Dancing in the Figurative Autumnal Rain

I started this Monday off by reflecting on the previous week and thought I’d try to put some of it into words. After months of struggling against the stream and just trying to keep my head above water I feel like I finally got a few tangible rewards last week. I think when one experience a period of hardship, it really makes one that much more grateful for the little things.

It began on Tuesday with being able to do three hours of work, which hasn’t been possible since June I noticed once I’d checked my calendar. I mean, I knew it’d been a while since I’d completed my three hours, but not that long. It felt great, to say the least, so I rewarded myself with a proper lunch out and a book to read beside it. That too felt absolutely amazing, being able to dive into a literary world without immediately being pulled back because of my body screaming for something or other. For a few hours I was blissfully satisfied. Friday brought the same achievement, another three hours! It felt amazing, like despite everything that demands my attention every single day health wise I could still be allowed a few moments of feeling invincible because of that sense of achievement that came alongside this.

I also enjoyed some wonderful hours in the company of really good friends. It’s friends like those that help keep my spirits up even on my darkest days, so to be able to share time together in the light as well is something I appreciate dearly.

I am feeling so grateful because these little (but simultaneously big) things have filled me up so much just when I needed it the most. The hard times are hard, but it gives me strength to outlast it knowing that there are these wonderful things waiting for me on the other side. Something worth fighting for.

To quote a song I’ve taken to listening to lately when I am just trying to get through the day, or am experiencing progress and just want to relish in that feeling:

“This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me” – Fight Song, Rachel Platten. Listen on Spotify HERE

So, here’s to fighting, even when it just feels like you’re giving up. Some times fighting is simply getting through the day, going to bed and doing the same tomorrow.

We can do this, each and every one of us, that I believe. We just have to remember we’re the reed in the storm and not the oak; The oak might be strong and resilient, but eventually it breaks, but the reed bends with the pressure, and when the pressure lessens the reed rises once more.

So, until then, let’s dance in the figurative autumnal rain.

With love,

– Martie xx

Advertisements

Patience. Pacing. Positivity

I am beginning to see the light again, after almost four months of really ill health I can now slowly muster a bit more, and for that I am grateful because it is not fun to constantly have to turn down invitations and sit out the family birthdays. As if being ill in and of itself isn’t hard enough, but in addition it’s quite hard to be on the outside of what, in the moment, feels like almost everything. I’ve had to turn down the invitation for my cousin’s wedding, that was a hard one to swallow, not gonna lie; but it would include traveling as well as a party with many people, neither of which I am healthy enough to undergo in the foreseeable future. For now it is the routines at home that matter, and it is because I’ve stuck to them that things are looking up a little, slowly but surely!

Like yesterday! Yesterday I changed the tyres on my car for the first time in three and a half years! I’ve tried before, but my dad has always had to take over because I just couldn’t do all four. So yesterday was a proud moment for me, a sort of reward for making sure I take care of my body when it is down, and keeping it up. I took my sweet time and had plenty of breaks, and voila! Now whenever I get in my car this winter I’ll know that I was the one who did that, and it’ll no doubt put a smile on my face for a long time to come.

Babysteps is the key these days, not pushing too hard because I’m just getting my bearings again — and avoiding people with the flu like the plague! I imagine anyone with a bad immune system is taking some forms of precautions these days. I’m glad I can function more in my every day life again, I’m up to a few hours of work these last couple of weeks too, which is very rewarding! Not about to ruin these little joys with getting the flu, so ginger tea is my go-to!

I know the curve of my illness very well by now, there’s a good period and then there’s a bad period, and that’s how it goes, it just varies in severity and length. I found this setback especially hard because of hard I felt I’d worked with my treatments, listening to my body and treating it better, being healthier and the results I saw. I felt like I was soaring compared to how things had been at its worse, these things really makes you appreciate every little detail, and suddenly I was in the figurative basement. Again. When one health issue passed and I needed to rest up and recuperate, another obstacle would occur.

All I can say is that I’m very grateful for catching a break, and I hope it’s come to stay. I also hope to get back to a point where I can stay longer than 1,5-2 hours at work because I find it really rewarding to be there. Patience is key, and I feel like my patience has really been tested these last few months.

Had to remind myself of my three Ps. I’d sadly completely forgotten what they stood for, so here they are again, as a personal reminder, but maybe someone else can get something out of them too:

Patience. Pacing. Positivity.

Forwards and upwards, it’s the only way to go, so here’s to brighter autumn!

– Martie xx

Hello From Hibernation

It’s embarrassing how terrible I am with sticking to my obligations (that I set myself, mind you) when my health is terrible and I’m feeling awful. It’s like I just go into this state of hibernation and disconnect from almost every platform just because I don’t have it in me to project thoughts, ideas and goals outwards in a coherent form because I need all my energy to deal with the processes going on inside of me, mentally and physically. And there has been a lot of that lately, a lot, and because I made this blog in part because I wanted to use it as a platform to offer a window into the life of a chronically ill person, as well as it being an outlet for me, I have promised myself to break some of it down in a post, and that has taken some psyching up on my part, but I hope to do it soon. I have also promised myself to do better with this blog, because consistency is key and I need something to be consistent in my right life now, as so much else is proving to be very unpredictable.

During this hiatus I’ve also begun the process of sending out query letters to literary agents regarding one of my books, and I’ve also planned on sharing what it was like working to get that process going, and why my very first rejection letter was one of the best things that has happened to me.

If you’re still here after my hiatus, thank you and hello! I’ll do my best to do better, I promise! Fingers crossed I have the self control to persevere!

– Martie xx

One of Life’s Many Messy Parts

‘All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts…’

– William Shakespeare, As You Like It –

I am tired. Again. And I am tired of being tired. Again.

My head is full of worries and thoughts about my life, about me, which is making me more tired because as I can’t find any satisfying solutions they continue to grow and fester, tapping my sputtering energy faster than it is able to reload. When it comes to me a full worrisome mind often leads to a heavy, hollow body.

It’s way too warm for wool and turtlenecks, but I was craving the comfort of a thick and snuggly sweater, so here I am, wrapped in an overly large woolen knitted turtleneck while my feet remain bare to compensate for the temperature. The fabric’s pulled up to my nose, so I can see and breathe, while the tunes of Miles Davis trickle from the record player and thunder rumbles in the distance outside the open windows.

I am so tired from all the things going on in my head that I just want to disappear so that I can catch a break, reload and come back refreshed and ready to take on my own slumbering thoughts. That is a luxury I am unfortunately unable to obtain. And so I need to try and cure this helplessness before it sets me back even further.

See, in the past six months I’ve gotten a taste of what life can be. I’ve spent so many years being sick that I’d completely forgotten what normalcy was really like. I thought I knew, of course, but it turns out I had no clue what I was talking about. And now that my health has taken a step backwards, again, I am forced into standstill in order to nurse it back up, again, and I hate it. Normalcy lingers like a bitter aftertaste in my mouth as I am forced to sit back and watch as it dances just out of reach, taunting me.

My life was, is, going well. It was, is, truly on the uptake and I was, am, seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, because if I could, can, go from bedrest to short runs and doing things every day, being with friends and working six hours a week and still have energy to spare as long as I took breaks when needed, then I could, can, also truly believe that there was, is, a way out of this limbo life, a way for me to beat this illness altogether.

At one point I began thinking of the future, something that had not been a possibility before just because I had more than enough to deal with in the present and just getting to tomorrow, without lumping the future onto the plate as well! To begin playing with thoughts about my future was a daunting and exhilarating thing, I knew I wasn’t there yet and still had a lot of work to do with rehabilitation, but now I was able to ponder these things because they felt possible further down the line. The multiple what if’s were so exhilarating that I felt like I could fly, now that I’ve plummeted so has their weight on me.

I finished my book. A book that has been my lifeline on my darkest days, a project that has kept me occupied when I felt like I was failing at life, at living. When it felt like everything got taken away from me at least I had my writing. I do not know how I would’ve faired in all of this if my passion had been a sport like running or swimming, because my writing has been therapeutic at many occasions, and given me a sense of purpose at others, of achievement, when I had little else going for me. (Not taking credit away from friends and family, because they have truly been an invaluable support through everything and continue to be so to this day, and words fail me in my gratitude towards them.)

To finish writing and then editing said book is hands down one of my greatest achievements in life. I have written many books, but all of them are first drafts. This one is different, I’ve worked hard on this on and off whenever I could muster up the energy, it’s been a slow process, but it has given me something to do when working or studying was just a distant memory as well as a distant possibility. An idea that was born in 2010 has now come full circle and turned into a finished novel, next step being to embark on research to take it to the next step towards my dream of publication.

Thomas Edison said: ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.‘ A tough road is up ahead for this book, and for me both writing and health wise, but I know the dream can become reality just because I am willing to do the hard work required to make it happen. But right now? Right now I need a break so that I can gather the resolve I need to get my motivation going again.

The future. Some times I want to just strangle that phrase with my bare hands, because right now it feels like mockery even though I know it isn’t, it certainly won’t be when I get some of my energy and optimism back. Three years of my life have fallen victim to this chronic illness, and even though I am doing much better now compared to how it used to be (my bad days now would’ve been a very good day three years ago), I can’t help but wonder how many more years this illness is going to claim from me. I guess that is why it’s called a chronic illness, because there really is no telling if or when it’ll happen.

All the world’s a stage and we are merely players, and one man in his life plays many parts. Shakespeare hit the nail on the head there. I suppose this is just one of the many parts I shall play in my lifetime, and I’ll hopefully soon go back to the optimistic and motivated person I know myself to be, but right now I just need to rest.

If you made it to the end of this post then I salute you, because I have a tendency to ramble on and on as you can probably tell. But it did feel good to write some of it down, like some of the weight left my shoulders simply by putting it into words. Words are amazing that way and it’s one of the many reasons why I love them so much.

Thank you for listening.

With love,

– Martie xx

Shrouded Crossroad

My mind feels dormant. It’s a strange feeling as I’ve gotten very accustomed to the constant buzz inside my head that only varies in volume, but never goes entirely quiet. Except now it has. Not in a stressful calm-before-the-storm kind of way, instead it’s almost as if it’s taking a well deserved rest while I figure out my next move. You see, I seem to have come to this calm standstill in front of a crossroad and it feels like I need to (when the time comes) choose which way to go, except the roads are shrouded and I can’t make out what they represent yet. It’s not a stressful endeavour, on the contrary it’s very peaceful and I know I don’t need to force a decision, it will come to me when the time is right; sort of when the golden snitch reveals ‘I open at the close’ except nothing in me is dying, but I feel the roads will become clearer  as this chapter comes to a close and the next prepares to begin. 

My creativity is running high these days. I’ve spent the weekend away from the world, unable to be reached through social media in order to not distract myself as I usually do when my mind needs attention. My creativity has always loved misery and as Wednesday night cast me into sadness my creativity has been in an intoxicated gleeful state ever since Thursday morning. It’s sort of a double win: I have been able to make sense of my mind and emotions, been able to step onto solid soil feeling grounded after only a short week, all the while also creating the words I live for and love so deeply. I am creating in a very theraputic way, and what is born from that state is very raw and real — which is my favourite kind. My previous post was a poem that came fresh from my fingertips, tears still soaking my face and the final verse represents it and me all too well and I’m very proud of it, it’s almost like a phoenix emerging from its ashes, no? That’s how it feels with words I create from personal grief/misery/sadness (or however you like to categorize the various stages of sadness) as something has come to an end, a figurative death, and something vibrant and meaningful is born from the ashes. I plan on printing that last verse onto a small canvas, and creating something around, to hang on my wall as it represents so much in my life as opposed to just the recent event that actually birthed it. 

‘You lay with a poet and made your way into her bloodstream

And now your essence in her veins must become ink on paper

As she bleeds her precious words

In an attempt to extract you from within

While her soul sighs with practiced longing

For the vibrant muse that rescued the drowning poet’

I’m very interested to see where this crossroad leads when the roads become clear and it’s time for me to choose — until then I’ll focus on the creativity that is currently reveling in last week’s sadness. It has harboured every piece of it and is currently playing like a formerly confined horse finally let out into the fields to run rampant, taking off in every unplanned direction with excited leaps, my only task being to capture everything that comes pouring out as it transfer ashes into words at the tips of my fingers. 

With love,

– Martie xx

The Drowning Poet

19.05.16 01:19

You walked with a poet and she became intrigued

The way you’d calm her erratic spirit with a glance

It was almost like magic

She didn’t sprint away like her past always said she should


You ran with a poet and captured her interest

With soulful azure eyes you shattered her walls

It was like they’d never even existed 

You were the calm that stilled her storms


You lay with a poet and made your way into her bloodstream

And now your essence in her veins must become ink on paper

As she bleeds her precious words

In an attempt to extract you from within

While her soul sighs with practiced longing

For the vibrant muse that rescued the drowning poet


– Martie xx

Instagram Photo Challenge

Here it is, the promised follow up to my previous post! To start us off I’ll have to point you in the direction of an Australian based clothing brand called Blackmilk, they specialise in nylon clothing with a lot of cool prints, everything from a galaxy picture (taken by NASA) printed onto dresses and skirts, a license agreement with Disney, BBC, Game of Thrones, DC comics ++ that lead to some really cool gear, or the rainbow coloured snake skin print dress I wore in the picture on my last post! Everything is made and sewn in Australia to support fair working conditions and wages, which is a huge plus I feel! And it’s all incredibly comfy to boot! 

Blackmilk only operate online and the fanbase (Sharkies) are pretty active posting selfies in their Blackmilk pieces as each piece has a designated hashtag and when you apply it to your photo it shows up at their website alongside that piece so that people can see how it looks and fits outside of a studio!

Blackmilk (bm for short) Pic A Day May is a month long photo challenge in May where each day has a theme and sharkies all across the globe participate in posting pictures that goes with the day’s theme, the only rule is that you have to incorporate bm into your photo in some way. It’s a fun creative thing to participate in and a great way to discover other sharkies. Blackmilk gather their favourites for each day in an album on facebook and at the end of the month there is one prize winner of a $100 australian dollar gift card and two runner ups. I’m not thinking that I have a chance there as I know there are some pretty photo skilled sharkies out there, but it’s really fun to participate! 

This is how it looks:


The sharkie community is also the most loving group of people I have ever met and some have even become close friends of mine! 

If you’re curious to see some of the entries you can pop on over to my instagram and just click on the bmpicadaymay hashtag to see other entries as well! Today’s theme is, as you can see in the picture above, I Love Animals, so of course that was a perfect excuse for me to snap some pics of my cat!

Happy Sunday to you! 

– Martie