The comfort barrier.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”-Neale Donald Walsch.

Life is a word that throws up so many scenarios on a daily basis to the point where we can lose sight of our train of thought and can on occasion question our own ability to succeed with the simplest things that life has to offer. Comfort on the other hand is another thing that can fall into this category.

We can associate comfort with the support our loved ones provide however when comfort becomes too comfortable then feelings can emerge where we wonder whether we are able to cope as individuals or whether we become heavily reliant on the people offering that comfort.

With me I was like that with my seizures. I relied heavily on my parents to the point where I didn’t want them to leave me.

It become the same old practice where I’d be careful, then I’d go into denial, then I’d cry, then I’d be worrying for days on end about everything and nothing. To be honest when the seizures left this pattern never disappeared it became normal to me.

Throughout Sazzle’s blog I’ve stressed the emphasis of support and how having the right support network around you can be beneficial. To this day I’m still hell bent on having the correct people around you, the people who you can turn to for advice, the people who are prepared to offer the advice without scrutiny and the one’s when the going gets tough are prepared to make you smile when you feel like the world is caving in. It’s about give and take it’s not solely about the taking.

Although these qualities are beneficial to aid our negativity towards our condition there is sometimes that overwhelming feeling that you can’t cope on your own and that without that support you’re sure enough to fail.

With me I was a nightmare particularly when it came to criticism more so with my family.

I hated the idea of people criticising me that would then result in me biting. I wanted them to take my advice but when the shoe was on the other foot then all hell would break loose. This was me then. This was me when I was in my late teens.

As I’ve grown older I’ve drawn the conclusion that if you’re prepared to dish it then you have to be prepared to get the same back.  Not everyone thinks like you, everyone is different. Again with me this was a comfort factor an element of control that would backfire. I used to do this mainly with my Epilepsy because in their eyes they couldn’t quite comprehend what I was going through.

Over the past few years I’ve been at battle with myself; albeit it a battle where I can see light at the end of the tunnel the questions that have arisen as to whether I can leave the past where it ought to be, the uncertainty as to whether I can accept Epilepsy for what it is and the wondering whether as a person I can overcome the insecurities I once had has been what I would consider to be a rather large learning experience for me.

To be able to trust the right people has become a question that has always remained a question until now .

To me I have my insecurities the majority I have already explained on Sazzle’s blog however some that have remained tight lipped and have made me wonder why I cannot become an open book and just get it all out there to make myself better.

Maybe this is where comfort comes in; maybe it was the fear that again people just wouldn’t understand.

To not be able to release the doubt is something I have became comfortable with again until now.

Those who know me will know me as being a flamboyant woman who comes out with the most ridiculous things and who forgets what’s she’s just said moments after she’s just said them however there have been moments where the doubt has crept in and the fear of my insecurities returning along with my seizures is one that has caused me immense pressure and something I’ve chosen to push to one side.

As I sit here writing this blog post I remember what it was pre diagnosis, diagnosis itself and the aftermath; all of which has had it’s highs and lows.

Compared to others reading this many may think that in comparison to them it’s been a relatively smooth walk in the park for me however with me it was the psychological aspect of Epilepsy that has been the bitterest pill to swallow. To erase Epilepsy from my life was something I was adamant I could do only to fall every time. Instead of acceptance I chose negativity and in doing so would end up damaging my own recovery.

Without that negativity I didn’t know how to cope much to the dismay of my parents who tried their utmost to help.

To rely on them for comfort is something that children are renowned for doing however there was a part of me who didn’t want to give all of me out of fear of being hurt, being disappointed but most importantly being the person to kick myself in the arse for giving too much away only to be damaged in the process.

To me I’m a person who offers advice and who will listen.

Of course we all have moments where we are allowed to have an opinion however in my eyes your life is your own and under no circumstance should you ever feel pressured to accommodate anyone else because they tell you to. Irrespective of having a condition you are allowed to be an individual like everyone else. As long as you respect others and appreciate that everyone’s different then that’s fine.

On the basis you’re not acting like a complete and utter prick then you call the shots on what’s right for you, you determine who you want on your path to recovery and who will be the correct people to walk with you on that journey.

Growing up there were moments where I felt belittled by people who I thought I was comfortable with. It’s only now twenty years on that I can see that life is too short to be worrying about the past, it’s also too short to allow that same element to become the key factor of your future. Coping with any condition can be complex in itself without the unnecessary worry therefore release the comfort and do what makes you fulfilled and gives you that feeling of wanting more for yourself.

In June of this year I became 29 years of age. As I became that number I looked at it as more than a number. I looked at it as a  pivotal part of me. I knew the following year I would be 30 and that instead of living the same old same old day in day out that I would try to find out who Saz actually was and to live the life I want for myself not the life that others want for me.

I’ve made changes for the better yes however this year isn’t solely about putting too much expectation on myself but to just be me.

No I may never fully appreciate who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing however to know I’m taking the appropriate steps to accept what I have indicates to me that I’m at least halfway there. To say out loud to yourself what problems are indicates immediately that you are breaking away from comfort and are coming to terms with what you want.

As for the remainder of my week…

Last week was all about the spa day where my best friend and I went to a local spa for treatments and a beautiful two course lunch. There we were being pampered, purchasing products, eating like queens in such fabulous surroundings and having that girly time to catch up and relax.

As for the exercise front Shaun T and I will never be best friends however he is showing me results therefore all I have to say to that is £100 well spent. Eating wise chocolate is there but the calories have reduced and my main meals have improved considerably. Nutribullet wise. Wowsers I’ve never eaten as much fruit! It’s safe to say that nothing is going to waste.

As for the remainder of my time the kitchen has quite literally sapped out all of my free time. If I’m not exercising I’m cleaning cupboards, rearranging drawers, dashing backwards and forwards to various stores and running around like a blue arsed fly. Mind you the kitchen is looking rather spiffing and if you are following my instagram account you’ll see if all on there.

Once the tiller’s been the end result will be marvellous and I’d like to think I’m one happy lady stress free and ready to burn everything in sight!

To conclude today’s post. Comfort can be a stickler.

Changing your way of thinking can be a rather large hurdle to cross because you never quite know what’s on the other side. Change on the other hand can also be such a positive thing in life because you’re proving to yourself that you’re making the right changes to benefit you. You’re making a stand against your condition and showing the world that you won’t be beaten. I’ll leave you with one final quote that may put this into perspective.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”- Zig Zagler.

 

 

 

 

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Silence.. What’s it all about?

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”- Martin Luther King.

Before I begin I’ll ask you a quick question. What do you associate silence with? How do you define silence or being silent?

Silence. A word that can speak volumes.

Actually come to think of  it usually we associate silence with not speaking at all, to remain silent and to hold in whatever feelings we have. Some people  classify silence as a negative word resulting in anger. To others it’s to express that there’s something just not right about the way you feel, about what you would like but most importantly I regard silence as a word when you’re trying to get a specific  message across.

We’ve all done it whether the partner hasn’t done the dishes, he/she’s hacked you off because they’ve said something out of turn, you’ve had a bad day at work, you don’t look right in your clothes, the children are misbehaving etc etc.

Silence or so they say can be golden however I’ll let you decide that.

Many may question why I regard silence with delivering a message; my interpretation to this may be different to you however I can only base this interpretation on my own emotional connection with silence.

You can ask anyone who knows me well enough and they’ll say “When Saz is quiet there’s definitely something the matter” because my personality to a degree is quite upbeat because I’m usually bouncing about talking about everything and nothing to anyone wanting to hear. Let’s just say my gran has said for years that I talk for England. Never a truer word said.

The above quote has been chosen today because when it comes to our Epilepsy we can either express our feelings towards it offering support and education to others or we tend to feel like we’re regularly hitting a brick wall where fear miraculously dominates the situation resulting in us wanting to shut off until we want to face the fear. Like I said in my last blog post it’s the wanting to face this in your own time.

To me Epilepsy as a youngster tended to result in that feeling of weakness, of challenging prospects and the worry of not being good enough.

As I approached my teenage years the seizures dissipated and weren’t to return until my late teens.

To be faced with what I can only describe as deja vu the apprehension of not being good enough resurfaced and made me feel like Epilepsy was the enemy. It also made me wonder why after five years had my seizures come back to cause havoc on both myself and the people around me.

Pre adulthood I believed Epilepsy was a controversial condition. I thought that because there wasn’t sufficient information about Epilepsy at the time that it was a taboo subject because there was a lack of understanding there thus making me feel different; like I wasn’t normal and that there was always going to be this grey area where Epilepsy would jump out from behind a corner and scare me at any time.

Instead of accepting that irrespective of me being seizure free that Epilepsy would always remain a part of my life I chose to hide, I chose to have conversations about it when approached however when I closed my bedroom door I didn’t want to be associated with Epilepsy. Things just didn’t make sense.

I wished Epilepsy had just pissed off and went somewhere else because I didn’t want to be faced with this uncertainty in my life. I didn’t want my condition to be the first thing I thought of on a morning and the last thing that entered my head before bedtime. To me that was the routine I got myself into and it resulted in me feeling miserable and unheard because I was afraid if I explained this to others that it would end up not coming out right. It didn’t make sense to me properly therefore how on earth was it going to make sense to them?

As I grew older I knew change needed to come. This monotonous routine was like wearing the same pair of pants day in day out and by now they were well and truly worn. I got sick of worrying about the same old bollocks, the why’s, when’s and what for’s were taking centre stage on a regular basis and I wasn’t impressed with who I was turning into.

It was like Jekyll and Hyde one minute I was perfectly fine the next minute I was a former shadow of myself who’d changed within an instant into this naive needy young woman.

This wasn’t right therefore after careful deliberation I made the conscious effort to go to counselling (on more than one occasion), speak with family and friends and jot down what changes I wanted to apply to my life in order to allow me to accept what I wanted, who I currently was and to regain that positivity on a condition that needed that positivity.

To be negative about Epilepsy is easily done, we’ve all been there however to remain positive gets you through that day, allows you to accept the seizure/shake/side effects that you’ve just endured and makes you see that you can have a life outside of Epilepsy.

You don’t have to be silent, you have a voice therefore on the basis that you’re comfortable to speak then speak, get it out there you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised because you may see that you aren’t the only one with the same worry.

As for the remainder of my two weeks (yes it’s been that long since I’ve written)…

House renovations are going ever so slow. I mean a snail goes at a quicker pace than my house renovations. It would be an understatement to say that it’s been a bloody mare and as for my kitchen no amount of trying to clean it will make it as clean as I want it. Or can it?.. I have to share… You never guess what I’ve been watching?

Well. It’s not exercise DVD’s (for a change) it’s the power of steam and it’s the X5!

Oh my word! Trying to convince the other half to get an X5 is actually easier than trying to get him to buy me the nutribullet (basically just a fancy blender with duel speed and a heftier price tag) that thing is from outer space it’s just a marvel in itself breaking down ingredients better than your bog standard blender and I mean it’s just sublime it really is.

I’ve got a vision of the nutribullet in gun metal grey sitting on my kitchen counter smiling at me after I’ve made a delicious low fat smoothie before sitting on the decking soaking up some rays and burning to a crisp due to my pastey skin. Yes a girl can only dream.

As for the diet well.. It’s not too bad. The chocolate yes it’s still in my life however it’s not as much. I’m opting for lower calorie options on the chocolate otherwise I’d eat the entire contents of my local supermarket pouching every chocolate bar in sight. No more chocolate biscuits are entering the household therefore that can only be a good sign.

As for the main meals themselves (apart from the pizza Saturday gone) they are fabulous full of lean meat, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and plenty of water.

In fact it would be safe to say that I’ve drank that much water that I’m pissing like a racehorse! Hey that might not be a ladylike statement but I’m not going to lie!

T25 on the other hand wowsers! If you haven’t got it and want a challenge then please go and get it. It’s 25 minutes of your day, it kicks your arse and then you’re done. Shaun T is just unbelievable. He’s got abs of steel and bucket loads of motivation. I’m seeing a difference already and if I can do it then you can too!

To conclude today’s post. Don’t be afraid, have your say. Epilepsy matters. Two words that pretty much sums up that sentence. It does therefore have your say. If you don’t have Epilepsy have your say anyway. Be honest with you to make yourself a happier you.

Silence doesn’t have to be what it is. Instead of associating silence with negativity let’s put in the same category as relaxation, recuperation and happier times. You aren’t alone, you have many who are here to help you. Whether you be the parent, the relative, the friend or the supporter of the ones you love the same rules apply with you.

You don’t have to face anything alone either therefore speak up so you can be strong for the person who needs that assistance. You need that strength for you. Life is to be lived, to be treasured and to be appreciated therefore do what you can to break the silence and to be who you want to be. Why change tomorrow what you can do today?