100 Happy Days 8 – a hand written letter

Today I wrote a long-overdue letter to my friend in Portugal:

Got a long way to go

Apart from that I’ve been busy all day. Done a lot of walking, which is good. And I got my hair cut! The medication has killed my ends far too much. Now they’re gone, and I’ve dyed over the rest to make it one colour again.

I know I have a long way to go before everything’s back to normal, but every little step lights up my day.



Taking it slow

So I know I said I would record everything I did and work really hard and give myself no cheat days or excuses and blah, blah, blah…

But I’m going to take the assumption that “gets admitted to hospital for 4 days” kind of overrides that?

Don’t worry, I’m alright. I am taking things easy, resting up, pacing myself, and all the things a post-hospitalised person is supposed to do.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve spent the last hour since getting home fervently beavering away to catch up on my neglected internet accounts, now I really need to put some washing on, perhaps make some dinner… oh, and my bedroom carpet needs hoovering so I can start using that room for my packing! Because, you know, moving house within the next few weeks…

Taking it easy… right…


Too much reading

Yes, this is a thing, and I’ve become hopelessly guilty of it over the past week. It’s not just reading, either – videos and images. I’m obsessed with absorbing content!

But there has been a large number of subtle changes and important influences which I have gained from this time of pure absorption.

Firstly, I’ve found some serious issues to become involved in. Causes to support. Movements to believe in. Some were already existent and have been strengthened by my research. Others I’ve discovered anew, but found a burning passion for them that I cannot bring myself to ignore.

Secondly, I’ve found a growing desire to write. Not my fictitious works so much, but more serious issues. I find myself looking at ways to contribute to the sites that influence me the most. And, while I accept that now is not the right time for me to make those steps, it’s becoming a future goal to shoot for.

Thirdly, all this is helping my Happiness Project. It’s giving me distractions on the days I’m feeling unwell, such as today. And it’s giving me more ideas for goals and tasks I can work into later months.

So there’s a lot of positive coming out of this. And that’s the excuse I tell myself when I’m still reading articles and watching videos at 4am…

I need to stop doing that. It’s really not good for me!


February – how I wear myself

After a lot of thought, I chose this as February’s resolution. It’s ambitious, but I think it’ll set me up on the right path.

How I Wear Myself:

  • Eat, sleep and do right
  • Make the little efforts
  • Own my environment
  • Know my goals – practice makes perfect
  • Keep a record of everything

So this one’s going to need a little more explanation. First one makes a lot of sense really – I’m not expecting miracles with my medication, but I am going to start making a solid effort to eat better, sleep better and do more activity that keeps me moving. I know the recent weight and mobility issues won’t vanish overnight, and probably won’t shift at all until my immune system stops trying to kill me. But I’m still going to try.

As part of this, I have made a purchase from my wish-list – a set of fold-away peddles I can use at home to try and build up my muscle strength slowly. They’re better than I expected, and I’m going to try and use them every day while I’m doing other activities, such as reading. This will help me back on my feet, which will help me exercise more, which will help me get back to myself faster. In theory, at least.

Next, the little efforts. This is just small girly things really – painting my nails, for example. I love having nice nails, but I never spend the time fixing them. Or using skin care products more often. My face is still remarkably clear, but the medication has caused rashes all down my neck, arms and back. I’m hoping that some gentle conscious effort on my side will encourage this to clear up faster, and make some bounds towards my self esteem. I want to make those efforts, so I’m going to make the time for them.

Next, owning my environment. This is a rolling discovery from last month. I treat my possessions like they belong to me, but I’ve been doing it wrong. My belongings are mine, but so is my house. The space INSIDE my house is also mine. And choosing to have space instead of particular items is important. So is the presentation of my items, as I do plan on having people come to my new flat, and I want it to look inviting. So I’m going to try and start treating my whole environment, from bathroom to bedroom, as my huge belonging. I will be given the chance to decorated this new flat – choosing carpets and curtains, painting the walls. So it’s a good time to work towards a goal like this one. And I might not be able to take the flat until the end of the month, but that doesn’t mean I can’t plan ahead for this environmental ownership.

Knowing my goals is another one from January, linked to the little efforts resolution too. When I went through my clothes and got rid of 4 huge black bin liners full I had an image in my head. It was fuzzy and flexible, but it helped me to measure up all the things I came across to that image. Would the person I am aspiring to be, not as an unreachable goal but as a shift from something diluted to a more concrete and tangible me, have room for this particular thing in their life? If they would, then it an stay. Of not, then it can go. And tangible me isn’t like saying “I don’t want to be childish so everything youthful must go” – I have a few teddies. But only a few get to stay. I am being ruthless, but in a way that supports the final product, environmentally and internally. It all heads towards the end product – which isn’t a person who looks back and wishes she hadn’t got rid of this thing or that. I won’t get rid of anything I can’t bear to part with. But, if I’m really honest, there aren’t many things I can’t live without. And the rest I’m working through bit by bit.

The last resolution, I think, will actually be the hardest. Keep a record – and I do mean of everything. I’m not showing anyone. I’m writing very personal details in this little book of mine. But I am going to leave no cheat days. No times when I don’t count the points, or spend a lazy day and won’t admit it. I will write my sleeping pattern, my diet and my exercise. I’ll write all those little efforts and skin care products. I will record everything. And that way I have no excuses.

So February will be ambitious, but it’ll give me a focus. And it’s a focus I’m excited about. I have my little record book – not the same as my diary, this one won’t leave my flat or contain anything about appointments or tasks I need to complete. And, at the end of the month, I can look back and say to myself that’s how hard I tried. If I’ve gone nowhere it won’t matter – I’m not trying to lose weight. I know better than to wage war against steroids. But I’ll have written and recorded proof to myself that I’ve tried. That’s all the boost I need.

Roll on February!


Another little drop

Turns out the lowered dose of medication was too steep – I’m back in the danger zone again, but we’re being proactive about it and my dosage has been adjusted.

Still, it’s caused some setbacks in my month. I’ve kept up with stocked items and checking the diary – everything else has sloped off a little. But I’m no super-heroine, I’m only a human being, and I can’t expect the world from myself when myself isn’t up to it.

Fingers crossed the medication changes work and I end up back in perky-land. until then, we’ll see what happens.


Steroids, sleep and Sherlock Holmes

A part of me can’t believe they didn’t tell us… but, of course, a part of me totally can. They make us wait two years for the third season of Sherlock only to not explain how he survived the fall at the end of season two. Because Steven Moffat is a cruel literary genius.

Today’s my first day of 15mg steroids – another jump down. I’ve had a headache all day, but I’ll live. I’m also struggling to sleep at the moment, again something I’m putting down to the medication. I honestly do hope things balance out, and that the problems don’t persist into being chronic. But if they do we’ll just get on with it, of course.

I’m alone in my boyfriend’s haunted house. Should I be worried?

One thing I do need to do today is finish one of my Deviant Art group stories. It’s due in maybe two days. But I’m finding it hard building the motivation to make it awesome. I might just have to do my best for now and rework some of it later…

As for this exact moment, I’m thinking¬† of reading the next section of The Happiness Project – March. I’m enjoying splitting it down like that and reading each month at a time. Hopefully it’ll feed my fire a bit and I can get to work afterwards.


So far, so good

There’s only so much I can do with the resolutions when I’m still in Durham until Sunday, but that doesn’t mean I’m ignoring them. I’ve just finished reading the February chapter from The Happiness Project, and enjoyed the thoughts about relationships and love.

I think it’s interesting to listen to a thoughtful account of relationships from the other side of the whole marriage and kids thing. In many ways I think Gretchen charms me, not because of her charisma, but because I see a lot of my own ways of looking at the world through her words. She seems to examine everything like I do, and that warms me to her work. I also think she was right when she told her friend she didn’t need therapy – I myself have had counseling, and love the way it taught me to understand my own behavior and influences. But Gretchen doesn’t need that. She’s very aware of herself already.

As for my own resolutions – I’ve really enjoyed her January chapter, and the way she discusses clearing out her own spaces. While having a shower earlier I was considering two very important things: first, that when myself and my partner went to the Metro Centre the other day, I bought more pairs of shoes than I ever have before in a day. I bought four: two nice pairs, and two daily-wear pairs. They are more likely to be worn than a few other pairs of shoes I have – I’m not a shoe person, I hardly have any. But if you were to ask me how many pairs of shoes I have, before this particular shopping spree, I’d have said two. I have a nice pair that’s on it’s last legs, and probably doesn’t count. I have a pair of boots that are dressy but I haven’t worn them in such a long time I don’t think they should count either. The two pairs are a nice pair of low heels that I use for nights out but can also wear to interviews – my smart shoes. And my daily ones are a pair of high-tops from last Christmas that are just beginning to leak.

But I do have other shoes. I don’t wear them. They live in a bag. Why do they live in a bag and not the bin? Or someone else’s shoe rack? This is definitely somewhere I’m going to start when I get back home. Gretchen’s made me realise that, though I am much more disciplined than I used to me, I still have a long way to go. I need to be more strict with myself.

I’m also going to look into the idea of a car boot sale (UK version of garage sale) to cleanse my unwanted belongings but also try to make some pennies back from it. When we were at the Metro Centre I did overspend a little, but not purely on things that weren’t needed. The shoes were a must-buy. I really needed those, and it’s given me the nudge I needed to realise I don’t need the rest of them. I also bought some boxes to give my kept belongings a home – I don’t have many empty boxes left for the things I do want to keep. I have a new Tai Chi DVD and book set – something I’ve always wanted to try. I enjoy Yoga already, but I like trying new things. And it all fits into my Health and Well-being box – spiritual health is important too, after all. And Tai Chi seems very spiritually as well as physically beneficial.

I am feeling really good about the progress. I know it’s only a day, and there’s not much I can do from here. But I am using my diary very intently, and I am thinking about all the things I need to do when I get home. Planning ahead, always something that makes me feel more positive.

Now I’m off to eat my dinner and watch the new episode of Sherlock. Lets see how he survived that jump… it’s only taken two years!