Showing 3 Result(s)

What I would like to tell people with an invisible illness

I have not written a lot lately. I got on a nice schedule and was becoming so proud of myself because my stats were going up, and people were reading my blog. Then I started having “episodes” again that brought me low and have put me pretty much out of commission for a bit. I have issues related to an accident from fifteen years ago. My trauma was completely head related and invisible for the most part, unless I want to show you my bald spot and star-shaped scar. Because these issues are invisible, I deal constantly with people trying to downplay my issues and also try to act like they don’t exist because of the mentality that if they cannot see it, I must be making it up. Honestly, it sucks.
Having a TBI (traumatic brain injury) sucks, especially if your issues relating to it are not visible. I never had a migraine until my accident, and since my accident, I have had many. I have some really scary ones, and they inhibit me from leading a normal life sometimes. After my accident, I had trouble reading and typing. I wanted to be a writer. I had started writing a novel. One day, in an act of frustration, I deleted the whole thing. I took all of my writing journals from everything I had written in high school and college, even copies of things I had published and trashed them. I was so angry because I felt like I had lost my talents and was struggling because I was having issues in my college classes. I felt defeated. A lot of my friends and family did not understand what I was going through so I stopped talking about it. I had heard that a few people talked about me behind my back and acted like I made my problems up because they could not see or feel the frustration I felt. I had problems getting help because my lawyer for my accident was not a good advocate for me, and then after it was over, we did not have insurance. I tried to cover up my issues and move on. I would have problems and cover it up, often being called a flake in the process. However, I felt I was moving on with my life…until my relapse almost two years ago.

photo by Unsplash

The last two years have been really hard. I had built a business. I had planned on finally finishing my college education. I thought I was really hitting a new milestone. Then, it was like I was back to right after my accident. I had a lot of speech problems. I had episodes where I had no idea what was going on. It was scary as hell. I started being more honest about what was going on, and I do have a lot of support because of it.
However, there are those who still whisper about me behind my back. I had an awful episode last week where I basically had migraines, strange headaches, speech issues, and complete exhaustion for several days. I have been to the doctor and have visits with a doctor, a chiropractor, and another doctor this month. I am hoping to get some relief and some answers, but it is so frustrating. I have had a lot of bad luck with doctors, including my last neurologist who found a benign cyst on my brain but would not look into it further, nor answer my questions. To be honest, he was more concerned with my weight, than my brain. He even gave me meds to say as much.
Why am I saying all of this? I am sharing because I know that I am not the only one who suffers in silence. After fifteen years of suffering, I know now that I must be my own advocate. I know that it is frustrating when people try to “diagnose” you because they know someone who was this, and so you must be this….blah blah blah. I hate when people think you are faking it because they cannot see or feel what you are going through. I know what it is like to be depressed and never know for sure if you are depressed because of a chemical imbalance or out of sheer frustration because you just want your life back! I have all these dreams. I want to do so much more for my life, and I feel every time I start getting somewhere, there is my brain injury issues to muck it all up.
To put it simply, it all sucks. Somedays, it is hard to just get through the day. Somedays, it is hard to want to try at all or to believe that some day you might get to do all the things you want to do. I feel so powerless sometimes. I feel like this is consuming me. I feel alone. I feel like I am letting people down. I feel so tired. Most of all, I feel like a broken human being. I feel like I am being punished, for what, I do not know. I feel like giving up sometimes. It hurts.
If you have an invisible illness, I want to say that I am sorry for you, and that while some people are not going to understand, talking about it does help. Making people aware of your issues helps, even if all it does is weed out your support system. And a support system is something you need, no matter how small it may be. Having people check on me over the last week made me feel loved, even when I knew some were talking about me behind my back saying I was faking it. Those are the people you keep in your life. With the others, while it is hard, you just have to let it roll of your back.
I am hoping to be able to write regularly again soon. However, I am taking time now to take care of myself and evaluate my activities while I wait to see what the doctors find out and hope some relief comes soon. Also, I need to find a new series on Netflix or Hulu. If I cannot do all the things, at least I can watch them!


Self Care is the best care

I am going to be honest…I love doing pin up, and I love blogging. I have been blogging for another blog for many years and have contributed to other blogs over the years. I know I should be writing more. However, if you have been following me the last year, you know that I had some issues starting last summer stemming from a TBI (traumatic brain injury) I got 14 years ago. It has been a huge blow for me in many ways.
I had a lot of high expectations when I started this blog, and I had to put a lot of them on hold. In some ways I felt I had to put my whole life on hold again, and I have spent a lot of the past year dealing with not only the physical aspects to all of this, but the emotional as well. I was angry, and then I felt depressed. My social anxiety came back full force, and for a while, I probably wasn’t giving myself the best care I could.
self care
I have been working at changing that. The past 6 weeks have been insane in my house due to activities and such. Most of my family has a birthday in June. I wanted to blog here and in my other blog. I wanted to start doing more affiliate posts because I would like to make a bit of a profit from this, if only to pay for things so that I can showcase fashion and makeup to show people how to feel pretty on any budget. That is the goal. However, before I can do all of that, I have to keep in mind that self care is the best care. It is something I think many of us forget as many of us live busy lifestyles.
If there is anything that life with a TBI has taught me, it is that taking care of myself makes me a better person in the long run. It makes me a better wife, mother, and friend. I want to be around for a long time, and if I don’t take care of myself and treat myself right, that might not happen. Self care doesn’t mean running to a spa necessarily, but it means doing little things, like taking a bath in epsom salts now and then. For me, it means putting on makeup. I may only spend five minutes on hair and makeup most days, but it makes me feel like a million bucks. It means loving yourself and not beating yourself up all the time. Most of all, it means being gentle to yourself. Make realistic goals and expectations. If you want to lose weight, that is great. Just don’t beat yourself up if you cannot lose 10 lbs in a month, but someone else you know can. For me, I want to write. I want to empower women through my pin up to feel better about themselves. However, I know I have limitations. When I cannot keep to the schedule I want for myself, I need to just get up, dust myself off, and keep trying.
Taking care of yourself mentally and physically should always be a priority…whether it is 5 minutes to meditate or an extra few minutes relaxing in the shower. Granted, if you have a chance to take a spa day…ALWAYS take the spa day!


Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Breathing…

keep breathing

Sometimes, I feel like I am not in control of my own life, and it makes me mad. I set goals for myself and have a plan of what life should be, and then it derails somewhere along the way. I feel like I have no control over what is going to happen, and instead of going with it, I am more often than not angry about what could have been.

Fourteen years ago, I had big plans for my life. I was so close to graduating college that I could taste the victory pierogi (a yummy polish dumpling)…since I was planning on leaving the country after graduation to attend grad school in Poland. I had already chosen a school and even had the opportunity to visit when I studied abroad the year before that. I was about to marry the man of my dreams who treated me like a princess. I could see my life coming together, and I thought I had my happily ever after. Then, in one moment…it was all gone. A driver wasn’t paying attention. She turned when she shouldn’t have. I never saw her coming as I was crossing the street. I remember bits and pieces. I remember wanting to get off the pavement because I was supposed to get married that weekend. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to let it ruin my plans, but it did. I ended up in the hospital. We had to postpone our wedding. I figured I would be back to normal soon. Only that didn’t happen. I had suffered head trauma. My neck constantly hurt, and it still does. I found myself having trouble reading. I was stuttering and would occasionally have speech problems. I couldn’t type without it looking like a jumbled mess. However, I wasn’t going to let it get the best of me. I started reading any book I could get my hands on…text books, biographies, novels, trashy romance books (which are awesome and underrated by the way). I enrolled in summer classes. I went back to work at my student job and part time job. None of it lasted. By mid fall, I dropped out of all my classes and had to quit my jobs. I also got pregnant shortly after my husband and I got married. We were worried that where we lived wasn’t feasible financially, and we moved near my husband’s family. In just six short months, my fairy tale ended and was replaced with this new reality.

I tried to just go with it. I wanted to be the best mom I could. I did everything with my son. I loved beauty and fashion, so I started selling Mary Kay because I felt like I needed to do something since my dreams of a career went straight down the toilet. I was pretty good at it too, but I ended up quitting because someone tried taking my clients, and I was finding that other consultants where I lived were a little too cutthroat for my tastes. I had another baby and then decided to try being a children’s party planner. I planned other events in college and loved kids, so I figured it would be perfect. It helped me overcome my typing issues. I taught myself how to design websites and do a bit of simple coding. I grew the business. I started a small shop. I became obsessed in trying to make my business grow because I felt I needed validation. I kept so busy that I joked that I didn’t need sleep. I could live on coffee. I may not have gotten my original dream of college, grad school, and then a life of teaching English abroad. Instead, I had a life of planning parties, learning to blog, planning playdates, and eventually taking in international students in hopes to get some sort of fulfillment of my lost dream.

However, it was not to last. I think I knew it was all a little too much when we decided to have a third child. I ended up losing two babies, got severely depressed, and cut my business back to almost nothing. I started to feel like a failure. I felt like my body was a failure too. I got into pin up about that time and got some body confidence back. I started working on putting my mental health back in order. I thought after I had a baby, everything would be great again, and I would start living this new dream of just being a mom. It would all be good. Then I had the baby…

My baby has been the best thing that could have happened to my family. However, it has also been very stressful. My husband worked in the oilfield and was gone a lot. My baby had the WORST colic ever. She did not sleep for the first seven months. I didn’t have a lot of support, and I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind. I couldn’t go to a therapist because I had no one who could watch the kids. I wasn’t sure I wanted to ask my doctor about anti-depressants because I had a bad experience with them once before. I was a mess. In the midst of all that, my husband and I decided to move from the area we were and start a new adventure. Originally, it was so he could try to get into the office of his company. We wanted to all be together, and our baby girl was the catalyst in realizing that our lives as they had been were not working anymore. We found a house, and we thought everything was going well. Heck, the baby was even starting to sleep…sometimes. Then, one day in the middle of June, I felt like a bomb was dropped on me. My husband told me that his company cut his salary. Also he would not be able to get into the office. Basically, we were moving for nothing. I think something just completely broke in me that day. A few days later, I ended up having symptoms of a stroke and ended up in the hospital. There they discovered, it thankfully was not a stroke. However, they found activity stemming from my brain injury years before and a benign cyst on my brain. Since then, I have had speech issues and a stutter from time to time. I am tired a lot, and sometimes I get angry about the whole mess.

We still moved. It has been an adventure, and I look forward to sharing more about that in later posts. I am still angry sometimes. I get frustrated when I can’t get words to come out like they should, or my thoughts become jumbled. I am working on it. I just keep going…I just keep breathing…because that is all I can do. I can hope it will get better. I can make plans for the future, but in the end I know that all my plans can change in the blink of an eye.However, if I want to enjoy life for what it is, I just have to keep breathing.