About M.E. // #May12BlogBomb

Hello everyone!

Today is a big day! If you didn't know, the 12th of May is awareness day for M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. 

There is a big movement called #May12BlogBomb in which a whole bunch of bloggers are spreading awareness about the conditions. Here's a little insight to my story . . .

2015 started out just like any other year; we rang in the New Year with celebrations and I made resolutions! Like everyone I was looking forward to a new beginning and I had high hopes for the year ahead. However, my health had different plans for me.

Around the second week of January, I started to feel a bit unwell. Nothing too bad at first, I just felt very out of sorts and under the weather. If you're a regular reader you'll know I keep a weekly series where I write a roundup of the week and Weekly Reflect #19 was the post I first I wrote about feeling unwell & blood tests. I'm so glad I documented the journey from the start as it helps me remember what happened when and it means I can look back on them! If you're interested, you can go back and read any of them on the Weekly Reflect label.

So what are my symptoms?

I have quite a long list of annoying symptoms but the ones at the top of that list are constant fatigue, aching muscles and joints, brain fog & sleeping problems.

Going from a being a typical, active 18 year old to being faced with pain and exhaustion at the simplest of tasks kinda hit me. Well, it would! I was slap bang in the middle of doing my A Levels, I had plans and goals and hobbies and then it all had to stop. Th best way I can describe it is it's as if someone has picked up a remote control and pressed pause on my life.

I haven't been able to attend school since that first week in January so my exams have had to take the back seat which I'm actually gutted about. I thrive on being productive and quitting is against my nature entirely.

I've been to countless doctors appointments, had a bunch of blood tests taken and seen a CFS/ME specialist. Months of symptoms and I still don't have a solid diagnosis. Why? 

1) There is no test for M.E., it can only be diagnosed once everything else has been ruled out.

2) Many doctors refuse to even acknowledge it.

It's a very frustrating situation to be in and awareness is essential!

Being chronically ill can feel quite trapping which makes it difficult to look to the future.

I want to share some things I've found make dealing with it all a bit easier!

- A lot of the time I'm guilty of focusing on what I can't do anymore but I know that's not a healthy mindset to have. Through learning mindfulness & meditation I'm figuring out how to control negative thoughts which has been a great help!

- Another thing that helps me immensely is talking to other people in the same situation. While family and friends do their best to understand, it's not really possible to fully grasp the pain and frustration unless you're the one having to go back to bed because you exhausted yourself getting washed and dressed, you completely lost all train of thought mid sentence or can't get to sleep because restless legs are a thing. If you are someone with a chronic illness, find others to chat to! Chatting to Sally was incredibly therapeutic to me -  she gave me such great advice and reassurance. Have a scroll through the hashtags on Twitter!

- Thirdly, I find the success of others to be a really powerful inspiration. Meg & Hayley- Eszti are two amazing people who inspire me all the time. I see their vlogs, hauls and outfit posts and think, "Wow, look at them being brilliant. I can do that too."

Well I hope that through this post I've given you a little insight into what it's like to be chronically ill! #May12BlogBomb is an attempt to raise some serious awareness so please get involved and share, tweet, retweet - all that jazz!

Any questions?

Thanks for reading,