Sometimes I just don’t want to be here anymore. I just want someone to lift me up and take me to a place where I don’t feel pain anymore, where I don’t hurt, where my energy is limitless.
Luckily, the majority of days I have a great days. Days when I have a zest for life and am so happy and content with the path that I am going down. But then there are days like today when I am just an emotional wreck and feel like the world is just punishing me with this horrible illness.
I just want to talk to someone and them to say magic words that will make me feel better. I just want a hug that will make me feel like every thing is going to be okay. I just want somebody to transfer their energy to me- like an energy transplant- so I can just live like a normal person and not count spoons anymore.
Yes this illness is exhausting, battling fatigue on a daily basis. But what is even more draining about it is the fact that not only do you have to carefully measure and utilise your energy expenditure on a daily basis to avoid overdoing it, but you have to battle the stigma of an invisible illness. People just think you are lazy or slack just because you don’t look sick. But if they could see how distorted and cloudy your thoughts are, the struggle you have on your worst days even getting out of bed or the damaged mitochondria in your body, I am sure they would understand. If they saw the tears you cried because you couldn’t do what you loved or the excruciating pain you felt in your muscles when you do too much by accident or the severe depression and anxiety you struggle with on the worst days, they would truly get it.
All I wanted to do today was to buy a pizza. Yes pretty stupid thing but somehow the idea of getting the pizza was going to lift my spirits. A magical slice of gluten free vegetarian pizza was going to make everything okay. Sometimes food has this gift, sometimes it does not. The only way to find out would be to obtain this dream pizza. But then my body insecurities kicked in. I have already eaten bad enough this week and have not completed my usual exercise routine due to tiredness, so eating pizza would probably add another couple of kilos to my frame.
In the past, I would eat pretty healthy but when I had the occasional slice of pizza or treated myself I had the luxury of going to the gym to burn off those unnecessary calories. A run on the treadmill or some bike sprints and they would be gone. These days, it isn’t so simple. With the limited ability to burn off such treats, these calories tend to go straight to my hips. Then I spend days afterwards feeling depressed and fat because I let myself go and ate half a pizza or had that whole block of chocolate. My greatest fear is getting fat. I like to be in control of my body, I like to look good. Partially because of the model babes that the media portrays that I yearn to look like but also because I want to feel confident and good about myself.
It has always been my understanding, ever since I was young, that attractive people get everything they want in life. The good-looking, popular group at school always attracted the hot boys in school and were good at everything. The good-looking people I meet always have the best jobs, travelling the world, doing what they love and have beautiful families. The good-looking celebrities get all the luxuries in life and endless amounts of money. Is it because they are good-looking, things and people are drawn to them? Or is it because they are good-looking they are more confident and more likely to go after what they want? I guess I will never figure that one out.
As somebody who has always struggled with accepting my looks and being confident, I have always felt unworthy or less in this world. I am not amazing looking, I know that. I was told that in primary school and highschool with my freckles and slight overbite. I have never been super photogenic, I don’t really understand how to do the latest make-up style and I am not super fashionable. And being sick does not make me feel any better. Some days I am tired with bags under my eyes, bloated and barely have the energy to even do my make up which doesn’t create the best image of myself.
But I am saying all of this compared to others- how many Instagram or Facebook likes other people get, how many friends they have or how many people they have chasing after them. Comparisons can be dangerous.
I will admit though, my confidence has grown. I used to be so paranoid just walking in the shopping centre worried about how I was looking, who was looking at me or what they were thinking. I was afraid to look in a mirror because I was ashamed of the ghastly person looking back at me. I never felt good just being me. Whereas these days I can at least do all of those things with poise and confidence. I am not sure if this has stemmed from my recovery or with age but it is definitely more abundant then it was in my earlier years. I am definitely more in love with who I am though.
Not only have I grown more confident in and accepted the way that I look, I have realised what a wonderful person I am. I have great qualities that make me who I am- a generous and kind heart, great people skills, a love and passion for life and an ambitious, optimistic attitude. I don’t hold onto anger or hate, I simply replace it with gratitude and appreciate every single moment of my life, whether it is good or bad as a lesson to teach me strength and give me purpose. Despite some days, like today, having my doubts I am driven to succeed in life and inspire others to overcome hardship and do the same.
While today is not the greatest day and the negative thoughts and self-doubt at the back of my mind are coming to the surface, I just got to roll with today and ride out the storm. Not every day will be like today and when these days happen it is not fun, but I will instead use this in a positive way as an excuse to indulge in some self-love and rest and recuperate. I know that this illness was cast upon me for a reason, a test of my strength, and I must use every moment gracefully and absorb all the teachings I possibly can from it. Not only for my own self-growth but to inspire and motivate others who are experiencing, have experienced or may one day experience such hardships.
I will get back to my positive, optimistic self but today I just need to enjoy this chance my body has given me to stop and chill out. It’s hard when there is so much happening around me and so much I want to be doing in this moment but it seems my body has other plans for me right now. And the way that I deal with it will determine how long this setback lasts. I can either drown in my sorrows and get anxious about my plans and future or I can just embrace it for what it is, take it day by day, and just do my thing. I know that things will work out, I know my life is falling into place, even if it is slowly, and I know I have so much life to look forward to. But today I am just going to live in the present and not worry about what tomorrow brings.
As I see other people suffering, some with debilitating fatigue to the point where they are unable to even get out of bed or need a wheelchair to get around, some with the loss of a loved one or others that have a terminal illness and in extreme pain I realise how grateful I am for how far I have come. I could have gone down the wrong path and ended up a lot worse then I am today, giving into the negativity and depression and subduing my mind and body to this illness for ever, or worse ending up taking my own life. But I am proud of myself for realising that I had a choice to make with this illness, a gift some people don’t get, and I had to use it wisely. The choice I made was to not give up, but to fight despite the challenges I have come up against.
I made the decision to eat healthy, to follow a strict, graded exercise regime, to retrain my thinking with positive affirmations, gratitudes and self-development books, to meditate and practice mindfulness and surround myself with a positive community of people. I may push myself a little too much sometimes in trying to be a normal healthy person and forget the fact that I am battling this illness but I celebrate the small little victories I have had. The fact that I am now able to go to the gym and do weights when at first I could barely get out of bed. The fact that I can eat healthy and not have constant cravings for carbohydrates, sugar or coffee due to my poor energy levels. The fact that I can read again, several chapters in fact, without my head hurting and my thoughts being clouded for the rest of the day. The fact that I can socialise and enjoy time with the people I love without needing a sleep afterwards. The fact that I can get out and appreciate nature without worrying about the after-effects of such uses of energy. These are all wins.
While on days like today, these wins can be shadowed by the dark cloud of negativity and doubt there is no denying that I have come a long way in the past 3 years. And sometimes it takes the words of someone else, those around me, to remind me of that. What I am going through is tough, but how I am dealing with it has made me tougher. Hell after the break up, financial hardship and resignation from two jobs, prior to Chronic Fatigue I would have probably been in a complete state of depression for months. But when all of those things happened, all whilst I was recovering from this illness, I handled it like a boss. Of course there were rough days, but I truly believe that all of this happened to me to prepare me for those events and make me see them as a positive experience, rather then a negative one, to send me on the right path. And slowly, that is what I am heading down. A path of happiness, abundance, love, success and complete health.
These days can make me sometimes doubt my ability. A setback is precisely that, an event that happens that sets you slightly off track or backwards. This is the process with CFS, two steps forward, one step back, and it can be very frustrating sometimes but the fact is a every step forward is progress. I want to be better now, I want to have my business now, I want to be travelling the world now. I am impatient, but as my psychic said to me ‘these things will come, you just need to trust in the universe to get you there.’ I see all these people out there achieving great things and I just want to do the same, but I have to try and make myself see that these things will come to me too after I recover from this illness and escape this time warp my life is currently in. Good things happen to those who wait right?
All in all, it is what it is. I cannot change what I have. But I can change how I think about it and how my mind and body works as a result. I can make this a positive experience rather then a negative one, even on the days where the negativity overwhelms me, and use this to become a better person. And that is what I choose to do. I am just grateful for my self-development materials, meditation and my strong, driven mum for inspiring me to do so. And more recently, I have seen my Pop do the same. Despite his ailments, he has fought them and refused to give up. I guess that is what us Watton’s do.
This may seem like a pointless rant, but to me it has a very important point. It allows me to, through words, turn my bad days into better days. Somehow the words allow me to turn my thoughts into enlightened moments that I know will aid my recovery and in the future, define my life. This journey is all part of finding my purpose, and through the storm I will prove courageous and come out the other side where the rainbow appears and the sun shines brightly. The clouds may catch me every now and again but the will never steal my sunshine- my love for myself or life.
If you are reading this and you are suffering I hope that you know things will get better. It’s up to you though to make it happen. We cannot change our lives unless we change our way of thinking about things. The mind is the most powerful force, and when we change that, we change how our body deals with things, our direction and ultimately our life. So watch motivational videos, join a community, help others or meditate- all of these can help you reprogram the way you see your life and the world.
You are so important. So valuable. And you have a purpose, a reason why you are here on earth. A book called the five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom helped me see this. But to see that you must firstly slow down, focus on your small wins, and only then will you start to see things clearly.
Don’t give up. The world is depending on you to shine like the diamond you were born to be.
And remember, everything happens for a reason.
Peace and love