#2018 A health anniversary

Recently I hit an anniversary.

Kinda a bad/good one, but I’m hoping the fact of it being 365 days later, means it’s coming to an end.

Because it’s now been a whole year since I unfortunately embarked on a very chronic and painful health issue.

Approaching this day I was freaking out a bit, anxiety taking hold, thinking of what I’ve gone through, and weirdly, would it happen again, on the exact same day? It may seem silly and highly unrealistic, but the mind goes to bad places when it’s been given not-so-nice surprises.

But, I survived, as I have the whole year.

I gotta say, I’m not too much smarter than when I started. Maybe only slightly.

I do however know a lot more about holistic and alternative health, and I know for sure that it’s a life-long journey, not a one-fix treatment thing either.

Mostly I’ve learnt I’m resilient, more so than I ever thought possible.

Still, I feel like this year passing, is a full circle moment, where I’m finally putting a lid on, closing the case of this truly uncertain and horrible time of my life where it felt as if I was thrown into the middle of a cyclone.

I much prefer still, clear waters, and know I’m going to have to meditate on them to make sure they are always near.

🙏💖

Photo by Anastasiya Vragova on Pexels.com

#1974 28 days of movement

My suspicion about today was confirmed when I checked my diary calendar.

28 days of movement, today. I was right.

And yet, it hadn’t been hard. Hasn’t been too much of a sacrifice, a stretch on mine or anyone in this household’s part to allow me some peace, some 23 minutes here or there, to work on myself, mind, body and spirit.

I wanted to commit to 28 days initially, and I did it! I got there.

In those 28 days I have done:

12 sessions of ‘body work’ – those are the Rachael Finch 23 minute workouts that get your heart rate pumping and gasping for breath.

8 sessions of ‘body tone’ – these are like yoga, but ha ha ha ha ha, if you think that means easy. This body tone workout is by no means easy. In fact several times I found myself asking for body work instead, where I could gasp for breath instead of feeling my entire body BURN.

On one such occasion I swore so profusely and angrily at the instructor, I would have embarrassed a sailor. True story. Mother F&*ker, everything. In front of my family, I didn’t care, I was DYING. And no, I didn’t just stop, because I’m stubborn, and swearing came easier. (Note to self and anyone else, if Rachael isn’t doing the body tone and they bring in an instructor, expect it to be a whole lot of HARD).

1 session where I went to the Loft in town and had a class session, yoga, pilates, whatever you call it, I did it, and felt amazing afterwards.

All the Saturdays were my off days. I’m usually running around on those days, and am active enough in other ways that I felt that was the most appropriate day to have ‘off.’

I then had 2 days off when I was cramping. Nothing at all.

I had one meditation day, where I didn’t do any body movement from the app. This day followed that intense body tone session when I was swearing like a trooper at the instructor, in disbelief that she thinks us normal folk can contort our bodies like that and have the leg strength of an Olympian. My legs, thighs, butt and other parts of my body hurt for two whole days afterwards, and I could barely crouch or bend over.

This is when the meditation occurred. I did it on my first ouch day.

And there you go. 28 days of movement, some days lacking, though few I am pleased to say, with fair amount of rest too, in a kinda detailed snapshot.

But fitness isn’t a destination, right? As the app tells me between reps, “fitness is a way of life!”

So, I’m not stopping anytime soon. I’m super rapt at the energy and confidence it has brought me, and today, I was able to do more plank exercises and half burpies than I ever have before… so my arm strength is improving, something I was severely lacking in before.

Fitness is so much more than about body. It’s about more than many people will ever realise.

It’s about you, your life, and what you are saying is important in it.

And if you say that your health is important, you are setting an example for others, and all the good things will follow.

💪💖

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

#1950 A new routine

It’s only day 4, and I hate to even talk about this, because I feel like I might jinx myself… but hopefully this time is different.

Day 4 of my dedication to movement, and I’ve been going strong.

2 days of working out, and 2 days of yoga-type work.

I follow the Rachael Finch program Body By Finch, so there are different types of workouts designed for whatever you want to do… the more intense workouts, the mini blast ones, the strong yoga, the gentle yoga, stretching, even meditation, and dance!

It’s amazing how once you start to incorporate something new into your life, how you make the time to make it work. Finding a spare half hour, here, there… what would I have been doing before? Mindless scrolling or flicking through magazines, tidying something, and probably just talking, really. 🤣

And it’s easy to not do it, and I’ve had my fair share of health stuff, which makes doing anything a battle really, let alone an exercise routine, which is why I’ve started slowly and been super sporadic for all of these months.

I know I won’t do anything tomorrow, because Saturday, weekend. 💖 But still, I am proud of this little win.

This small step forward, that has led to another, and another, and another step…

Steps that make me incredibly sore, my face hot, and breathing ragged! But nonetheless, satisfied. 😊

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

#1926 Seek out opinions

Diagnoses.

Diagnoses, are dangerous.

Why?

Because a diagnosis puts a label on symptoms you have… symptoms that present differently for other people with the same diagnosis.

Symptoms vary, just as our human bodies, VARY.

Also, the opinion of health professionals varies hugely.

And I am not talking about Eastern versus Western medicine…

I am talking about Western, versus Western medicine.

IT VARIES.

These diagnoses give us labels, and we carry these labels around like identifiers. There may as well be a badge on you that reads:

SmikG. 37. Lives in south-east Victoria. Sufferer of – (LABEL).

It is all consuming. It takes over your world, and it takes over your life. All your day-to-day jobs will somehow lead back to this diagnosis. Everything you do, everyone you see, every place you go, you will be keeping this diagnosis, this label in mind.

Will the label be happy? Will it give me issue?

Can I plan too far ahead? How will my label take that?

They are horrible, horrible things. And you know why?

Because many times, they can be wrong.

Now if you have read this far, I am obliged to tell you that if you go to a health professional, you must be realistic and understand that they are trying to help you based on their personal experience and work expertise. They are saying what they believe to be true. If scans, tests, and other factual evidence supports their hypothesis, well you need to listen.

What I’m referring to is all the in-betweeners. Those weird cases, unexpected pains, things that appear out of nowhere and have no end date in sight… those random, rare cases where there appear to be no answers.

I’m talking about the cases where in your gut, you know something is off, but whatever you do and to whomever you go, you feel like they aren’t giving you the right answer either.

This is where you really need to listen to your gut.

This is what I’ve been doing.

9 months, 8 health professionals. Both Eastern and Western medicine. My monthly calendar looks like a jigsaw puzzle of various appointments, treatments and follow-ups…

But it was only today that one of them said something that made sense to me.

Things have been very slowly, making sense to me. Even though a part of me was trying to open up to the truth inside me for so long.

Earlier on, it was one thought… a really bad diagnosis.

Second, it was something else, just as bad really…

I know the power of these inefficient labels. I know the power and the weight they carry over us.

I know, because I’ve lived it.

But it wasn’t until today when I let go of these prior diagnoses, that I realised how much harm they were causing me, and how much others in my situation, searching for an answer, getting confused by contrasting opinion versus contrasting opinion, were getting emotionally ruined in the process.

It may appear like I’m cherry-picking answers, and only listening to the ones I want to listen to…

But you know what I am listening to? My gut. I’m asking my gut what makes sense, because my gut, my intuition, has been guiding me to the right place all along. 🙏

#1915 Holding on when it’s hard

“You gotta be tough when life gets hard. This is when you need to be strong. It’s easy when everything’s great.”

These are the words Hubbie was telling me as I lay on the couch tonight crying.

I’ve had health issues with seemingly no end in sight. And when I say no end in sight, I mean 9 months counting.

Counting.

I was having a particularly low moment tonight.

But what I did next helped insurmountably.

I talked. I spoke to Hubbie. I messaged my bestie. I messaged my sister.

I reached out. It was hard, and I was crying my eyes out as I did it, but I did it.

And it helped so, so much.

And I can say, I understand the intent of the quote “a problem shared is a problem halved.” It is. By talking about your problems with someone, the weight is lifted off of you… the issue itself moves away from you, is made a bit lesser, just by letting it out of you, and watching your words float away…

Speaking of quotes, bestie shared a great one with me.

“Before something great happens, everything falls apart.”

I feel that. I believe that. It’s just sometimes, everything gets too hard and I fall into falling apart, more than I do reminding myself that something great will come out of it.

I’m still in the first stage, but I’m waiting…

And it’s set me off to look for more quotes that will inspire me and get me out of this funk.

If you are feeling low, please:

Talk to someone.

Distract yourself with something that will make you happy, i.e. inspirational quotes.

REPEAT.

I will not be sharing this post on facebook like I do my others. Last time I shared a difficult post I had all manner of family and friends reaching out in concern, which was wonderful… but it’s also not why I do this.

I am doing this, to find gratitude in every day, no matter how hard it is. And I know how truly hard it was for me today, because I was an inch away from giving all of this up. The gratitude, the blog, everything.

But, I held on. I am HANGING ON. And this post here, is proof of that.

I am grateful to be hanging on.

Photo by Luca Nardone on Pexels.com

#1894 From the earth

Check out what I’m drinking:

What the hell is that you ask? That is RAW HERBS.

I’ve had a couple of health things that will not go away, and this was suggested to me by someone who I’ve grown to depend on a lot in recent times. They are pungent, with a deep earthy smell, a bit sweet, extremely rich, and they look freaking cool in the pot too.

As I was boiling it down three times tonight, I exclaimed happily to Hubbie “Look at my bark! Look at my bark!”

And just as it looks like it’s been stripped from a tree, so too is it good to go back into the ground, apparently as great compost.

Good for all. 😂

I gotta laugh, I gotta do something.

Let’s see if they work. 🙏🤞

#1814 Taking action

What a world of difference a day makes.

Oh my God.

Even though it was super dreary, and I felt flat waking up, and going about my day…

As I went through it, I realised something was different from yesterday.

ME.

I took action, and made deliberate steps forward to try and work out what is going on with my health.

A call here, email there… times 50. As much as I am still in the ‘discovery’ phase, my attitude today shifted to one of “what are we gonna do?” from my initial “woe is me.”

And it IS a better place to be.

And then surprise! As if the Universe sensed my extreme hurt and sadness yesterday, and just knew I needed a lift…

I won a competition today. For a comedy show.

Laughter. Tell me that ain’t a coincidence (psst, there aren’t any).

From tears of sadness, to tears of laughter, coming my way.

And all I can say is, THANK YOU.

I am grateful. 💖💖

#1813 I get knocked down…

But I get up again.

So close, so so soooo close to throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog.

You know I’ve never said it out loud, but I’ve seriously considered finishing this blog at number #2000.

I figure if I’ve managed to be grateful for at least one thing for all of those days, then I have the tools necessary to help me through life when times get hard.

Also, it’s a nice even number, and I have plenty of other writing projects to keep me busy anyway.

#2000. That’s only 187 days away. Sometime this year in fact.

But after the day I’ve had, I honestly am questioning if I’ve learnt anything at all.

Because I’m finding it very hard to be grateful.

I get knocked down,

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down

Am I being too hard on myself? I mean, when you go through bad times, or nightmares keep repeatedly coming back to haunt you, how are you meant to act? With a laugh? A yippee? A friendly ‘oh darn, not this again’ with a Joker-like smile?

Nope.

When you’ve had the same freaking thing, annoying you, bugging you, and no one can tell you why, or explain it, and you’re going around and around in circles, and you’re even considering psychics for answers because seriously NO ONE ELSE KNOWS, and then it strikes again…

AHHH!

I get knocked down,

But I get up again

You’re never gonna keep me down.

Seriously. How am I meant to act?

Anyway, This is my bitch-fest. My whinge to the world. Take it as you will, because it may not last for long…

So, what am I even grateful for?

I get knocked down,

But I get up again…

For now.

#1752 A few steps forward, a few steps back…

How do you show gratitude on a day when you move forward…

But then you move back?

I started work again… but then I was like, damn I am cranky.

I was feeling better… but then I was like, “DAMN! I AM NOT!”

Things were looking on the upside… and just as quickly they turned to poo.

So, what do you do?

Just survive.

Sit on the couch. Binge TV. Talk it out. Message your Hubbie silly things while he’s sitting next to you.

Go through photos on your phone. Read old things you’ve written. Laugh with loved ones.

And suddenly, things won’t seem so worrisome after all.

Tomorrow, is a new day.

Photo by Guillaume Hankenne on Pexels.com

#1721 Day 223 of getting there: back to it all

Today was an exciting day.

WE GOT OUT.

Escaped from the confines of our home.

No, it wasn’t cleaning all day,

finding a board game to play,

then pruning with waters glistening in the horizon on the bay.

NAY.

WE WENT OUT.

Baby girl and I hit the Main street. Shopping. Excited with, “look, SHOPS ARE OPEN!”

We stopped at my 10/10 coffee place from the other day, Flowergirls and co cafe –

YAY –

and had a great coffee and babycino break.

And gingerbread man. 😉

People were milling around EVERYWHERE. EVERYONE was out.

We continued the fun this evening when we went out to dinner at one of our fave restaurants, The Royal Hotel.

HOORAY! Wine! I haven’t drank it in about 2 months. I was firstly going through some health hell, then I was terrified of drinking anything that wasn’t water, so I stayed away for so long…

Until tonight.

That one glass of red made me go all YIPPEE in my head, and immediately, I loved everyone. I missed everyone.

I mean, I do love and miss everyone, and by everyone I mean only those people I care about.

HA HA HA. (Still some alcoholic effects I see?) 😜

But seriously. Cheap drunk alert. I was happy happy, LA LA LA, my seafood linguine was NOM NOM NOM, and then we walked across the road, to the best view of them all.

Ahhh.

All in all, today was a great way to get back to it all.

Shop. Coffee. Dinner. Beach.

Relax. Happy. Grateful. YAY.

REPEAT.