Hope

Don’t get down on yourself today.

Give yourself a little give today.

You don’t have to master anything today.

You don’t even have to master trying, today.

You know what? Today just might not be your day.

We all have those days. Most people don’t have too many of those days back-to-back, others do.

I’ve had a seriously shitty five fucking years now. I mean a SERIOUSLY fucking shitty back-to-back five years.

And most days I’ve been able to find at least one thing I’m grateful for.

I feel like gratitude just helps me remember hope.

And hope is kryptonite to today’s-not-your-day.

Or for the last five years not being your five years.

So gratitude is something that reminds me of hope. But it might not be your thing that helps you find hope.

But my thought here, for y’all to take in or to not take in, is that you might want to find something or some things that are your reminder of hope.

Today doesn’t have to be your day.

But when you have hope, you have hope for better days than today.

And that hope of better days conjures up feelings of excitement and curiosity. And that excitement and curiosity provokes thoughts of what experiences lay ahead in new days, in better days, in days where open possibility lay.

That’s the stuff that helps it not be such a bad thing for today to not be your day.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG HERE!

I am not suggesting for one second that finding a way to remember hope on your bad days means you don’t still feel shitty about the current storm you’re in.

I’m not selling some form of recycled bullshit optimism, here. Or any new forms of bullshit optimism.

Not that I have anything against optimism. Optimism can be awesome. I’m a hideously optimistic person, myself. It took a shit load of seriously fucked up moments/days/nights/weeks/months (during my five not-my-years) to break my optimism. And it still didn’t break completely. But now, what was my armour of optimism, has a heap of bullet holes in it, and cracks and tears at the seams from the battle I’ve been fighting.

So now, I can still see optimism. But I can also see through the bullet holes, cracks and tears. I can see through them to my damaged reality. I’m frequently forced to just exist in my damaged reality … with no armour at all.

The thing about optimism, and ‘positivity’ is that I think there is so much pressure on us all to be happy people. Don’t let anyone see that your life sucks a bag, now and then.

There’s this feeling that you’ll be outcasted. Thrown from the tribe of humanity, if you’re not shitting rainbows every fucking day, if you admit that you only served the kids baked beans for dinner and that rather than feeling guilty, you found it soothingly hilarious that their classmates were going to suffer the consequences the next day, or if you dare to enter the realm of self-love/hate and admit that when you look in the mirror you don’t like what you see or you DO like what you see (you can’t win with that one!)

The world tells us that nothing is out of reach if we just have a positive attitude. And I’m calling bullshit on that one. Actually I’m knowing bullshit on that one.

I don’t want people to feel bad for not feeling good. I see it everywhere. And it makes me sad.

So I think maybe we could separate hope and optimism.

I don’t think that your hope needs to coexist with optimism.

You don’t need to be optimistic to hope.

And it’s okay to feel hope but no optimism.

I’ve had five shitty years. I’m into my sixth.

And whilst there was some relief when I finally surrendered to the fact that this is just the hand I’m playing with right now and I only have so much control over my life at the moment.

At the same time it was tormentingly harrowing when I initially felt completely empty of optimism at times, and when I tried to find it but all I found was physical pain and emotional loss, sometimes devoid of the ability to see the point to anything anymore.

That’s the loneliest place I’ve ever visited.

But at some point I started to find things that reminded me of hope. And it is those reminders and hope, that save me. Every. Single. Day.

That I could be in such a dark place, and still see hope at the same time. I can FEEL something terrible, but SEE something okay, maybe good even, but not need to feel optimistic, was a massive load off, and helped me to be a little kinder to myself.

If you try to feel optimistic when it’s just not your day/week/year, you can end up just feeling worse. You can feel like you’re failing.

So if today isn’t your day. That’s okay.

You’re not failing.

Don’t get down on yourself.

(If it helps and it’s consensual, maybe let someone else get down on you today?)

Give yourself a little give today.

(Damn! Amazing how fast this post went from sympathetic to sexual.)

In all seriousness, if today wasn’t your day, if you fed your kids baked beans for dinner, and you shat a regular shit … that didn’t look anything the fuck like a rainbow.

I don’t want you to worry. I know I can’t control how anyone else feels. But I still want everyone to feel okay with themselves.

If this isn’t your moment. You’re not failing.

If today isn’t your day. You’re not failing.

If this week isn’t your week. You’re not failing.

If you feel invisible. I want you to know I am thinking of you now.

If you feel it’s never going to end. I wish I could tell you it will end, but I can’t. But I do want you to know that I completely understand you, I know what that feels like. I feel it on the regular.

The thing I wish the most for you, though, is that you can find some hope. And what reminds you of hope. Because if find those, you just might feel a little better about this day that wasn’t yours.

But if you just can’t feel hope. Or feel that all hope is lost. I want you to know, I’m hoping for you now.

I am hoping for better days ahead for you.

💜✌🏼

‘Please Don’t Believe in Me …’

‘… because seriously, it would be so much easier that way.

The drums of negative self-belief could keep beating. My heart could stay caged.

The comfort zone of all I have ever seen could remain securely in my surrounds.

I wouldn’t have to step even a toe through that grating, uncomfortable barrier that has been gripping me so tightly.

I could continue to avoid confronting what has kept me here…

…in this place of “I can’t” and “I don’t deserve”.

I can dodge the pain that comes with asking “Why?”

I could continue to feel as though all is right when I stay small.

I could avoid the fight.

But ya know, I can’t do any of that, when you take my hand and walk with me to the land of ‘can.’

When you gently and magically clear the dust and show me what could be.

When you matter-of-factly show me what I could do. How I could feel. What I deserve.

When you tell me you think I can.

These notions fill my mind with crazy ideas of…

Hope.

Belief.

Pride.

How about..

Confidence?

Strength?

Capability?

I have only started feeling these things since allowing the thought that I might be entitled to follow my passions.

And now, as I stare down the barrel of facing that internal dialogue, this crap just gets louder and louder.

I know I have to move through them all. And I will. And it will be a sublime day when I reach the other side.

If we ever reach the other side?

Whether you relate to my self-belief journey or not, doesn’t matter to me.

I read and hear your journeys and they fill me up with such admiration. You give me a sense of tangible possibility.

“If they can, I can!”

And someday, maybe others will say, “If she did, I can can too!”

Z xxx’

I Wish You Support

Someone asked me today, ‘Do you have support?’ I’m lucky that I could say yes. An absolute, unequivocal YES!

My family and friends who support me are angels.

It’s not easy to support a chronically ill person. I get that. It’s hard to see someone you love hurt, weak etc. And it can be physically and emotionally hard to help or even just watch someone you love be chronically ill.

My support family make my life bearable. That sometimes we can laugh about some pretty serious issues, and at other times come together and find a solution to a problem we never thought we’d solve, as if pulling a solution out of a magicians hat, is remarkable to me.

My support team are my soft place to land. They are my reminders that there are good times ahead.

They are my ‘I can’ when every part of me is screaming ‘I can’t’. Thank you, support team. I love you now. I will love you forever. And even though sometimes it’s hard to see, I am appreciative of every second that you make me feel worthwhile of care and love.

My wish for everyone with a chronic illness, or fighting a battle – any battle, is that you either have your support family already, or you find one, because you deserve one — and you can add me to it if you wish!

Here’s to our support saviours. Our earth angels!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Tag someone who is a support angel for you.)

Photos: A big part of my support crew…

A Little Thought I Had

Just wanted to say…

You are so worth every bit of luscious love and care you can muster up and give to yourself. You are you. And that is gorgeously right. 🙂

It is so important that we take the time to think about what satisfies us in life.

At some point our journeys are most definitely going to end. Not much we can do about that. But we can do quite a bit to create satisfaction while our journeys are still operational!

Take the time to ask yourself if you are happy with how things are, and if you are not, then ask yourself if there is anything you can do to change that. There may be some tiny little moment in your day that you can tweak that will make all the difference. Or you may realise that you want to make drastic changes.

Make sure you are giving yourself the best chance at happiness. Make sure you are choosing for you.

I don’t mean this in a fluffy, life-can-be perfect-if-you-just-think-positively-enough, kind of way. But I do believe we are all making choices every single day that have results one way of the other. Whether they are small or big, they are still our own choices to make.

On another note, I’m looking so forward to seeing my new physiotherapist this Saturday and hearing his plan to use ballet as physio rehab for me. SO excited.

✌🏼❤️

So I Did This Ballet Thing

So yesterday I was doing my usual VERY limited ballet/physio routine, basically just tendus: one to front, one to side, one to back – then repeat on the other side. But I added some developpe-ish moves to the end of my session.

I happened to be recording that ballet/physio session, and when I looked back at the video I was so happy because I’d just done something that I thought would take years to be able to do.

(video is at bottom of post)

And when I think about uploading the video to share my celebration with others, I get an all too familiar interruption to my joy. Because, unfortunately, there is a huge disparity between the amount of people who understand chronic pain and the amount of people who, despite having zero understanding of chronic pain, feel that they know what people with chronic pain should and should not do and they need to share their based-on-nothing opinions with people who have chronic pain.

But here’s the thing, chronic pain sufferers have lived with pain for a long time. Hence the word chronic. And when you have something chronically, you learn to adapt.

So I’ve learned to do things in spite of my pain.

The kind of comments I will get after doing those extra movements, for instance, will be:

“You must be in less pain to be able to do that?”

“I thought you were in pain?”

“It’s good to see your pain has gone away.”

And then later that might or the next day, if I’m feeling pain FROM ANYTHING, those people like to pop out one of an assortment of these crackers:

“Well, what did you expect when you did that extreme move earlier?”

“Well, you’ve learned your lesson now, haven’t you?”

“I suppose you won’t be doing that again, will you?”

And all that crap ruins the moment for me.

So listen up dudes — all I want to do is celebrate the fact that, IN SPITE OF MY PAIN, I just pulled off a movement that I didn’t think I’d be able to do for years.

So please, come on guys. Come and celebrate with me!

*note: I actually didn’t experience any pain from doing my developpe-ish moves.

*note 2.0: I did get a shitload of pain from showering and getting dressed today, though.

Video …

❤️

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Share, if you loved it or relate to it or want to explain chronic pain to your friends.

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See ya later, beautifuls,

Z.

Strength & Point Video

Here’s a little video of me doing some recent strength and point practice. Pretty boring stuff, but I’m just trying to keep doing things.

Have an absolutely AWFUL chest flu right now, so being able to pop up some posts and videos etc. is a lovely thing to be able to do.

Here’s the link to the video:

Share or like if you enjoyed it.

Love and laughter,

Zoe xxx