29 November 2013

Dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome as a teen // Part Two

Carrying on from Part one of my post (here) I decided I had to go to college, of course, because that's what all your friends are doing, so you must do as they do, right? 
I went to college, but I was still an emotional wreck and the simplest of tasks like getting the train on my own in the morning turned me into a mess let alone getting into class. I loved doing the work because I love publishing, design and photography but my heart wasn't truly there and my head certainly was not prepared to do any of it, let alone attempt to make friends. In my head I really wanted to be in college and experience everything my friends were but my body just was not with me. I found my muscles were getting worse and any walking absolutely killed me. I once came home from a bootsale and was in so much pain I couldn't walk, I had to crawl to the lounge in tears for my mum (yep, like the rugrats) 
I decided to drop out, and I felt like the biggest failure, I was embarrassed. I cried every day for pretty much a week because I was scared I was ruining my life. An illness was ruining my life and there was nothing, absolutely nothing I could do to control any of it. I turned 17
and I decided I was going to take a year out and just let myself chill out. I had so much stress for 2 years at school, I had pressured myself to go to college and I really needed to just take some time out. I'm one of these people that cannot just do nothing, that's why I felt like a loser failure for dropping out of college first of all. I decided to start my driving lessons and focus on something I enjoyed. I volunteered at a charity shop (loved that) and poured my time into blogging and writing. This is when I really found my love for blogging and I properly took the time, I found the more time I was taking to just 'wake-up and live' the less anxious I felt and I could go out and do more tasks. I was having a positive outlook on everything because I was finally doing things that made me happy without people making passive, un-knowledgeable comments about my health. One thing I absolutely despise is when people comment "Oh, so you're always tired?" because it's more than that, way more. More then words can describe. Even now I really do not know how to explain to someone what I feel when they ask me what m.e is. It's one of those things where until you have walked in those persons shoes you really do not know how they feel. I found CBT didn't help me so I decided to explore other avenues. I went on the lightning course, which I'm not going to comment on. I also went to a homeopath which is a little controversial but I found it helped me. I learnt what foods had an affect on my energy levels and what foods and drinks were not agreeing with my body to put it simply. I cut out pretty much 80% of my normal diet and ate clean. For the first time in years I felt myself getting better and I continued. This is truly how I found my way back to my 'almost healthy path' It's also how I lost the weight but It really wasn't the main bonus for me, I just wanted the old healthy me back. I passed my theory test first time (yay) and then shortly after took my driving test and also passed first time round, double yay. In a strange way this also helped me feel better because it forced me to focus my mind on achieving something, for the first time I had learnt how to do something and succeeded without having rude comments about 'oh you're here' being thrown my way. It gave me independence and I slowly found myself venturing out shopping on my own. I'm still shocked now that I just go out shopping on my own when a year ago I would never have even dreamt of it.
I also found the courage to force my booty to some blog events this year, which I always used to avoid from being to scared and nervous, I've met some amazing bloggers (you lovely lot know who you are) and had lovely evenings with them. 

After the year out, September came around again and this time I decided to try college again. This time I was determined and in the right frame of mind to do this. 
It took me a long time to be happy with my decisions that I made. Through out school and the year out I felt constantly judged and low. If I ever did muster up the courage and strength to go in I would be met with "oh you're in" comments because nobody knew what I was experiencing or were just pure ignorant idiots. 
The other thing that helped me improve was just not caring about what people think. It really makes the world of difference, wear what ever the hell you want to wear and just do you. If you're happy then that's truly what matters. I took a year out for my own health, mentally, physically, emotionally... everything. It did me the absolute world of good, and right now I think it's 100% the best thing I ever could have done for me, no-body else. Yeah, my friends are now a little ahead of me but I don't really care because I really was not ready, I just needed space to breathe. I probably wouldn't have agreed a year ago when I was crying in bed feeling like a failure for dropping out. 

In all honesty, I believe in fate. I've met an amazing group of people at college and I really love every single one of them. I never had that the year before because I just excluded myself from all situations, I was just empty and sad and totally lost at what I was doing in life. I've got myself a lovely little job and I'm studying what I want to do in my career, I'm trying to be independent and I'm still blogging. I slowly introduced light exercise which I found helped my muscle pain and I no longer need a 2-3 day recovery period to do anything or plan events. 
Yes, I still have low points. I still need 'bed' days or pj days, I just don't document it on Twitter or on my blog, because lets be honest- no-one has time for boring negativity. Sometimes I wake up for college and I just want to stay in bed because I'm just so low or sad or in so much pain with my legs but I've learnt to pull myself up, slap my hair in a ponytail and smile it off. Smiling really is the best medicine for me. One tip I do rate from a therapist is to act how you want to feel, if you want to feel happy then act it, look like it and think it and you will be it. Not in materials but emotionally. I cannot put into words how happy I am that I'm slowly grabbing my life back under my control, almost like a fisherman with his rod.  

I understand just how you're feeling and for anyone reading this who knows someone close to them then just be a shoulder and try to understand them because I really did not have this and it made me so much worse. The comments when you do finally get out and feel a little better knock you down to the ground so just try to understand and be there when you can because little things make the world of difference, believe me.

I don't want to put to many tips in these posts because in honesty, m.e like any illness is completely personal and I'm just speaking from my own personal experiences. I always used to feel alone in all this crap I was experiencing, I had my amazing parents but I didn't know how to deal with any of what was happening and needed someone my own age who understood, so if any of you want to talk in a non-cheesy cliche way, my email box is open. If any of you would like to email me, then please feel free. I would absolutely love to hear from anyone wanting any advice or a chat. My email is in my sidebar to the right. 

I honestly believe this has made me a stronger person, It's the worst thing I've ever gone through emotionally and I truly never thought I would find a way through it all and improve back to the healthy me who controlled my own body. I feel like I have completely 180'd in my views of life and I'm so much more positive in life and don't allow things to affect me, I see a way through it and I've learnt how to control my symptoms to an extent.

If there's anything anyone wants to know comment below, tweet or email me I'll be happy to reply, unless it's totally intrusive aha. 


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11 comments

  1. I can't remember if I commented on yesterdays post but I've read them both and can't imagine what it must have been like for you, especially at such a young age! I have a friend with M.E who had to drop out of Oxford for a year & it's really sad how people don't understand how much of an effect it has on all aspects of your life. I'm glad to see you are doing much better with it though! xx
    www.LaurasHaven.com

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    1. Thank's so much for reading my posts Laura, it means alot! that's sad to hear, I hope their ok. It's very true- it really affects your whole life xx

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  2. Hey girl! I read part one yesterday and was looking forward to part two :) I'm so glad to hear you're doing better! I'm going through much of the same, and I've been struggling with it for years already, finally my doctor figured to check me for m.e. I've been on sick leave from my work many months already and it is so sad! I don't know what to hope for though, whether they diagnose me with m.e (or something similar) or not, I still have all the symptoms and it's the worst because you can never explain why and people rarely understand. Because they only see you when you're feeling well enough to leave the house. I always try to look my best and I can understand it is hard for people to believe a person is sick when they're looking fine with well done makeup/hair and all that, but yeahhhh, wow, I just really appreciate your posts and I just wanted to let you know I understand you and I'm so happy to hear you're doing better!! Blogging has really been a big part of my life too after I've been staying at home so much, I really love it :)) Lots of love, Karla xx

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    1. Thanks so much for reading both posts Karla! I'm sorry to hear that, I completely understand. You want them to find something but if they do what will happen? Yes, I completely agree on the seeing people, I had that. People only see you when you finally feel 'half ok' and decent enough to go out so assume you're healthy and better but it's far from the case. I like you always try to look half decent by my hair/make-up to take away from looking ill so really understand!

      Thank you so much for a lovely comment and taking the time to read my posts.
      I hope you get some answers and start improving soon, you can always email me if you wish to chat! xx

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  3. I've recently moved to Uni and one of my flatmates suffers from Chronic Fatigue. This post really helped me to understand what she must be going through as before I didn't really know how to offer my support. Thanks for this!

    http://abigailalicex.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank's for the comment Abigail, glad it could help! xx

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  4. You have come so far and being ill sucks but you are stronger for it. I am so so so glad you are on the right track now and in a much better place physically and emotionally. Positivity is key. Thanks again for sharing your story xxx

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    1. Thank you so much Hayley, lots of love xx

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  5. You're such an amazing, strong and inspiring person. Keep on smilin'! x

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  6. Your blog is very good and interesting , Would you like to follow each other? (: Come follow me and I’ll follow back for sure !

    http://shoeeobsessionn.blogspot.com/

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