My journey with chronic illness has spanned over half my life. As a young teen, I received diagnoses for multiple mental health issues, including Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), major depression and anxiety. To this day, in my mid-30s, these issues still plague me. In addition to my mental health conditions, I have also been diagnosed with multiple chronic illnesses, including Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. Starting my chronic illness blog, Life in a Breakdown, has helped to change my outlook on life and move through the pain.
I’m Sick Again?!
In my early twenties, I began to find myself once more. I had made it out of the cycle of abuse and was finally moving on in life with my faithful sidekick, my dog Sally, alongside me.
View this post on Instagram
At the start of the year I didn’t think I would be here, posting this today! But here I am. Today Sally dog has been in my life 13 years which makes her an amazing 18! Today has of course been all about her with lots of love, hugs and chicken! How’s your Wednesday been? #UKBloggers #UKBloggerLife #BloggersTribe #InstaDog #DogsofInstagram #IGCutest_Animals #AnimalLove #BuzzFeedPets #AnimalsAddict #DogsAndPaws #DogSmile #DailyBarker #DogsOfTheDay #DogStarGram #DogLoversFeed #DogsOnInstagram #DogsLife #WeeklyFluff #DogsCorner #MustLifeDogs #CutePetClub #PetsCorner #Mutt #Petsagram #PetOfTheDay #PicPets #FluffyPack #WorldOfCutePets #SeniorDogsOfInstagram #RescuedIsMyFavouriteBreed
I worked voluntarily as a youth ranger for the Wildlife Trust, where I spent all my time outdoors. On the job, I helped tend to the local flora and fauna of the area, took graphs of rare plants and even learned to fell trees. During this time, I also assisted with school visits, helping with pond dipping, animal identification, and pumpkin carving. Additionally, I re-enrolled in school, beginning a degree in criminology.
I’m adopted, which I strongly believe contributed to my mental health issues. From a very early age, I have dealt with invasive thoughts on abandonment and death.
Around my 23rd birthday, my birth mother and I planned to go on vacation with her and her husband, but instead, I fell ill. An outbreak of swine flu had occurred and I, unfortunately, caught the bug. The airline banned me from flying and I missed our holiday.
Although disappointed by this turn of events, I consoled myself that it was just a holiday, something I could easily do later. I never thought my sickness would never leave. You see- while the flu went away, I stayed sick, my symptoms replaced with constant fatigue, pain, and a foggy brain.
It’s Not Getting Better
At first, doctors told me it was most likely post-viral fatigue. All I needed was time and some rest.
Resting, however, was impossible.
If you’ve ever struggled with mental health, I’m sure you’ve heard the commonly repeated mantra “get up when you feel low”. You’re told that depression is preventing you from getting up when you don’t have the energy to move.
But, suddenly, I was told to fight that deep-seated idea. Now, when I felt tired, I should rest, which I found extremely hard to deal with. I went from an active lifestyle to resting 24/7, because my doctor’s told me I would get better. That all I needed was time.
However, things slowly began to collapse around me. I no longer had the energy to volunteer since it was too tiring and painful. I also had to put my studies on hold, because my brain couldn’t hold information like it used to.
Time is no healer
When it became obvious my sickness would continue to trouble me, I reached out to numerous specialists. Fatigue plagued me, and I often felt as if a weight had been pressed down on my body, making it difficult to move.