Sunday, May 14, 2017

Processing my New Diagnosis

I have a diagnosis: Functional neurological disorder

"Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a condition in which patients experience neurological symptoms such as weakness, movement disorders, sensory symptoms and blackouts. The brain of a patient with Functional Neurological Disorder is structurally normal, but functions incorrectly." - Wikipedia

Basically what's happening, as the neurologist explained it, is my brain stopped sending messages to my legs for some reason. She said it's like if your computer freezes and you have to reboot it. I will be going through a process of both cognitive behavioral therapy and physical therapy to identify stress triggers and learn how to respond to them and also to learn how to trick my legs into doing what I want them to. It may take a very very long time but it is possible for me to get better. I am definitely willing to put in the work required.

I've had this for at least 6 years so it will take a long time to get better, maybe even years.  And it's weird to me because I should be happy that I can get better, and I am, but at the same time I had accepted the fact that I may never get better and I even believed that I would never get better but I was okay with that.  And I was used to it.  I connected with other people like me who have illnesses that there is no cure for.  And we supported each other and helped each other through the tough times.  And I still have a chronic illness but I kind of feel guilty because I can get better but so many of my friends can't.  It's almost like I don't know who I am anymore again.  I have gotten used to being sick all of the time and as weird as it sounds a future where I'm healthy seems a little bit scary.  I guess that's my anxiety and my difficulty responding to change.  I think that what scares me more is that if I don't get healthy then it's kind of my fault.  I'm honestly still processing everything and there are a lot of emotions involved and I don't understand all of them.

I am very grateful for all of the people who support me no matter what happens, for the community of chronically ill people who include me despite the specifics of my illness.  One of my first feelings was that I don't know where I fit in anymore but they assured me that I fit in there no matter what happens.  My immediate future holds a lot of pain, ups and downs, but also hope.  And all of the people who are happy with me during my ups and encourage me during my downs will help me get through this.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Easy Ways to Practice Self Care

If you've been on the internet and have a chronic illness or mental health difficulties (or even if you don't) you've probably seen people talk about self care.  There are all these lists of things you can do to take care of yourself and help yourself fell better over time.  And they're good suggestions and they do work, but here's the big issue: you have to be motivated enough to do the things.  When you have a chronic illness and you're having a low energy day or when you have mental health issues and you're lacking motivation it's really hard to actually do those things on the lists.  Real life example: yesterday my depression was pretty bad and my anxiety was really bad.  In my head I knew that self care would help me but I also lacked the motivation to do any of those things, such as make myself a cup of tea, do a face mask, turn on my favorite music, so I didn't do any of it.  The other huge problem is that when you're really depressed you might feel like you don't actually deserve to feel better so you just won't do anything that might help you feel better.  For these situations I have come up with a sort of self care cheat sheet.  This is a list of the easiest possible things I could think of that can help you feel just a little bit better.  It's great for low-energy days or days where you're lacking motivation.  I am personally going to try to do at least one of these things every day.  Some days you might be able to do every single one since they're things that don't require a lot of energy or motivation, and none of them cost any money!  So here it is, my list of small ways to feel a little bit better every day:

Drink water, go outside if even for just a minute (if you can't bring yourself to go outside, look out a window at outside for even just a minute), do something nice for someone else (even if it's just sharing someone's post online with your friends), take deep breaths when it gets difficult, rest when you need to. If you didn't do so well today try again tomorrow. Remember you're not alone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life Lately #1

I'll be posting these every so often as a sort of check-in post to share what I've been up to lately.  These photos are mostly from my Instagram.

sketches of my crystals

new fashion: damask Nightmare Before Christmas long sleeve shirt that is so soft, and wheelchair gloves

my "office", love these big windows

bookshelf! still waiting to find the perfect bookends

one of my woven projects; originally made this for a friend but I tied it too tight at the ends, after taking this photo, and it squished the feather so I kept it instead

new products in my Etsy shop: spiral end hair pins and bracelet helpers

organized my stones and re-discovered some real beauties from before I knew stone names, including some on my wishlist: ocean jasper and crazy lace agate

one of my favorite decorated spaces in our new apartment; don't you just love the brick walls?!  This is my woodland animals corner with a ceramic owl, metal deer, sculpted wire bird and a rabbit skull

We moved in October and I love our new apartment so much.  The natural light makes taking product photos super easy, and I love how there is actually a space for all of our stuff.  We have so many cupboards and closets!  And the bathtub has made my life about 1000% better every day that I have super sore muscles.  I need to get more bath bombs though because I have used up just about all of the ones I had.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Makeup Favorites

I rarely wear makeup because certain conditions have to be met so I can.  In order to put make up on for the day I have to be staying at home and not planning to do a whole lot that's productive.  I have very little energy on a daily basis and most of it gets used wheeling myself around the house throughout the day in my wheelchair.  Most days I save the extra energy for working on my Etsy shop.  On the rare day that I have to leave the house I save my extra energy for riding the bus and interacting with people.  But on a day where I have nothing to do but relax and watch Netflix I like to play with makeup.  I don't have a whole lot of makeup.  I don't have any blush or bronzer, but I do what I can with what I have.  On those low-energy days it's always nice to look in the mirror and see my made up face and not feel quite so worn out.  Since I don't have a lot of makeup I don't have a lot of favorites but I do have a few, so here they are.

Brija Cosmetics:  a small business where all of the makeup and skincare products are made by one hardworking lady; everything is 100% vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and dye free

The first thing I purchased from Brija Cosmetics was the blogger pack, which included four mystery products and one full-size eyeshadow of my choice.  I was immediately in love with the products.  They are so pigmented and wear wonderfully.  They never make my skin break out worse which is super important to me.  I purchased the Halloween Heroes(ish) Eyeshadow collection next and it is amazing.  First of all, the products are all based on characters from some of my favorite movies like Coraline, Hocus Pocus, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Second, the shadows are super unique shades but very versatile.

If I had to choose my favorite products from Brija Cosmetics that I've tried so far I would have to pick Lace Dresses eyeshadow, Glorious Morning Magic eyeshadow, and ESPN highlight.  I highly recommend all of three of these.  They're the ones I reach for just about every time I wear makeup.  Brianna is always coming out with new collections and her new Glamour to Go 2 collection is definitely on my wishlist.  I'll definitely blog about any products I buy from her in the future.

Glorious Morning Magic

Moon Glimmer Cosmetics: This is a cruelty-free makeup brand on Etsy.  Jordan's mom bought me a really pretty highlight from this shop and I love it.  It's the Persephone shade from this listing.  They also have it as a pressed highlighter if you like that better than a loose powder.  It is an absolutely gorgeous color.  It's super pigmented with great reflect and lasts all day.  I love swiping a little bit on my cheeks and feeling just a little bit magical when I see my reflection.  This shop has so many gorgeous shades of eyeshadow and highlighter and I definitely want to try more.  I am all about a good color reflect.  There's even a shadow that reminds me of my favorite stone, labradorite, with a grey base and stunning blue reflect.  That one is definitely on my wishlist.  Seriously, is it not stunning?

So those are really my only makeup favorites at the moment.  Some of the things on my wishlist include a good liquid foundation, the Real Techniques diamond makeup sponge, and Tarte lipstick, as well as pretty much any blush and bronzer.  I just signed up for Glambot so I have my eye on a few products there.  If you don't know about Glambot it's a site where you can sell certain kinds of makeup as well as buy makeup.  The makeup they receive is thoroughly sanitized before they sell it and it's a great way to get some cash if you clean out the makeup you don't use.  You can use my referral link to get $10 to use when you sign up.