Thursday, 22 January 2015

Book Recomedation: One Million Lovely Letters

Something a little different from me today, I don't usually do book reviews, this isn't really a review anyway, more of a recommendation. The book in question is One Million Lovely Letters by Jodie Ann Bickley. I first found out about Jodie about a year ago on Twitter. Then last autumn, I heard she was on Surprise Surprise so as a fellow ME sufferer, I tuned in to find out more about her and her project, One Million Lovely Letters. [You can check out the site here]
After hearing her story I immediately fell in love with her and put her book, One Million Lovely Letters on my Christmas list. I was lucky enough to receive it and last week I started reading her book. It only took me two days to read it and is fairly short but I really really enjoyed reading it and found it uplifting and inspiring yet interesting, entertaining and easy to read. 
I found it really relatable too, not just because we both have ME but because she really is just an ordinary girl with a very big heart who wants to make people happy and the world a better place. 
I won't give away any spoilers, you'll have to read the book yourself (!!) but I think everyone could learn something from Jodie's story, whether you have the same illness or not. 
If you've not already read this book, I wholeheartedly recommend that you grab yourself a copy and give it a read.

Have you read One Million Lovely Letters? If so, what did you think?
Wednesday, 14 January 2015

I'm Back!

Sooo.. It's been a while. As you all know, this illness is unpredictable and it sure has been kicking my butt the past few weeks. The end of 2014 wasn't great for me. For the past 8 years I have suffered from bad anxiety and at the end of 2013 I made the decision to come off of my anxiety medication. All was going well anxiety-wise until October last year and it just got worse and worse from there onwards. This is definitely the worst my anxiety has ever been and I'm not sure why it came back, I think maybe me not being at college had a part to play in it but I guess we'll never know. I was having panic attacks at least once a day, having nightmares, not eating properly and not sleeping well at all. I mostly get anxious during the night and I think because it's winter and it is darker for longer, my anxiety is around for longer too. I'm not sure what it is, the dark just makes me feel more closed in and claustrophobic. 
In December I went back on my anxiety medication and I think it's finally starting to work, I'm definitely feeling a lot more relaxed and sleeping better. My eating isn't back to normal but I think that could just be my M.E. 

Sidenote: I'd just like to point out that before I started taking medication again, I tried a lot of other things, meditation, herbal tea, herbal tablets and remedies, aromatherapy, relaxing baths etc. 

Being chronically ill has suddenly really got to me. Maybe I took it too well to start with and am now having a delayed reaction? I'm not sure but Christmas Day was one of the worst days ever for me, in hindsight I shouldn't of done so much beforehand (I had a friend round on Monday, doctors on Tuesday, Christmas Eve busy-ness on Wednesday so naturally on Thursday I was pooped). I had been feeling pretty bad for the past couple of weeks. 

On Christmas morning I went downstairs to open my presents and have breakfast, all was fine, I mean, I felt ill and was exhausted but I thought I'd be okay. After presents I needed to go back upstairs to rest and this was when it got bad [just writing/thinking about it isn't nice]. My heart started to beat really fast, which for me is a sign of total exhaustion. I lay in bed for about half an hour before I felt like I was going to be sick so made my way to the bathroom. Two hours later and I was still sitting on the bathroom floor feeling sick, weak, exhausted, dizzy and many more things, I'd be here all day if I listed everything! I soon realised that I wasn't going to feel any better any time soon so had to make the decision to stay home whilst the rest of my family (apart from my mum who stayed with me). At the time, I honestly didn't care that it was Christmas Day, I just wanted to feel better so went to bed to rest. 
I can honestly say Christmas Day was one of the worst I've ever felt. I was so nauseous, it was painful and I am now so gutted that I missed out on christmas - anyone who knows me, knows how utterly obsessed I am with christmas! I was extremely light sensitive too (hence the glasses) 

For the past year me and my mum have been planning my dad a surprise birthday party for his 50th birthday which was on New Years Eve. The party was at home and I managed it quite well but struggled a lot with being around a lot of people and it being really loud. I was downstairs for a little while, perhaps not as long as I would of liked but considering how I was on Christmas Day, I'm pleased with what I managed. 

I've never really faced anything before that determination and hard work didn't fix so it's quite hard to still be ill and struggling after 4 years. Especailly when family members make comments about 'how long this has been going on for' - as if I'm not aware of it myself!

I've been feeling down because last year I managed so much at Christmas and even in January, I managed quite a lot too. It's upsetting to of gone backwards and hard not to compare previous years - even though I try not to!

So, that's what's been going on. I feel like I went quite deep there! (Lol) I am now getting back on track (slowly) and feeling a lot better than I was. As far as New Years Resolutions go, I haven't really made any apart from to keep up with the little bit of walking I've been doing with my mum every evening. Don't get too excited, it's not much, just down our road a little way but so far I've been doing it for 3 months and have only missed a few really bad days. 

I've also been trying to introduce some stretching back into my routine as my legs have been feeling extra sore. Back in the summer/autumn, I was doing some more exercises suggested to me by the lady I saw for physio so ideally I'd like to build back up to doing that again (although I'm in no rush). I'd also like to give yoga/Pilates a go and meditate more during 2015. I've been using this video as a guide for stretching. 

Hopefully I'll be blogging a bit more regularly now, and I'll be sure to keep you updated if anything exciting happens. 
Let me know if there are any posts you'd like to see me do, I'd always love some more ideas. 

Lots of love, Chloe x