learn to pace myself.
Life carried on, until it came crashing to a halt just before my 18th birthday. Two major events in my life coincided, and were the catalysts for my life-long struggle with depression and anxiety.
I lost my beloved grandmother in the May, and just a couple of months later, my father was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, and given up to three years to live.
Ever since those events, I have battled with depression, anxiety, and post-GF symptoms that were blanketed under the label of ‘ME’ (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
I’ll spare you the entire story (I may write it all one day though, in more detail) – but my symptoms include…
- Daily extreme fatigue (most days, it’s nearly unbearable)
- Non-allergic rhinitis (severe congestion, sinus headaches, sore throat)
- Regular swollen glands, and sore throat
- Muscular and joint pain
- Chills, difficulty controlling my temperature, and cold hands and feet
- Brain fog / difficulty concentrating
- Dizziness (caused by chronic fluid in my ears)
- Weight gain (poor diet)
Alongside the physical symptoms, the mental torture of depression and anxiety is sometimes difficult to cope with (I will be expanding on this a lot in future posts). I first saw a psychiatrist and psychologist shortly after my dad’s diagnosis (I was 18, I’m 31 now), and I was prescribed pretty hardcore antidepressants. I’ve been on and off various antidepressants ever since, and am currently taking Sertraline (Zoloft) and Propanalol (beta blocker).
Fortunately, I have a fantastic doctor who helps me manage my mental health, although most days are still a struggle.
As I’ve learned to cope with these issues over the last twelve years, I purposely set my business up so that it doesn’t impact the integrity of my work. I no longer ‘do’ deadlines, I overestimate how long it will take me to do things, and I don’t offer things I know I’ll find it difficult to deliver on. In other words: I know myself, and I know my limits.
However – there’s SO much more I want to do. I want to make a much bigger impact with my work…but I know my body and mind have to be as up for the challenge as my soul is.
So…this is my year of recovery. Here’s what I’m working towards (for extra accountability):
- Weight loss: 8.5 stone
- Ideal body fat percentage: 30%
- Ideal body hydration percentage: 50%
- Ideal BMI: 24.1
I’m currently losing weight with Slimming World, and I’m hopefully about to achieve my first stone award (if you’ve never heard of SW, it’s a healthy eating plan that emphasises vegetables, fruit, lean meat/poultry, and in general a more wholesome way of cooking and eating).
Although I don’t have any known food allergies or intolerances, I’m so convinced that many of my health issues are being made worse by gluten and dairy. After having spent most of my life eating and drinking gluten and dairy, right now it feels pretty overwhelming of where to even start (although I have a suspicion it’s not really that hard, but the stories I tell myself in my head are what’s making it overwhelming!).
So there you have it. My story in a nutshell…and what I’m trying to achieve.
As I said earlier in the post, this part of my blog is mainly for my own accountability – however if anyone would like to follow along and share advice or stories, I’d be really grateful of the company!