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

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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

Going With the Flow

“and the sky smiled

right back at you,

like it knew a little

more about you, each

night.”

– r.m drake –

Today has been such an amazing day, some things were planned and some weren’t. I sincerily enjoy to just take some hours to ‘loiter’ about, without planning what to see or do, just going with whatever whims that come to mind, whatever feels good and right.

The sun came out to play today, which is nice even though it isn’t very warm yet; it’s just that the sun is an instant mood booster for me so I really can’t help but enjoy myself when it comes out!

I worked for a few hours, had coffee with a friend, we talked and laughed for hours and then he helped me take some pictures for this challenge I’m doing on instagram (I actually plan on doing a separate post on this because it’s quite fun!). That was followed by a long walk through the streets together before I headed off to eat dinner with my parents at this new burger place that only does homemade burgers, the meat and buns are all prepared from scratch by them (!!), they are honestly divine! The rest of my afternoon and evening was actually open after that, I had plans to meet up with somebody but no specific time was set so I walked around some more before sitting down at a lovely café and readinh for a while, cranberry tea by my side, entering a world far from the one around me. Suddenly I got this idea that I wanted to see a movie and luckily it was still twenty minutes ’til it began so I wandered over to the cinema and had a few hours to myself in front of the big screen, sometimes laughing until my eyes watered. I found out after that my original plans for the evening fell through, but I honestly do not mind because I’ve enjoyed myself so much today, it’s been a very Martie type of day considering I’m the type of person who can devote an entire day to the cinema, emerging only to read between films. This kind of me time just fills me with a wonderful calm and it’s just like it centers me.

I couldn’t have had a better Tuesday even if I’d tried to plan it! Hope you had an amazing day as well!

With love,

– Martie xx

Flying Free At Sunset

Feet flying, blood pumping, the wind rushing against my face. I love running. 

I jog because it’s good for my muscles and lungs/stamina, and overall health, but it’s slow paced and drags on because of the intention on working up that indurance. Quite frankly it often bores me. Running, on the other hand… Running I love

I love the efficiency, the quick pace of it all; I love the rapid slaps my feet make again the asphalt; I love the sensation in my legs when I kick off the ground and I take those high and long strides through the air, it feels like flying; I love how my head falls into line when I propel myself forward. 

The jogs last longer and are more torturous because they are designed to push my limits, to build me up, they are good for me and my health. The runs are good for my head. There’s little that can compete with the exhilirating feeling I get to experience while running. 

Despite my infamous patience I can also be ridiculously impatient, and some times I crave things to be quick and efficient, to give me what I need without dragging things out. The runs give me exactly that. 

I discovered last week when my head was so full I had no chance of sleeping that a full head consisting of frustration can be a very good motivator, and despite it nearing sundown and that it was thirty minutes until the street lights were being turned off I got into my tights, strapped on my running shoes and put that headset over my ears and cranked up the music and then I just went for it. Best thing I’ve done in a while to be honest. My frustration propelled me forwards and the music drowned out my thoughts, with each stride I left frustration behind me on the ground. I slept like a baby that night. 

I also discovered how incredibly relaxing it is to run at night, I suppose it’s the same as what earlybirds feel when they run alongside the rising sun at dawn. Personally I’ve always been a night owl.  

Tonight I was harbouring excessive energy that was abuzz within me, I saw no other way to rid myself of it in a quick way so that I can go to sleep at a decent hour. So, here I am, in my kitchen, my pulse slowly quieting, my lungs still giving off a wheezing sound from what I decided to put them through, I can still detect a faint taste of blood in my mouth as I fill my body up on water after another successful exhilirating evening run. 

Guess I’ll just have to keep at it with the jogging so that I can enjoy more of these flat out runs of mine, because I’m really liking them. 

Good night!

– Martie xx

Looking Up

Apparently I went on an unplanned hiatus… I apologize. It’s weird how this tends to happen whenever things are looking up, it’s as if I get so caught up in joy, life, and everything around me that certain things fall away. Even though I’d like nothing more than to write out my bliss, there just never seems to be enough time for it. Not to mention that I can never find the words that mirror my feelings, everything always falls just a little short. It’s like that poem I wrote and shared two posts back: “words always failed her when she tried to put her happiness to paper — pain, sorrow and lostness always had a more natural flow as it poured with ease from her fingertips” I have yet to crack the code on putting light and happiness to paper, even though I’m sure it’s highly possible.

My life at the moment is the best it’s been in years, everything makes me smile, and why? Because I feel alive. For three plus years I’ve been used to feeling ill, sick and tired, ill day in and day out, the amount would of course vary, some days worse or better than its predecessor. It’s with wide smiles and joyous laughter that I can say that is not my life these days. Of course I’m still chronically ill, but I don’t feel sick all the time! I have moments, minutes, hours, some times days where I feel normal, upbeat even. I usually don’t notice until I stop and look at what has passed because I’m so wrapped up in the moments, until I stop and touch upon what I’m feeling. It makes me want to weep with joy. Because there is hope. For me, for everyone else out there, for every single one of us. I truly believe that, even though I’ve lost that hope several times before it sure feels good to have it back. And if you lose yours, fear not, it will return and know that I can carry the hope for you until the time comes and you are reunited once more.

I missed writing thoughts out in a shape and form that is not a poem (as much as I love doing that too, this is just another form of writing, of expressing, that my poems can’t cover) or consists of a fictional world, so here’s to the end of the hiatus and to the unknown future!

– Martie xx