The Unknown

Chapter

 

I  hate this, I really hate this sometimes.

Honestly, I have been working so hard to get myself back to a balanced life. Eating healthy, doing yoga and working out at the gym, practicing gratitude and positive affirmations, meditating and reading books and listening to audiobooks on self-development, as well as giving myself a whole heap of self-love, so why is it that I feel so horrible today?

All I want right now is a life of normality. To wake up and jump out of bed full of energy, go out and hustle working on my business and just smash through university getting the best results I can. I want to go out a socialise, making a whole heap of friends and hang out with them regularly like other people too. I want to train like a beast at the gym working towards my six pack and get super fit again so that I can compete in marathons and cycle. Is it so much to ask for my body to cooperate with me to help me achieve these desires?

Days like today though I feel as though normality is never going to happen for me. I know it will but it just seems so far in the future. I am trying to be present and just embrace the moment but it can be difficult when you feel as though you are going to be stuck in this state of fatigue, cloudiness and depression forever.

Yesterday I felt so horrible that after picking Eve up from school, I literally walked into the Doctor and almost collapsed. After crying most of the day I was just at breaking point and could not take this anymore. I try not to play the victim, but what is happening in my body is certainly making me feel like one. I feel a though I have lost all control.

The Doctor seemed to think that in addition to this being a setback, things had been amplified by some stomach issues. As he provided me with a diagnosis, a small part of me started to think that perhaps this was the issue all along and that in fixing this, the fatigue, cloudiness and depression would become obsolete. However, today has proved otherwise.

Trust me, I am not usually this negative and I apologise to those people reading and my own mind for being this way. I’m usually quite capable of lifting myself back up. Today is just being extra challenging.

Usually, when I feel this way and I cannot lift my spirits, my mum is the one who is there and always has been to support me. It’s times like this I realise how much I depended on her to help me get through these rough times and not having her here is proving incredibly difficult. I miss her and her positive energy beyond words.

She is not here though and I do not want to bother her nor anyone with my concerns or emotions so instead I turn to a full block of chocolate and Mad Men to try and make me feel better. What I really would like is someone to just make it all go away, but I know that is not possible much to my demise.

I just still don’t understand why this continues to endure so much pain and suffering upon me. Surely I have been through enough already and learned the lessons it was sent to teach me so why cannot it just leave me alone? I’m trying so hard to be strong but I feel like I am just going to crumble.

It hurts to look on Facebook and Instagram, everyone living this fabulous life travelling the world and accomplishing all their goals. Meanwhile, I am just here watching Netflix in bed and barely able to walk 15 minutes to the shops to get a chai latte. I want to be happy for others, and I am, but it is so hard to just watch the world keep spinning while you are stuck, not going anywhere.

I try to reframe my negative thoughts, as I usually do with such grace and ease. ‘You are going to be like this forever’- No you are not Teaghan, this is just today and it will pass. ‘You will never be able to achieve your goals’- Yes you will Teaghan, just get through this setback and you will come out the other side better for it. ‘You will never find happiness’- Yes you will because you are a wonderful person and worthy of so much.

Usually I can make these new thoughts stick, believing them with my whole heart and mine. Today, they are being a bit stubborn when it comes to sinking in, almost like I am forcing myself to believe them and their truth. I guess that’s what happens when you are feeling down and critical on yourself.

I know that I got myself to this point. I forced myself to overdo it by living this type-A overachiever lifestyle, an implication of living in today’s current fast-paced culture, but surely the blame and self criticism needs to stop. It is what it is, I am aware of why I got to where I am now I need to focus on indulging myself in all of the love in the world to get me to the place of complete recovery, a place I know I am well on the way to achieving despite today.

Anxiety and depression over my inability to achieve what I want to today, the fact that my body is in a state of protest and my dull thoughts are all things happening now, but not forever. I may not be able to go to Uni nor wander far from bed today, on account of this setback and issues with new supplements but things will get better. Tomorrow is a new day.

So what can I do today to make myself feel better? Well besides divulging a whole block of dark chocolate and laying on my bum all day, I may treat myself to a nice bath, enjoy a nice healthy dinner (tofu stir fry) and just focus on restoring my energy before tomorrow.

One thing I do need to learn though is to stop criticizing myself on days like today. I am human, my body is healing and I need to love it, not be angry or frustrated at it. This setback is telling me that I need to make some changes and that I am overdoing it in some respect so I need to tone it down a bit. This one I believe was caused by alcohol (from mardi gras), changing some supplements, some emotional moments and of course doing too much as a result of these supplements. One thing I have realised and mum keeps reiterating this too is that I need to keep things simple. Too much medication, supplements and complication overwhelms my body and disconnects me from the universal force, from being grounded. I need to take it back to basics.

Every time I try new things my body hates it. It becomes overly sensitive, cloudy and difficult and rejects whatever I am doing. Then I get frustrated because I don’t understand what is going on, what is happening inside me, and I get angry at myself for making changes. This just becomes a vicious cycle.

What I need to learn is accept setbacks, not to try and fight them with supplements, etc to get through. I am going to have them so just understand that it is an opportunity to rest and restore, not push harder. That is what got me sick in the first place. I guess the good thing is that they are becoming less regular but they are also becoming more intense. I feel like CFS is a this condition that starts off really bad, then has up and downs in between and like most things ends with a bang. Well I hope this is the case anyway because right now it feels like how I felt in the beginning, when my whole world was falling apart. Only difference is, now I am doing it alone.

I know this is making me the best version of me and putting me on the right path, it is just hard to see sometimes. I try and think of people who are doing a lot worse then me, because I know there are many people out there. I guess sometimes I can’t help getting absorbed in my own crap but I am trying hard to see the bigger picture. Things will be okay.

Instead of being anxious about what could happen or what lies ahead I will just choose to make today as great as I can, despite what has been happening. I choose my thoughts and my thoughts become my reality so I need to make them as wonderful and positive as I can. This is the only way I will heal.

Today was rough, but tonight I will not let things get to me. As we speak I am playing Florence and the Machine in between practicing and recording positive affirmations and already I feel like my spirit has been lifted. I love that these things and writing can help me achieve that, in addition to the wonderful people in my life.

One day I will be me again. Today is now and tomorrow is unknown, so I will choose to live in the now and not worry about the future that lies ahead. I have to just trust in myself, my body and the Universe that things will get better, because I know they will. They definitely will.

This is just one chapter of the book that we aren’t even halfway through.

I’m just going to enjoy this chapter for now.

Happy Reading!

-the Soulful Wanderer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Conquered Chronic Fatigue and Now, I am Conquering the World

 

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THE MANIFESTATION

In our lives, each one of us is faced with hardships and challenges that act to test us, teach us and set us on the right path.

For me, the biggest obstacle I faced, the one that absolutely transformed my life and set me on the journey I am on today came in the form of an debilitating illness called Chronic Fatigue.

Like a bolt of lightening, this illness struck me down approximately 3 years ago and from what it seemed, entirely out of the blue. After years of pushing myself to the limit, working multiple jobs, studying, socialising and training at the gym, the exhaustion and fatigue hit me like a tonne of bricks and turned my life upside down.

At the time when it happened, my life was going swimmingly. I had just completed my Personal Training course, was working at Vision Personal Training while building my own fitness business, working at a shoe store and trying to maintain my strict fitness regime.

Then, over the course of a few weeks I began to notice changes in my body. I became increasingly fatigued, unable to workout or work at my usual capacity and struggled to get through a typical day. My thoughts became cloudy and overwhelmed my mind, making it hard to communicate or articulate with others. I began to feel consistently bloated, unable to stomach my usual foods and my immune system just kept crashing, with a sore throat and flu coming on regularly. I was so tired, I craved sugar and carbohydrates all the time just to try and make it through whatever I was doing. My muscles ached and I felt depressed, anxious and just all round horrible.

At first I had no idea what was going on and the worst thoughts came to mind. I worried I had cancer or was dying, and endless doctors visits and blood tests with no avail did not help ease my concerns. Having suffered from depression previously, the Doctors and I began to fear that a bad episode of depression had come on. It didn’t make sense though when everything in my life had been going so fantastic.

After after a month or so, the mental and physical fatigue became so bad that I had to quit my job as a Personal Trainer, my job working in retail and put University studies on hold. I couldn’t train anymore, socialise or even work. I lost my financial independence, my zest for life and as a result, my will to live. In hindsight, the decision to move to away from my family to Melbourne with my then partner in the middle of it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I needed my family and support more than ever.

THE UNVEILING

For 6 months following the onset, I was pretty much passed between Doctors and Specialists trying to figure out what was going on with my body. I was frustrated, even more worried and desperate for answers! So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I began researching my symptoms, using Dr Google to try and diagnose myself in light of my Doctor’s being able to do so. Eventually I found something that seemed to line up with all of my symptoms- Adrenal and Chronic Fatigue. Unfortunately though there was no known cure or treatment.

I approached my doctor with my findings, hoping it would bring us closer to answers. I desperately wanted an outcome, but at the same time I hoped it would be something that was treatable, unlike the illnesses I had come across.

Surprisingly, my Doctor heard out my findings and decided to refer me to a Rheumatologist, particularly after a test result came back showing some kind of inflammation. Finally we were getting somewhere!

After three or four months of visiting the Rheumatologist, having a ridiculous amount of tests and blood tests and forking out huge amounts of money, I was finally given a ‘tentative’ diagnosis, Fibromyaligia. Through the process of elimination, this was the final outcome.

I thought I would be relieved after all of this, but in fact I became much more depressed. The Rheumatologist gave me a fact sheet on Fibromyalgia which pretty much outlined what was to be my future. I would not be able to work, barely be able to socialise and exercise, well you could count that out. I was told that as this condition was treatable and incurable, I would be stuck with this lack of mental and physical energy forever. The diagnosis was then confirmed as Chronic Fatigue by a head Professor of Immunology, which didn’t make matters any better.

From there, I spiralled out of control a bit. I swear, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had a loving partner and wonderful family, I would have just ended my life then and there. What was the point in living a life where I couldn’t even actually live? I began feeling sorry for myself and isolated myself even more from the world and those around me.

THE TURNING POINT

Then one day, something clicked inside me. I don’t know where it came from or what brought it on, but I decided that I could not let this illness dictate my life anymore. I had always been a strong, fighting personality who refused to give up, so why would I give up now? This girl was going to fight!

That began my mission to recover. I tried everything I could, read up on everything and essentially educated myself on healing and health remedies. I tried a nutritional program, a detox program, consulted two Naturopaths, a psychologist and an Exercise physiologist and enquired about various other programs to help. Everyone around me seemed to know someone who had had Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia that cured it from this and that and provided me with endless suggestions. I was overwhelmed with possibilities for a cure or treatment.

After 2.5 years of struggling with the mental and physical exhaustion and periods of up’s and down’s, it wasn’t until 6 months ago in October last year I really started to see myself progress. Other people and myself had given me the hope I needed to recover and I knew that it was a possibility, but it wasn’t until the resignation of another job and a break up from my partner of 3 years I realised what the answer was: me.

All this time, I had been depending on others and their infinite wisdom to help me get better but little did I realise that the only person who could heal me was me. I was giving all the power to others when instead I should have been giving the power to myself to make things better.

After all the work I had done, this was the point I decided that I would be accountable for my fatigue. I had caused it so why couldn’t I allow myself the power to eliminate it? The answer was that I could.

I began listening to self-development podcasts, something I had done in the past without purpose, but now with a drive to heal myself, they became even more crucial. I started reading every self development book I could get my hands on, listened to as many Youtube videos as possible and began to set intentions, practice gratitude and retrain my thoughts through the power of positive affirmations. If I was going to embark on this process of self development and healing, I was going to give it my all.

THE PRESENT

Now, 6 months on from making this decision and 3 years after the onset of Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue (whatever fatigue I have), I am feeling more optimistic, happier and healthier than ever. My energy has been restored to approximately 80%, in comparison to the 20% or so I had at the beginning, my thoughts are clearer and my muscle pain, depression and anxiety are almost obsolete.

In the process of my recovery, I decided that while my main focus was healing, working a ‘traditional’ job was not going to be a good fit for me. I wanted to focus as much energy on getting better as possible and if I was going to earn some kind of income, wanted it to be in a manner that could correspond with this goal. This was the moment I decided to embark on the journey of creating my own job, a job that fit in with my recovery.

These days, in between working out at the gym 3-4 days a week, yoga and bike riding, my main focus is working on several opportunities that will enable me to build a career that I love and can travel the world doing and help others do the same.

This whole experience has completely transformed my philosophy on life and if there is one take-away from all of it, it is that life is the greatest gift and should be enjoyed to the full. Sure I didn’t have a deadly or life-threatening illness, but it was one that really limited my capacity to enjoy the life I had.

By almost losing that and being exposed to the potential life I could have had if I had refused to give up, I have completely reformulated my whole perspective. No longer do I want to let other’s dictate my life, my health or wealth, only I am capable of making that decision.

Therefore, I choose to live a life where my days are filled with gratitude, happiness and adventure. I strive to learn new things and teach myself in order to better my life, my business opportunities and in time that of others. My goal is to create and invest in multiple businesses so that I can focus on self development and travelling the world. My biggest ambition however is to help others live the life of their dreams so they avoid burning themselves into the ground, trying to keep up with the current way of life like I did. I wouldn’t wish this illness upon anyone and if I can help prevent that in anyway, my mission on earth would be accomplished.

THE LESSONS

We were not born to work a 9-5 highly stressful job where our value is exchanged for a petty salary nor were were made to live a life of unhappiness. Depression and anxiety levels are increasing and we are becoming a sicker, more miserable society. So let’s work together to make a change.

We were only given one life, so let us choose how we live it. If you don’t like your job, quit it. If you want to travel the world, do it. If you love someone, tell the them. Whatever you want, you can make it happen. Think it, visualise it and send it out to the Universe for it to take care of.

We are only limited by our own beliefs. The possibilities of this world are endless if we just believe in ourselves and our own capabilities.

I had a bad experience, one that came from limiting beliefs and lack of self- love and I turned it completely on it’s head to make it the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Believe me when I say this- YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

You are a leader in your life, not the victim. You are accountable and in control so stand strong and make a change.

I will be here for you to guide you through it and to provide you with self-development, health and fitness advice that I have used on my own journey but ultimately it is you who decides how you use it.

I hope my story is a testament of what we as humans can achieve in this world and inspires you to take action to do the same. Trust me though, this is only the beginning for me. The first chapter of my novel.

Make this your first chapter to. It all begins right here, right now. You are the driving force.

Look forward to inspiring, motivating and working with you all.

Together we can take on the world. Alone, we are unstoppable.

– the Soulful Wanderer

How To Get More Out Of Life

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Only you have the power to change your life

 

The one thing that I see every day is unhappy, miserable people. Despite my Facebook and Instagram pages filling up with positivity from the wonderful entrepreneurs, travellers and people that grace my newsfeed, I still find the outside world full of individuals who are hating on life, just simply existing rather then living.

One person that springs to mind in particular was a lady that served me in Woolworths the other day. A shortish, middle aged woman stood idly behind her checkout and despite my smile and ‘how are you today’ greeting all I got in response was a grunt. As she packed my goods in a bag and processed my payment, I kindly thanked her and wished her a good day, and of course, not to my surprise she looked down and grunted once again. No thank you, you have a nice day. There were no good manners or courteous exchanges of the sort.

As I walked back to the car, this really got me thinking what in life had caused this woman to be so unfriendly and impolite? Maybe her husband at cheated on her and left her to raise 3 kids alone? Maybe one of her parents had died young and she struggled to live without them? Maybe she just plain hated her job and wanted to be spending time with her grand kids or holidaying in the Caribbean instead? Whatever it was, this lady acted as though the whole world was against her.

Unfortunately this is not a rarity. This woman was one of many people who I see on a daily basis who seem like victims to their own life, one in which they have sacrificed their dreams and happiness to end up in this monotonous, miserable day-to-day existence.

The sad thing is nobody else is to blame but them. Yes, I know this sounds harsh but it is us that chooses how we think and what we think is reflected back to us in the form of actions and experiences within our lives. Now these thoughts may not have been purposely embedded in our brain, they may have derived from beliefs that were drilled into us when we were younger, but they are still OUR thoughts and we must take responsibility of them if we want to change what we give out and get back in life. If we give out unfriendliness and impoliteness, it is highly likely we will get others acting the same in return and attract negative experiences into our life. On the other hand if we give out love and compassion then you can bet that we will attract loving relationships and great opportunities in return.

What I am talking about here is more then this though, so many people I see on a daily basis are not only failing to take responsibility for their thoughts, they are also failing to claim responsibility for their entire life. They work in their current position because the company they work for won’t promote them. They can’t find a job because their are no jobs out there or nobody will hire them. They can’t get good grades because the teacher is to harsh. They can’t leave their job because their husband won’t let them or they can’t afford it. However this victim mentality is just making them fall deeper into the black hole of misery.

We are born into the world as one person, one individual with our own thoughts, personality and beliefs, so why do we let external factors dictate our lives and turn it into something that we have minimal control over. The answer comes down to this- lack of self love.

As we grow from an innocent child into an adult we are influenced by our parents, teachers, friends, neighbours or even in the media who foster beliefs in us that we carry throughout our lives. Some of these beliefs are positive and make us into great people, but others can be negative and self-limiting, degrading our level of self-love and self-worth and it is these beliefs that prevent us from being the extroverted, valuable and full-of-potential person we were all born to be.

Now I am not blaming the people that inflicted these limiting beliefs into our lives, not at all. They were unaware of the power their thoughts and beliefs were having over you at the time, however in order to overcome these and be the person you want to be, live the life you want to live then you need to become aware, take responsibility for your thoughts and change them. The first step to change starts with you.

Of course, change doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time and it is a process. If you can work hard at school, university or in your job, surely you can work hard at the most important thing and centre of all of that: you. The most significant investment you will ever make in your life is in you, but you need to make that decision to start. Nobody can tell you you need to change, nobody can force you to change, you need to be the catalyst for your own migration to your higher self. Once you have conquered your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, the world becomes your oyster and you become the greatest version of you imaginable, projecting greatness and receiving greatness back into your life.

How do you do it? Well what it entails is the following:

  1. Figuring out the root cause of your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs
  2. Providing yourself with a ridiculous amount of self-love to combat these
  3. Daily, repeated positive affirmations.

 

FIND THE ROOT CAUSE OF YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

Firstly you must identify where your problems came from. Reflect back to your childhood, as this is usually when these beliefs take their hold on us. I recommend writing in a table, with three headings Belief, Problem and Cause. Then ask yourself for each belief, what is the problem it has caused and the root cause of it, eg. What is the belief- I am not good enough, Problem- I can’t hold down a relationship, Where did this come from- Bullying at school, abandonment, heartbreak. This may take some time and may be a little emotional, but as you work through them you will come to make more sense of your mind and thoughts to be able to change them through self love and affirmations.

LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF

Secondly we must pour immense amounts of self love into ourselves in order to conquer these self-limiting beliefs. Self love is a difficult concept to grasp but if we are going to have any chance of living the life of our dreams and finding our soul mate, then loving yourself is a crucial step. For me, I had to learn to love myself the hard way after becoming ill with Chronic Fatigue but for you I feel this will be a much more self-willing process. Self-love is about treating yourself as if you were a baby, treating your mind and body with all the delicacy and care it deserves.

Some ways include:

  • Doing things you love
  • Surrounding yourself with uplifting people
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising
  • Practicing mindfulness

Trying to avoid practices like comparing yourself to others, criticising yourself and negative thoughts will also make a huge difference, and while these things may take time, you will find your love for yourself increase profusely when you let them go. Try and make a daily practice of self love, as the more we practice loving ourselves daily, the greater overall love we will end up accumulating.

PRACTICE DAILY AFFIRMATIONS

A great way to re-frame your negative thoughts and retrain your mind to think more positively is through the practice of repeated daily affirmations. Every day for 10-15 minutes sit yourself in front of a mirror and repeat 5-10 positive affirmations that link in with your personal values and that reflect parts of your life that you need to work on. Personally, based on my goals to recover from Chronic Fatigue and build a successful business, my affirmations are centered around these core ambitions. I have listed some great resources for positive affirmations below for you to practice:

35 Affirmations That Will Change Your Life

Louise Hay Affirmations

Wherever you are in this world, you truly deserve to be living the life to the full. With the help of this 3 tier process- uncovering limiting beliefs, loving yourself and positive affirmations- I have no doubt that you will be able to unlock your full potential and get to achieving those goals you have set out in your life. All you need to do is take responsibility for your life and choose to take this first step.

Stay tuned, there will be many more resources on how to transform your life coming soon!

Peace and love

-the Soulful Wanderer

The Magic Potion: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is by far one of the greatest things ever invented. I’d say it is pretty up there with snap seal bags and coconut oil. Apple_cider_vinegar.jpg

Source: By Phongnguyen1410 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34840183

Why you may ask? Well please let me take this opportunity to share with you why I start every morning with a warm drink of apple cider vinegar and lemon!

  1. It helps weight loss and assists in controlling your cravings and appetite
  2. Its a great fat-burning enhancer for workouts when added to water and aids with post work out to deter lactic acid build up
  3. It  contains acetic acid which helps balance pH levels and maintaining alkalinity in the body to reduce infection and disease
  4. It is a natural prebiotic assisting with the growth of good gut bacteria and consequently aiding digestion, heartburn and liver detox
  5. It contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, micro nutrients and beneficial acids to maintain a healthy body and provide energy
  6. It works wonders on your lymphatic system reducing the symptoms of sore throats, allergies and congestion- also helps with reducing bad breath
  7. It assists in reduce candida overgrowth reducing sugar cravings, mental and physical fatigue and yeast infections

But wait, helping your body function properly are just some of the benefits this magic potion can provide:

  1. Its great for your skin as a toner, to reduce acne, eczema and break outs or to eliminate warts
  2. It soothes nasty sunburns
  3. It is a superb all natural, chemical free disinfectant and cleaner
  4. It aids in repelling fleas and parasites on your pets and producing a shiny coat
  5. It kills nasty weeds in your garden
  6. It aids in removing pesticides and other nasties from your fresh produce
  7. It acts as a teeth whitener eliminating stains and bacteria when used after brushing
  8. You can use it as a shampoo, natural dandruff remover and detangler for silky, shiny and healthy hair
  9. When rubbed on your muscles, it eliminates cramps and pains
  10. Rumour has it that it cures hiccups (yet to be proven)
  11. It eliminates the smell of cat urine
  12. Provides a great detox bath when mixed with epsom salts and lavender oil
  13. It acts as a great salad dressing
  14. Can be used as a natural deodorant
  15. Its magical and can be used for most infections or ailments including but not limited to PMS symptoms, arthritis, reducing cholesterol, morning sickness, athletes foot, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, thrush, acid reflux and many more

Honestly, I could go on all day about the benefits of this stuff but I am pretty sure you get the point- it is bloody amazing.

So next time you are at your health food store grab a bottle of this stuff. Make sure you get one that still contains the Mother as this is what contains the essential ingredients. And if ingesting it or applying to to your skin, make sure that you dilute it with water first as it is very potent on it’s own.

Bonus: It isn’t expensive!

Enjoy the magic in a bottle 🙂

teaghanlee xxx

 

 

The Truth Behind Chronic Fatigue

I hear people say it all the time. I am tired. I am exhausted. I need more sleep. But what would you do if one day you no longer had the energy to do even the most simplest of things? Cooking dinner, showering, even thinking and all you wanted to do was just sleep.

Well this is what happened to me and after two and half years of suffering from this multi-faceted illness, I am still struggling to reclaim the life I once had.

Before I got sick, my life was fantastic. I had just moved to Newtown, the lesbian capital of NSW, and as a single lesbian was excited about the prospect of living life to the full and exploring my sexuality. I was working my dream gig at JB HI FI and was an avid gym-goer, training once, sometimes even twice every day to offset my weekend partying habits.

As an overachiever, I always had a habit of taking on to much. And because life was going so well and I was feeling on top of the world, I thought why not fulfil my passion of becoming a PT? So I decided to put my marketing degree on hold in the hope that I could become a fully qualified PT and combine my marketing expertise and fitness qualifications to start my own business. Typical Teaghan move.

I enrolled with the Australian Institute of Fitness, commencing studies around about the same time that I got another job working at Platypus Shoes. So now, not only was I partying, training and working at JB a couple of days a week, I was also studying and working a second job. Now that I look back, it’s no surprise I crashed and burned.

Slowly, I started to notice little things happening. As somebody who used to be really great at talking to people, I was finding trying to articulate myself was becoming increasingly difficult. New people I met, customers at work, whoever I communicated with I struggled to not only get the right words out, but found myself becoming exhausted just talking to them.

I found that studying and learning new information became almost impossible. No matter what it was I just couldn’t remember things, or even worse found that information was getting confused in my head making it even more difficult when trying to communicate that same information back to others. For the first time in my life, I felt stupid and unintelligent.

Then came the more obvious signs of exhaustion. I no longer had the stamina to work out at the gym, get through a whole day at work or even read a chapter of a book. Even the simplest things like blow drying my hair, cooking dinner or showering had become the biggest effort. All I wanted to do was just shut off from the world and sleep. But adult life doesn’t really let you do that. Especially when you got bills to pay.

As I tend to do, I pushed through just thinking it was just me feeling depressed or just being plain lazy. I had always been very hard on myself and as somebody who refused to give up, definitely wasn’t going to let my body crash on me. I just kept drinking my double shot macchiatos and pumped myself full of supplements and pre-workout to keep me going.

Despite all of this going on, I still maintained my avid party lifestyle going out to all the latest lesbian clubs with my group of gay friends and meeting girls. While I enjoyed it for a bit, it wasn’t until I met a girl that I decided that I needed to take a break from this lifestyle for a bit and just settle down.

With much struggle, I finally finished my PT course and after resigning from JB HI FI, got a job at Vision PT. I was absolutely ecstatic and finally felt like all my goals were starting to align, even despite the 4am wake ups and 6am starts as a personal trainer. Despite feeling mentally and physically exhausted, I still continued to build my business all while training clients and myself and working at Platypus Shoes.

But a few months of early starts, my body finally gave in. I found myself being unable to train at all, consistently unable to get out of bed and taking a shit load of sick days to try and get some rest. But no matter how much rest I had, I still felt exhausted. I kept drinking coffee and eating loads of sugar to try and increase my energy but that just ended up making me feel worse.

24/7 I felt like crap. I was consistently getting sick. My muscles ached. I felt sick in the stomach and bloated all the time. I craved endless amount of carbs to try and increase my energy. I was running out of breath walking 100 metres. As somebody who was used to having control over their life, I became increasingly frustrated, depressed and anxious as that control began slipping through my finger tips. I was becoming somebody I no longer knew or even liked.

But I put on a brave face. After beginning to date the new girl I had met, I couldn’t show my vulnerabilities and weakness to her could I? Especially not this girl as she was something special and I feared if I did I would lose her.

I had never been one to show anyone my vulnerable side or ask for help, even from my family, so I continued to suck it up. But deep down, I was struggling so badly.

I began to come increasingly scared of what was happening. And Dr. Google wasn’t much help. My endless searches of trying to match my symptoms with a cause resulted in several possible outcomes: cancer, severe mental illness or an incurable autoimmune disease, among others. As stupid as this sounds, I began to think that I was dying. And endless Doctor visits didn’t ease my concerns.

In the space of six months, I had more Doctor’s visits then I had ever had in my life time trying to get to the bottom of what was going on. Blood test after blood test, every result came back normal with no answers. The Doctor’s began to believe it was psychological, and quite frankly so did I. But this illness whatever it was was making me depressed as I was no longer able to work, train or do things I used to once enjoy.

Then, in the cloudiness of everything, I made a big decision. After a less then 6 months of being together, my then girlfriend and I decided to pack up and move from Sydney to Melbourne. With all my family back on the Central Coast, and my friends scattered between the Coast and Sydney, I knew absolutely nobody in Melbourne. However her family were there and wanted us to move to be closer to them. So I thought why not? I could see a future with this girl and at the time, it didn’t seem like such a stupid idea.

After quitting my job at Vision PT, we moved to Melbourne and while I enjoyed the sea change, things continued to get worse for me. I ended up having to quit my job at Platypus Shoes despite getting a transfer to one of the Melbourne stores and found myself struggling to get through the days. I could no longer keep up with anyone else and found myself getting so stressed and exhausted from normal everyday tasks.

My search for what was going on continued. More blood tests, more tests and no answers. After more Doctor’s visits with no avail, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I continued to research my symptoms, and finally found something that correlated with everything I was going through, Chronic Fatigue.

After months of frustration and no answers, I went to my Doctor with my findings whereby she agreed that Chronic Fatigue could be a possible cause for my symptoms. Finally, I was getting somewhere. I was referred to a Rheumatologist where after the process of elimination I was given a diagnosis. Fibromyalgia and later Chronic Fatigue.

I thought I would be relieved after this, but I found myself reigned with disappointment and heartache after what the specialist told me and what I read about the illness. According to both sources, my life was never going to be the same. I would probably never be able to work, study or socialise again as my limited energy levels were not likely to ever improve. I was heartbroken. In that minute, all my future hopes and dreams were crushed.

I already knew I was depressed. But this just took me to the next level. I would often have suicidal moments where I thought that to continue living would just be a pointless feat. I felt like I was just a waste of life and without being able to fulfil my passions and ambitions, my purpose in this world was invalid. I cried and grieved for my old life, the old me.

I tried so hard to remain positive. Not only for myself, but for my girlfriend. I feared that if I showed her how much I was hurting or what I was going through she would no longer love me anymore. I mean who would want to be with a depressed, exhausted girl with no future right? To be honest, I didn’t blame her if she ran away. She had her whole life to live and I was just holding her back.

So I took a few months off from work to try and sort things out. I refused to let this illness get the better of me and take hold of my life. I spent my days resting, researching chronic fatigue recovery and putting into practice some of my teachings. I joined some groups with people going through similar illnesses, but quite frankly just found them more depressing then uplifting me up so decided to continue the journey on my own.

That was when my entire recovery journey began. And I tried everything in my power to try and get better. A specialised health program, high fat diet, Graded Exercise Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, detox, meditation, vegetarian diet, eliminating Gluten and Dairy, fasting, juicing, Psychology, naturopathy, vegan diet and endless amounts of different supplements including glutamine, magnesium, b vitamins, ginseng, astragalus, fish oil, flax seed oil, maca powder, vitamin d, coq10, gama, acetyl l-carnitine, curcumin and medications such as anti-depressants, steroids and pain killers. Some of it has worked. Some worked for a little bit and the benefits have subsided. And the rest have just had no affect whatsoever or the adverse effects whereby making me feel worse.

The most success I have had so far is with the help of an Exercise Physiologist in learning to balance my energy levels and disperse energy effectively. After implementing meditation to break up the days, alternating between physical and cognitive tasks and building a graded exercise plan, there has definitely been some progress. Regular meditation and yoga has been particularly helpful.

The switch to a healthy, wholefood vegetarian diet has also seen a huge increase in energy levels. Starting the day with a green smoothie, a salad for lunch and a stir fry for dinner, as well as consistent meal breaks, I have found that my energy levels can remain relatively consistent. However if I eat dairy, gluten or too much sugar, that is when I can see the rough effects of fatigue, pain and stomach issues beginning to emerge.

And by far more then anything the most significant thing that has helped me get to this point is personal development. I have had to completely restructure my thinking, trying to divert my negative, depressed mind to think more positively. I have had to completely transform my weaknesses to become my strengths. Anything that was holding me back from succeeding with my recovering I have had to challenge myself and work through. And I have had to teach myself to be grateful for the simple things in life in lieu of the bigger things that I used to require to secure my happiness.

Its still difficult learning to grasp the fact that I am still not up to a normal capacity and am not my old self. I still have days where I am unable to get out of bed because I am just so fatigued. Some days I just can’t even talk to others because I am so cloudy and confused and the things I say will make me sound like a weirdo. And then there are days where I am just so depressed and stressed as I grieve my old life. But I am strong and these days will not last forever.

Its safe to say, the recovery process from Chronic Fatigue has been very much trial and error. In between all of this, I have attempted to work two jobs, one at an Insurance Company and currently with a bank, and while I have seen short term success, the long term outcome is still the same. I am still struggling with this illness but my future is looking brighter. Chronic fatigue was just the world’s way of rerouting my life purpose.

The reason why I share this story is not for sympathy for what I have been through or to gain greater respect. I share this because I want to raise awareness of  invisible illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue and other auto-immune diseases and teach people to understand that you don’t always have to look sick to be suffering. Not only that, but I want people to know that pushing through stress, illness and suffering is not the answer. It only makes things worse for you, your loved ones and anyone else that bares interest in your life and well being. And invisible illnesses do not discriminate. It can reap havoc on anyone’s life in a heartbeat.

Through this illness I have learned so much. But by far the most significant thing that I have learned is the importance of health.

Health is the most important thing in this world. If you have it the world is your oyster. The moment you lose sight of that, problems start to emerge and your life becomes a whirlwind of challenges, for the most part of which we have control over. And a healthy life constitutes a magnitude of happiness.

Now I am no Buddha or Gandhi, but my advice to you is simple. Look after yourself. Eat healthy, wholesome foods. Avoid stress and toxic relationships. Get out in nature. And practice gratitude for the even the smallest pleasures in life.

Your health and happiness define not only who you are but your life and how you live it.

So why not make it count!

teaghanlee xxx

 

Stop Stressing, Start Living!

Approximately 3 years ago, my life was changed forever.

After partying way too hard in between studying to become a Personal Trainer, working two jobs (JB HI FI and Platypus Shoes), training like a machine and pursuing endless amounts of women, I found my energy came to screaming halt. As a type A personality, I struggled to get through one day of work, found myself unable to communicate with people coherently and the simplest of tasks became a challenge. After pushing and pushing, my body finally cried for help.

At first, I had no idea what was going on with me and to be honest, thought I was losing my mind. So many horrible thoughts went through my mind. And endless doctors visits and research didn’t soothe my concerns either as they all came back with no answers.

After two years of being passed around from doctor to doctor and being told multiple times it was all in my head, I was finally given a diagnosis. The process of elimination revealed that I had an autoimmune disease called Fibromyalgia, but the main catalyst causing my body so much havoc was a condition known as Chronic Fatigue.

When people throw this name around, naturally you think it means just being really tired. Well let me tell you it is so much more then that! Categorised by aching muscles, a weakened immune system, debilitating fatigue, severe cognitive difficulties, depression, high stress and anxiety levels and horrible digestive issues, chronic fatigue or myalgic encephalomyelitis as it is more scientifically known, affects your entire body. Nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, musculoskeletal system, digestive system and cardiovascular system- no part of you is left unaffected.

So this sounds pretty frikon horrible right? Well it is. But to be completely honest it is also the best thing that has ever happened to me. As crazy as that sounds, despite sending my body into complete breakdown, putting my career on hold and causing severe stresses on my financial situations and relationships, chronic fatigue has taught me so much about myself and life.

In today’s society, we live in a world where everybody is pushed to their limits. We have all become workaholics, caught up in the toxicity of technology and social media, a money obsessed culture and ultimately, have become a socially inept, media driven society. We no longer engage in meaningful conversations because we are too busy working in a job that we hate to earn money to pay off our compulsive spending habits and pay off a mortgage for a house we will eventually grow old and die in. We come home and watch Netflix or the news to unwind. We focus on the monstrosities that are making the news and destroying our world like terrorism, shootings in America and Kim and Kanye’s new baby but ignore calling that relative we haven’t spoken to in years or the friend who has sent us countless facebook messages that we don’t have time to respond to.  And how is that making people feel? Stressed, bitter and lonely. So where is the part about living?

Well from my personal experience, I have learned a lot about living. And if you just take time the time to try them out, I assure you, your life will improve immensely and your happiness levels will soar.

  1. MEDITATE…I cannot emphasise this enough. In this busy, fast paced society it has become increasingly difficult to unwind and shut off. If we aren’t working on a computer screen then we are on our phones playing candy crush or Tindering. And you may think that is switching off, but trust me it is far from it. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools to allow your body and mind to relax. There are some good apps such as Smiling Mind which allow you to ease yourself into the process if you find it difficult. Start off with 5 minutes a day and you’ll find once you get the hang of it and see the benefits, such as greater clarity, reduced stress and better decision making, you will want to do it every day for at least 20 minutes or so! I highly recommend checking out Michael Sealey and Jason Stephenson on Youtube. Some of my personal faves!
  2. YOGA…If you have not tried yoga before, you most definitely need to get on the yoga bandwagon. Before you start making excuses you most definitely don’t have to be flexible for this one. You will become more flexible as you keep practicing, trust me. Yoga takes stretching to a whole new level and never ever has your body felt so good! Combined with controlled breathing exercises, it allows you to build muscle, increase blood flow, boost immunity and strengthens your bones and joints. Not only that but it regulates your adrenal glands and aids your nervous system, lowering cortisol levels to make you feel less stressed and happier. A good way to start is in the comfort of your own home and then slowly progress to classes as you feel more comfortable. Check out Yoga with Adriene and Yoga by Candance on Youtube. Daily Yoga is also a great app to check out.
  3. BREATHING EXERCISES…Controlled breathing is an absolute wonder for stress relief! Incorporated into both Tai Chi and Yoga, breathing is a great way to centre your nervous system and ground yourself. A great example of the power of breathing exercises is the Ice Man, Wim Hof who has taught himself to regulate his metabolism, heart rate and blood circulation to be able to withstand freezing temperatures. Similar to Yoga, controlled breathing allows you to become more conscious of and more connected to your mind and body whilst improving the efficiency of the respiratory, immune and cardiovascular systems. If you have a spare 5 minutes while commuting to work or on your lunch break, check it out to reap the benefits. I suggest checking out Wim Hof’s breathing techniques on Youtube or Pranayama breathing on Youtube or on the app store is also a great technique to try.
  4. TAI CHI…After reading a book on Tai Chi I am absolutely obsessed with not only the practice but it’s core principles and now try to incorporate it into my everyday routine. Tai Chi, derived from China is part of the Taoism philosophy and centres around the chi, which is our life force. We are all born with a pure chi, but toxicity from everyday life damages our life force reducing our energy levels and connection to our inner being. Through the art of moving meditation and slow, controlled movements, Tai Chi focuses on realigning our mind and body with our original source of energy. Its definitely worthwhile doing some research on but in the meantime try it out for yourself. There a plenty of guides on Youtube to help you with the exercises.

These may sound complicated, but trust me the consequences of not learning to manage your stress and balance your life is far worse. And once you are able to manage all of this, everything else falls into place. You are able to excel at work. Your goals become more aligned. And you have greater clarity on what you want in life. Not only that but your whole entire life becomes more productive and the quality of your life and positivity you experience is phenomenal! You attract the right people, the right vibes and of course you reap the rewards.

It is amazing what reduced stress levels can do!

Hit me up if you need any guidance.

teaghanlee x

 

How to Heal Yourself After a Break Up

So as most of you already know, breakups are a bitch.

Recently, and by recently I mean precisely a month ago, my ex made the fateful decision to end our relationship. After almost 3 years together, a relocation from Sydney to Melbourne and the adoption of two babies, the time had come for us to part ways after she admitted to me that she was no longer in love with me anymore.

When I first heard those words slip out of her mouth, I felt stupid. I knew from the beginning that we were two very different people but being my optimistic self I always envisioned that eventually we would align. But as fate would have it our relationship was just not strong enough to handle our differences as well as my struggle with chronic fatigue, it’s consequential financial woes and some family hardships along the way.

I admit, despite knowing this day would eventually come it has still been a frikon roller- coaster. I know it’s for the best and that this is the perfect opportunity to explore and find myself, but after becoming so accustomed to that one person and living for them it is bloody challenging to adjust to a life without them. This month has just been an up and down battle with grief, and that plus chronic fatigue has just wreaked havoc on my emotional stability.

In saying this, I decided I had two ways to deal with this. I could be a super depressed bitch feeling sorry for myself, reeling in pain, criticising myself for all the things I did to destroy the relationship and shutting off from the world entirely. Or I could instead take this as a chance to rediscover myself and heal. So a few days after the break up, I made a decision. This time, I will choose the latter option and become the best version of me possible. And this is my how to guide on how, so far, I am achieving that and by following, you can do the same.

  1. Do things that you enjoy for you and nobody else. This may sound kind of weird but along my journey of recovery I really came to enjoy doing things by myself. I loved going for long walks in nature, reading a good book and meditating. However I always felt like I couldn’t do these things with the freedom I wanted to do as I felt obligated to please the other person and do what they wanted to do. And it was these things that I knew would contribute to making me better. So now instead of feeling like I have to sit down and watch an unexciting movie or TV series or staying inside all day to make someone else happy I instead grab a good book, have a bath or get out exploring in nature. Even enjoying a nice tea in a cute cafe has become one of my favourite hobbies.
  2. Be grateful for what your relationship taught you. When we go through a breakup,  we can’t help but be clouded by the negatives. But instead try looking at the relationship in a different light. I truly believe that every relationship and every girl I have dated came into my life to teach me something. My first girlfriend taught me how to be more social and have a good sense of humour. My second girlfriend taught me how to be adventurous and enjoy life more. And my most recent girlfriend taught me how to be more appreciative, caring and calm. While they all ended, some amicably, some not, they all contributed to the person I am and love today. Whether we like it or not, everybody comes into our life for a reason. And whether it is our choice or their’s a point comes where their purpose in your life has been fulfilled and it is a time to move onto bigger and better things and make new meaningful magical relationships. No relationship is a failure or regret, just a life lesson so don’t dwell on the negatives.
  3. Open yourself up to new experiences. Truth be told, you probably didn’t do a lot of things in your relationship because you felt limited by another person. But now, you don’t have that concern any more. You are free! Take the time to explore your passions and more adventurous sides. Try that hot yoga class you have been wanting to do. Do that cooking class you’ve been eager to do. Hell, go out bungee jumping if you want to! Your world should be full of endless opportunities and nothing can stop you now. In my experience after being in relationship after relationship and always feeling like I have to be attached to someone, I am now able to find what I really enjoy physically, emotionally, mentally and well sexually. After all new experiences are the only way you are going to find yourself again after losing yourself in the relationship.
  4. Surround yourself with positivity. Naturally after a break up you become super negative. You criticise yourself and point out every little thing that is wrong with you, that is unless your ex hasn’t already done that for you. And some days, it can be really hard to lift yourself back up again. So immerse yourself in positive energy. Find happy, outgoing and optimistic people to hang out with, not Debbie Downers. Listen to plenty of uplifting podcasts (I recommend Tony Robbins or Actualized.org). Do meditation and yoga to make your body feel incredible. Exercise. Whether it be join a gym or just going for a walk, exercising releases endorphins which make you feel incredible. And it helps that you get a banging body to show off! And last but not least, make sure you eat a healthy diet with plenty of good foods. If you have a healthy mind, a healthy gut and are surrounded by happy people, nothing can kill your positive vibes!

So what are you waiting for? Stop feeling sorry for yourself. The end of your relationship isn’t the end of the world but the beginning of a new exciting chapter! Get out there and learn to accept and love yourself for the incredible human that you are. Because you can’t love anybody until you learn to love yourself…again.