Saturday, 14 April 2018

Life Happens - Back To The Old Me



The last month of the first quarter of 2018 is coming to an end and I'm sure many of us are losing our heads at how fast the year is moving. I can't believe it (I can but I can't, ya zimmi?), every time I plan my months out and set goals, I'm always shocked at how little time there is to do everything.

This post is mainly update on my life and what I've been up to the past couple of months.

If you follow me on Instagram (@jez_slyn), I said I'd talk about how overcame a recent mental and physical breakdown. I mentioned that I'd had viral infection which had triggered a Lupus flare (I had symptoms of joint pain, nausea, migraine, blurred vision, anxiety and clinical depression), resulting in me deciding to leave my job and focus on mentally and physically getting better.
I am someone that doesn't like to complain, I just get on with it which could be perceived as me not really being unwell. This is something I know I need to work on, making people understand that actually, I'm not feeling too good and I'm going to hibernate.
When you're working for someone, hibernating is not really an option and that's when it can take a toll on your body.

This is exactly what happened to me.

Back in August 2017, I was at my mental and physical best, I had a great appetite, I was at a healthy weight (58kg), going to the gym, my skin was healing (Lupus shenanigans) and overall I felt great. I had fully recovered from the stress of uni. At this point, a job seemed okay for me to embark on, something light but mentally challenging (I love a challenge!)
For the past 6-7months, I'd been working back to back, no days off (even when I felt like absolute shite). Many a time, I felt guilty taking a day off because of illness which is why I didn't or I felt I would perk up during the day, many times I didn't but I pushed through. I ignored the people closest to me telling me to rest, take a break.
Big, big mistake.
I caught a viral infection and I couldn't fight it off, I take steroids for Lupus and they supress the immune system so I struggled to fight off the infection along with being too exhausted to. My temperature was through the roof, I couldn't talk or come out from under the covers without my head pounding. I hadn't felt this unwell since uni and it started to affect my mental state. I was anxious about telling work that I was unfit to work, guilt was kicking in for taking too many days off, I didn't want to talk to anyone, I wasn't eating anything, I felt stressed out and helpless. This went on for nearly 2 weeks before I felt that I needed to do something, doctors had given me the help, my family had looked after me and given me advice and now it was all on me to sort myself out.


How I overcame, yet another flare.

PROCESS OF ELIMINATION

For me, this is the only thing that helps me overcome a flare, eliminating everything, I mean everythingggggg, that could be causing stress, anxiety or general illness.

I find it hard to do but it has to be done otherwise, I don't get better.

After speaking to my family, handing in my notice at work was essential and I couldn't feel bad about it. It was a difficult decision but again, it was a must, it was affecting my mental and physical state way too much to ignore and continue. I wasn't getting proper breaks and lunch at work and there was no point going back into a situation that would trigger another flare, it was a risk not worth taking.

Another thing that had to be eliminated was eating foods or meals that made me feel unhappy or unsatisfied, is a better word to describe the feeling. I can be a very picky eater and eating foods that I wasn't excited to eat or eating repeat meals can set off a string of having no appetite. When I have no appetite, I do not eat, I can go hours without eating and not feeling hungry. This then triggers rapid weight loss.

Lastly, workload. Whether it was personal workload or 'work' workload, reducing the amount of things I needed to commit to or complete was very important and most certainly essential in recovering.


PROCESS OF RECOVERY

As cliché as this may sound, going to the gym or exercising in general, helps me a lot. People always advice that you exercise to feel better and as much as you don't want to believe it because it sounds like too much effort, it definitely improves your physical and mental state.
When I felt my body could be pushed, I'd go to the gym, do a light work, foam roll (very important! Read my post on why) and stretch. Doing this at least 2-3 times a week built up my motivation and 'appetite' to go to the gym. Going to the gym is therapy for me, it clears my head, builds my confidence and gives me a boost, overall.

Eating and appetite. Two detrimental things. Building my appetite was very important, I lose it very easily and I always try my best to maintain it. First things first, I went FOOD SHOPPING, I bought everythinggggg I felt like, bread, ritz crackers, soft cheese, grapes (I lurveee grapes), biscuits, crumpets, everything I was craving basically. This shop itself, made me WANT to cook and eat. I planned my meals and snacks for the week and before you know it, I was enjoying eating again.
My eating habits go hand in hand with exercising, going to the gym makes me very hungry so going was helping build my appetite, which I knew it would.




So that's my journey of the past 6months or so, I'm still in the recovery period, trying to gain back my body weight, keeping up with gym, controlling my stress levels etc.
It's not been easy but getting back to a state of healthy is so important to me.
I'm slowly introducing things the I love doing back into my routine (blogging included!) and I'm looking forward to a healthier, happier me!

Have you been in a rut recently, or not yourself? What did you do to get yourself back on track?
I'd love to hear your journeys!

Take care, Jess x

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