Life according to me, in thought and action……

Living life according to me in thoughts and actions looks and feels something like this;

  • I try to keep everything simple, but when I want to achieve something, I do it with all my heart! That sometimes, goes awry.
  • I am a over-thinker. Letting the truth, be told I have 100s of imaginary scenario playing in my head  at any one time….sometimes this makes situations more difficult than it should be but well this is how I am and it’s how I make the magic happen.
  • Health and life issues will always challenge me, as I arenโ€™t someone who keep things to themselves anymore. I used to hold it all inside until I became toxic to anyone or anything, now I will confront the challenges head on, till I am facing back in the right direction. I am real and raw and that’s not always easy, but it’s the difficult times that push me back through to better days. Although I know life can’t be perfect, it’s the want of perfection that makes think a lot which at times causes the challenges that mess up particular situations.
  • I am one of the best listeners. I can listen to others stories all day, everyday and I  will listen to every story with keen interest even if itโ€™s about something I don’t understand. I know the importance of listening and I want others to reciprocate that.

So this is me and this is how I wander the shores of the globe preaching and teaching about my experiences and beliefs. It may not be normal, but what is normal anyway!

Much love

Harmoni ๐Ÿ’‹

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Just How Do I Define Invisible Illness…….I Do It By #lightingtheflame ๐Ÿ”ฅ

So how do I define invisible illness; I could say it’s an illness or disability that is hidden or not apparent, but that doesn’t even begin to define what some of these illnesses really are, or how they impact the many millions that live with them everyday. You see, some people with sight or hearing disabilities may not wear glasses or hearing aids, BUT they are invisibly disabled.  Someone that may have to sit day in, day out because they have chronic back or joint problems sitting, can be categorised as having a invisible impairment. Invisible disability/ illness creates so many challenges for the people that live with them. There are so many more examples that I could give to define a invisible disability. The reality of invisible illness or disability, is that they can be so difficult for others to recognise or acknowledge. This makes it  difficult to understand the cause of the problem or problems, because they can’t see evidence of it in a visible way. So these invisible conditions have been captured under an umbrella term that captures the whole spectrum of hidden disabilities, known as ‘invisible illnesses’. Having so many illnesses and conditions under the one umbrella, means it is so hard to decipher and diagnose what is actually happening to a person that presents with unseen symptoms.


People with invisible illnesses can find it difficult to  make others understand how their  symptoms of such things as extreme fatigue, dizziness, pain, can be so debilitating.  This misunderstanding, will in many cases be met with hostility, judgement and stigma by the bigger community and world.

People living with invisible illnesses and chronic pain are often accused of faking or imagining their disabilities. These symptoms are real, they can occur due to bouts of chronic illness, chronic pain, injury, birth disorders, they can even just come out of the blue and most importantly are not always obvious to the onlooker.

 Many millions of people around the world, have a medical condition which could be considered a type of invisible illness or disability. Let me explain it this way, there are many that have a chronic medical condition of one kind or another, some of these people are not considered to be disabled, as their medical conditions do not impair their normal everyday activities. These people do not use an assistive device and most look and act healthy. So I’ve explained one side of illness invisibility, this is the other side, the side that causes and increases what can be debilitating physical or mental impairment that can lessen one or more major life activity.  

It saddens me that when somebody sees a person in a wheelchair, wearing a hearing aid, or carrying a white cane, it tells us a person is impaired in some way. But for people living with invisible illness and/or disability living is a bit more difficult for many people in the world to acknowledge. 

Invisible illness and disability can and do significantly impair normal activities of daily living.
Examples of Invisible illness Disability vary, here are just a few;

  • Chronic Pain can be the cause from a variety of conditions. A few reasons for chronic pain may be because of back problems, bone disease, physical injuries, and many more reasons. Chronic pain may not be clear to people who do not understand the specific medical condition.
  • Chronic Fatigue is a type of disability that refers to an individual who constantly feels tired. This can be extremely debilitating and affect every aspect of a persons every day life. It is totally invisible to the greater community.
  • Mental Illness is a term for many illnesses of the mind. Examples are depression, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, bipolar and the list goes on. These illnesses can also be completely debilitating to the person suffering and can make performing everyday tasks extremely difficult, if not impossible.
  • Chronic Dizziness is often associated with problems of the inner ear, chronic dizziness can lead to impairment when walking, driving, working, sleeping, and other common tasks.

I hope you are beginning to see that being invisibly ill, effects many areas of health which effects many areas of life. Many people living with a hidden physical or mental challenge are still able to be active in their hobbies, work and even be active in sports, but their are others that struggle just to get through their day and cannot work at all. 

I want us all to be able to come together in understanding the true level of invisible illness and disability. Because, when we do we will truly begin to see awareness and support bringing better research and thus treatments. 

I will finish today with a list of invisible illnesses that I’ve been creating to show the world just how wide the umbrella is…….but even I may have forgotten some. If I have, please let me know and I will add your illness/disability to the list;

INVISIBLE ILLNESSES 

ADHD

Anxiety disorders

Allergies

Arachnoiditis

Asperger Syndrome

Asthma

Autism

Bipolar disorder

Brain injuries

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic pain

Chromosome Duplication

Chromosome Triplication

Coeliac Disease

Conversion Disorder 

Crohn’s disease

Depression

Diabetes

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

Endometreosis

Epilepsy

Fibromyalgia

Food allergies

Fructose malabsorption

Functional Neurological Disorder 

Hypoglycemia

Inflammatory bowel disease

Interstitial cystitis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Lactose Intolerance

Lupus

Lyme Disease

Major depression

Metabolic syndrome

Migraines

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Myasthenia Gravis

Narcolepsy

Personality disorders

Primary immunodeficiency

Psychiatric disabilities

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

Repetitive stress injuries

Rheumatoid arthritis

Sarcoidosis 

Schnitzler’s Syndrome

Schizophrenia

Scleroderma

Seizures 

Sjogren’s syndrome

Transverse Myelitis

Ulcerative Colitis

Invisible illness and/or disability creates challenges for the people who have them. I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again, the reality of these conditions can be difficult for others to recognise or acknowledge. You may not even understand the cause of the problems, because you cannot see evidence of it in a visible way. So, I say to you – YES, YOU out there in the big wide world, if you can’t see something, how can you judge it! Let’s begin walking together supporting those that are impacted by the many forms of invisible illness. Let’s raise awareness and bring about more real life research so better information and treatments can be formulated to change the way we all see and relate to invisible illness and disability.

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Much love to you all
TBG ๐Ÿ’‹

Rehabilitation- The Path That Opens Up Wounds, That I Wanted Kept Buried.

Rehabilitation takes many paths to heal and recover from chronic illness and then as you begin doing the internal work, you find that the catalyst for the physical breakdown began long ago, in moments that I would rather forget.

Let me explain – 

I grew up in a narcissistic environment where I was conditioned to believe that only the voice of one person mattered. I learnt that only that person was allowed to have and express opinions. My voice was shut off in order to meet the needs of the house and instead at age eleven, I began the path of pleasing – I would cook and clean and look after younger siblings as well as get the best marks so that i could get acknowledged and celebrated but of course I didn’t. It was important for me to be perfect – that perfect child and student, because I thought if I was perfect I would eventually be celebrated- but again – NO, I never was!!! Across the journey from childhood to teens I fell in love with dancing (as a lot of little girls did) – this was my space to be free, to shine and star on stage and I did receiving medals and distinctions in my exams. But alas , that could not even continue because it was frowned upon and soon I lost what was my passionate purpose. 
As an adult now – I can see growing up in in a childhood like that , how awfully difficult it was and just perhaps keeping the emotional and physical abuse choked down inside could of impacted on the health challenges, both physically and mentally that I am facing in middle adulthood. I am tonight looking back and am even questioning my own value, as a wife a mother and a woman in the workplace because in all of those individual pathways I needed the perfection status – I needed to be celebrated but of course I wasn’t . Well I wasn’t in the mindset of how I grew up. Sitting here crying now as I write this, I can hear my husband telling me so many times, you are here now, you don’t need to live like that anymore. WHY , did I not listen way back when or across the thirty-two year journey that we have been together. I guess that’s what abuse does – it messes with you deep to the core  and then holding it all in, thinking you have life in control and everything balanced and settled, it all comes crashing down. 

In order to heal, it is time to start focusing on self love, self value and self worth and then as I have blogged about before a contented life will begin. Rehabilitation is now allowing me to move forward to โ€œrewireโ€ my brain and body to become one again – if you like , be born again to a life that I know i will love in every breath and step.

I must start at the beginning. I know already opening up and releasing some of these challenging moments of my life are going to trigger emotional flashbacks. It is going to be difficult because of having to remember being brought up in an emotionally neglected household where I would rarely or never receive compassion. I now realise that compassion is so essential for demonstrating empathy within childhood. This important skill was not properly taught to me as I was growing up  and perhaps this is why I pushed the kindness and compassion handle extraordinarily to my children. 

I keep stopping as I write this, telling myself to be patient – it’s something that my health challenges have taught me, but this time it seems even more important! There is a lot of shit, to release , so internal kindheartedness toward myself needs to start NOW. As I am writing this, I am thinking how I would react to someone else in similar circumstances, or what a close friend perhaps would say to me to give comfort to this unsettled self. What are the words I need to say to myself as I release the long suffered pain and rebirth my health and life.
I think I need to eliminate my inner most harshest critic and I need to learn to love myself. My โ€œinner childโ€ – little Lisa-Raie holds on to this hope that if i was only smarter , more helpful, more talented, and without any flaws perhaps I would of been loved. But perhaps my “inner child” was actually defective and unlovable and maybe that’s why the physical symptoms of today are a result of the failure of not finding perfection! These steps are a  self reflection process that I need to take, I am not meaning to self criticise it’s the stepping right back into the dark, to grasp the past so it can be exhaled and removed so healing can take place. I keep hearing my little voice, that inner critic continuing the past experiences and it is screaming toxic shame. I know why, I squashed all of this down – not wanting to remember! I just want to put my fingers in my ears and sing lalalala!!!  

But WAIT, what if I have been beginning to eliminate my past shame by learning the steps through showing my vulnerable side with safe people. Over, the last few months, I’ve begun connecting with safe people, I’ve started telling my story.

Yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve started building self trust, by visualising my traumatic childhood as a way to start developing a stronger and more comforting, accepting, secure, and safer adult self.  The best way to learn self trust is to start treating yourself well.

Sitting here surrounded by my husband, one daughter and one son who love me dearly I can see how growing up in a narcissistic environment how much I missed out on healthy role modeling. As I recover these memories, I am feeling failed as a mother and a wife. Sorry, for swearing, BUT fuck this healing is hard! Keep going though, get it out – repair and rewire!!!  I can do this, it’s now that the self rejecting self STOPS and the self repairing  BEGINS. YES, I CAN DO THIS!!! Embrace younger self with the warmth and acceptance and let’s step into exercising the truest form of self love.

Growing up I learnt to focus only on the voice, reactions and power of one person. I think NOW looking at the adult self (ME), I really had no idea how to look internally at my own needs. As a child and teen, I was always striving to please, as a wife, mother and woman in the workplace the same. Always striving to be perfect when in fact there is no such thing as perfect. I think across my life journey particularly as a mother of five children, I developed an internal nurturer but I never really let it have a strong presence for the world to see, in case I was punished somehow. How stupid, tonight as I write I have so much self criticism – oh to release these pits of past perils! Oh self love, oh self love – where are you! Oh crickey, it’s 1.13AM, let me begin a process that can enable this healing journey to resurrect my physical and mental health. 

Step One, tomorrow or may I say later today this list is going to be the intentions I will set myself each and everyday to do for me, to be happy and healthy and live the life that is in all my visions and dreams and to which my purpose and passion pushes me towards.

  1. Meditate
  2. Rehab exercises to rebuild my body 
  3. Say daily that “I am worthy, loved and enough”
  4. If I am tired – that is ok, let myself rest
  5. If I need to cry, let myself cry
  6. Fill my body with good nutrition
  7. Crochet, because creating heals

Okay, so this is just the truest and real start line for where healing illness and recovery from abuse begins. It is a process, that may take a lifetime to release and unravel but with the gracious guidance of my husband who has never strayed and now the solid BUT nurturing rehabilitation team of Erin, Ann and Peter to guide me , I know I will allow myself the gifts of  grace, and small steps to enjoy each day as it comes and be mindful of what I will be experiencing, finding and learning along the way. Ultimately, this recovery process will involve eliminating my little ME, my inner harshest critic and toxic shame that resides in my head so that the physical harm and pain can heal and my body be strengthened without too much harm being done. 
Let me begin, but first let me sleep. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

This has been very confronting writing this blog but also very cathartic. As I press publish, I have such strong anxieties and vulnerabilities flooding pain through every part of my body….and I hope there is something that my words have helped you with.

This moment marks my truest sense of gratitude that life is beginning NOW.
Lisa-Raie ๐Ÿ’‹
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” I Am Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”

Vulnerable & Powerful, That’s Me…..๐Ÿ’‹

I’m sitting here, pondering how is it possible, to be a woman with such deep vulnerabilities BUT yet be so powerful and exquisite in this big wide world!ย Then I have a moment of self-empowerment ;

You see I live in a world where bravery is often only seen through visibly physical things NOT through dark shadows and unseen challenges. But those dark shadows and invisible challenges are what being vulnerable is all about ! This is my story and I discuss daily the weaknesses and failures that make up the shadows and challenges that nobody can see. Being this vulnerable is so very brave and powerful – it takes fucking guts. Having this courage to be honest and exposed when i tell my stories and experiences through this channel we know so clearly as social media will make this journey so much more impactful, allowing awareness and assistance! My stories will start resonating with people and they are!!!

Also I believe we all have stories to tell that will help others in some way. We have experienced situations through our lives that should be shared because others will benefit from it. When you start telling your stories and sharing your expertise because it is helping the people who are listening or reading it, you will be amazed with the emotional connection that you start building with people and the relationships you start developing โ€“ because youโ€™re positively impacting their lives. I believe by sharing my stories, that will allow others to share their stories to tell and then together we have allowed our experienced situations benefit many. It is helping those people that are listening or reading and I become amazed by the emotional connection that i receive from people globally – because you see, just by stepping out onto that vulnerable ledge, I’m positively impacting lives.

These stories – my stories, they are raw and they are real and they teach me daily that , I am not weak FOR , the breath of all living things – THEY MAKE ME SO COURAGEOUS & BRAVE and that’s POWERFUL!

And it’s why this little woman who is me and so very vulnerable can , will and is so very powerful across the globe and then some fucking more…..#boom #vulnerable #power #ivegotitall ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

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“Wandering Towards Wellness “

Loving Life, Living Life….

To be loving life and living life is the greatest magic of all. But what does this mean? Well to be honest my journey of life has been a full of ups and downs, highs and lows, leading me to the now where my journey of life looks something like this;

When you’ve wandered so many paths looking for that tranquil river to sit quietly beside, BUT all you find is a messy and unkept pile of rocks – you are forced to stop! That forced stop, allows you to actually restart the journey of life, as I have found. You see, being swallowed whole and then spat out, has taught me that being on the journey of life, is the ability to completely surrender into myself. It’s about accepting that i am IMPERFECTLY perfect. Living passionately with all the raw edges glowing gives me sass to be able to wander in just the right vibe and energy. There is no one but me,  who is capable of actioning every step as required, within and through challenges to take me to my preferred destination.

Thinking about living life afflicted by multiple chronic illnesses left me oh so dark and changed, every aspect of my being, but finally getting the assistance I need has awakened me, it’s allowed me to see and feel fully in love totally with the awareness that being happy gives. Living life, on that messy bed of rocks doesn’t give me life. That path walked allowed me, two seconds of joy and then everything soon became dark and twisted. I was left feeling like my star had lost its sparkle or in fact had shattered into pieces. Being forced to take different action and direction, I also ensure that nobody or anything can stop my love of living life. So from NOW, everyday I need to give myself permission to stop and breathe allowing my sun and stars to shine brightly because I can then wander chasing the rainbows of life that are so clearly visioned inside of my heart and soul. Being on this journey, then allows others to see me and then wander alongside me creating the same vibe and energy.

 So living and loving life means being able to wander with all of your raw edges showing, stepping forward with all the sass of a star shining brightly, but yet knowing that you can step behind a cloud when it’s time to rest. It means loving every step and wiping out the misery of any health and subsequent challenges that you may have found on past paths wandered and let’s you join so many on a bright and magical walk of life! Let’s all begin to wander together by telling our stories and showing each other who we really are, so that the world can then breathe togetherness – that’s what loving and living life is!

I’d love to know what loving and living life to you is? Please feel free to let me know here in this space or in one of my social media channels;

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Much Love

Lisa-Raie (The Barefoot Goddess) ๐Ÿ‘ฃ