Musings and Snoozes

And now I’ll do what’s best for me

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So erm, I got bored of resting and sort of went shopping. Possibly not my brightest of ideas, but I do have lots of lovely new clothes and make up with which to attack the week, and that in itself makes me feel much better. So that’s….medicinal, right?

In all seriousness, I do actually feel much happier about the week ahead thanks to a bit of retail therapy. That and having cut and dyed my hair. Again. If I’m going to be ill and miserable (not to mention fighting my way through unnecessary work drama), then I’m damn well going to be pretty while I do it. There’s a lot to be said for feeling good on the outside as well as the in, and I don’t care how much beauty supposedly comes from the inside, it doesn’t hurt for some of it to be visible on the outside too.

So I’ve had a very indulgent day and I’m feeling remarkably good for it. Physically not so much admittedly – I might have overdone it a smidge, although I don’t feel half as bad as I did Friday and Saturday – but I finally feel like I’ve had a weekend to just focus on me. Yesterday was lazy and sleepy and spent hazily watching the outside, enjoying the sound of the rain when it finally came, and as a result today I was ready to attack the outside world a little more.

So now I’m curled up on the sofa in my new pyjamas (which match my hair, obviously), I have been thoroughly looked after (and fed) by mum, and I feel in a much better place than I did 48 hours ago. Flare up, what flare up?

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Both light and shadow are the dance of love

The sun is disappearing and the clouds are just starting to creep in. It’s dark, yet glowing brightly at the edges, like it doesn’t quite want to give in. It doesn’t smell like rain yet, but it might soon. This is my favourite kind of day. If I look out my window, the blossom is just starting to come out on the trees, and against the blackness of the sky you can see why people talk about the beauty of light against dark.

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Listen to your body’s whispers before they become screams

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I admit it. I’m approximately *this* close to a flare up. I’ve done a fine job of burying my head in the sand for probably the last ten days or so, but I think I might have to admit defeat at this point and accept that I’m more than a little broken.

Which of course means that there are a hundred other things I’d rather be doing. Much like cleaning the bathroom became a tempting prospect when faced with essay writing at uni, I now find I’d quite like to go to the gym, go shopping, tidy the house, walk the dog. You name it, it’s more tempting that staying home all weekend and taking care of myself.

I always used to think I’d be really rather good at doing nothing. I mean isn’t that what everyone craves? Taking time out for yourself, lazing on the sofa, taking long hot showers….? And I do, I love doing those things. When I’m well. But the enjoyment is kind of taken out of it when you can’t sit still because of muscle spasms, or when the shower may help the pain, but it leaves you so tired that you have to lie down afterwards. There’s an ecard that always does the rounds on chronic illness forums that says “you don’t know what fatigue is until you’ve had to rest after taking a shower” and it’s horribly true. Which is particularly frustrating for someone like me who could quite happily live under a hot shower! If nothing else, it’s where I do all of my over thinking and have all of the imaginary conversations and arguments that I’ll never actually say out loud . Obviously.

So I’m currently doing a fine line in moping, whilst issuing instructions from the aforementioned sofa. At least I am when I can formulate sentences -it’s just taken me four attempts to ask for rice to go with my dinner. Poor Jon puts up with a lot. The pooch is of course being super sympathetic, by which I mean she’s sat on my foot (which hurts) while trying to pretend like she hasn’t been fed (nobody believes her lies), and I think I just have to sit tight and ride this out. Blanket, sofa, chocolate, meds, pooch, internet. Suck it up Lizard and just be good to yourself.

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Sometimes all you need is a good friend

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Adulting is overrated

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Two hours sleep. Two. Suffice to say this morning was less than pleasant – even the dog didn’t dare come too close. And in the end I had to admit defeat and come home from work early. By the time it got to 2pm and I realised that I hadn’t done a single productive work-related thing, I decided there was precisely zero point in me being there. So once I’d finished scowling into my coffee and had a talking-to from Max, I managed to drive myself home in one piece (just!) and collapsed in a heap in bed.

Four hours of napping later and large glass of chocolate milk, and I think I might feel almost human again. Or as close as I ever get anyway. Honestly, when did this adulting thing become so hard? I feel I should apologise to my toddler self for the inevitable fights I used to have over nap time – I’m a firm believer that they should be brought back into my working day now. Sadly no matter how many times I suggest this, somehow it never seems to get approved. Can’t imagine why…..

So time to address the medication again. Mostly the fact that I’m rubbish at taking it, despite the app on my phone that pings incessantly, and that I just ignore. I’m sure Calpol was never this hard as a child. And maybe the fact that I seem to have categorically ignored everything I ever learnt in therapy last year about pacing and being kind to myself. Possibly should address that again too. Aside from all that, I’ve totally got this under control.

If you need me, I’ll be the one under the duvet, scowling at the world and generally just feeling sorry for myself. Feel free to send hugs and general pats on the head. Thanks.

 

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Dear 3am, we have to stop meeting like this

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Just one night this week I’d really like to get some sleep. Or more accurately I’d like to sleep before 5am, so that I don’t then wake up at 7, unable to get out of bed due to utter exhaustion.

Considering I couldn’t keep my eyes open while Jess was here earlier, logically you’d have thought I’d have come straight to bed and fallen asleep. But no. Instead I’ve tossed and turned, gotten angry, thought about my day in great detail, thought about tomorrow in even more detail, tried counting sheep in three different languages, talked to the pooch, and drunk half a pint of chocolate milk. And here we are at 3.30am, awake, pissy, and positively fantasising about the sheer amount of coffee I’m going to need to get me through the day tomorrow.

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Come down little girl, it’s safe now

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I’m all out of words tonight. It’s gone midnight, I’m wide awake, and I just need to settle. Easier said than done.

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My body is a charm bracelet, my tattoos are my charms

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I’ve written before about my love of getting tattooed, but yesterday I decided to write about it as it was happening – from killing time in the car beforehand (because for once in my life I was early), how it feels when I’m being inked, to the spike and crash afterwards. It’s an experience I love, and one which never ceases to amaze me because of just how good it makes me feel. So I’ve done a lot of writing over the last 24 hours and here is just an insight into how the tattoo process works for me.

Shockingly, I’m 20 minutes early. For a girl who’s likely to be late to her own funeral, this is nothing short of a miracle. Still, it’s a nice day so I’m sat in the car with the roof down, soaking up some much-needed Vitamin D. God I’ve missed sunshine, roll on Summer…! I’m so excited to finally be getting more of this design done. I knew when I got the initial flowers last year that I wanted to make this into a big piece, but I thought it would just stay as an idea that I’d never get round to going through with (story of my life). But no, here I am, about to go and see how much Emzie can get done in an hour. There will be significantly more swirls at the end of it, that’s for sure 🙂

Even now I find it hard to explain how good it feels when the needle is on my skin. It quite literally puts me in a trance-like state that relaxes me instantly. Everything else just fades away and I’m completely calm. For someone who is almost constantly in pain/anxious/tired to the point of exhaustion, I can’t tell you how amazing that feeling is. Meditation and mindfulness go so far, and there are other, not so safe, not so legal ways to feel this good, but to get something so beautiful as the art on my skin at the end of it as well makes it my favourite way to relax. 

Sat in Starbucks topping up my sugar levels now, like I ever need an excuse for coffee and cake, but shh. Jon’s coming to meet me in a bit, but I’ll take this chance to try and explain all the post-ink endorphin fueled adrenaline that’s running through me right now. Firstly, and most importantly, I’m not in any pain. Not just no tattoo pain, but no pain whatsoever. I forget how strange this feels and I honestly don’t think I can even begin to explain it to someone who spends the majority of their life pain free anyway, but for me, it’s pretty damn incredible. It doesn’t last, it’s usually about 2 or 3 hours tops, but I plan on enjoying every minute of it in the meantime. The temptation is to go and do all the things that pain stops me doing, but sadly the after effects are still the same and once this wears off, I’ll be back to where I was before, only worse off if I go and run a marathon or some such crazy. But I can enjoy just sitting here and feeling normal, walking up the stairs and not hurting when I get to the top, holding my coffee cup without my wrist complaining. They may be little things, but it’s the little things you miss when they’re taken away, trust me. Anyway, endorphins, happy face, I am enjoying this, regardless of the strange looks I might get for grinning into my coffee cup 🙂

Feelings and emotions aside, the tattoo itself looks fab. I am so very lucky to be able to go to Emzie and just say “hey, more swirls and some little flowers please” and for her to just know what I see in my mind.
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She’s even drawn a mini lotus flower which I wanted but actually forgot to mention, so by pure luck it’s perfect. In an hour we’ve done the whole top half of my arm – pretty damn impressive. So I’ve still got the bottom half to join it up completely with my forearm piece, and then we’ll go back and fill in some of the gaps round the back of my arm as well. I’ve kept the same colours as my shoulder pieces, and I’m glad – I was undecided about whether to just make the rest of it black and white, but actually the splashes of colour work really well.
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We got very excited about watercolour tattoos too, so they might be next on the list because the pink would look amazing. I’ll just add it to everything else I want done….

And so comes the crashing. So so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open. The plus side for me is that it’s actual sleepiness, rather than just pointless fatigue, meaning that sleep should be pretty easy tonight, which’ll make a nice change. My body sort of goes into shutdown at this point – everything slows down and I get drowsy, like taking too much Piraton as a kid! It’s a nice feeling, so long as I don’t actually want to get anything done of course, but then it’s Saturday night and nothing ever needs doing on a Saturday night. I’ve made myself a nice blanket nest on the sofa, we’re watching films that I don’t need to think about, and I can happily drift in and out of consciousness for a while, dreaming about my beautifully decorated skin. 

Which brings us back up to the now – Sunday afternoon – the pain of the tattoo itself is of course kicking in, but that’s ok, nothing that large amounts of cocoa butter won’t fix! And it’s not a patch on the pain felt after getting my shoulders and side done, thankfully! I joke with Emzie that I’m so calm when being tattooed now because nothing will ever feel as painful as my side did, but it’s probably true. Even I struggled to find my inner calm there! So I shall continue to spend the rest of the day looking at my arm and grinning, while planning the three hundred other tattoos I still want and wondering at which point I’m going to win the lottery and be able to get them all done!

But there we go, a little insight into why I love being tattooed so much. It’s not for everyone, and I don’t expect everybody to understand, but it’s a massively important part of my life and on the really hard, pain-filled days, it’s the little things like this that keep me going.

 

 

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