Once Upon A Time…..Living With A Body Filled With Invisible Illness.

Once Upon A Time……….

That is how all good fairytales begin right!!! But let me tell you all, this story aint no fairytale! This is my story of living filled with chronically invisible illnesses that many no little about….!!!

So let me begin……..

Once, I lived what seemed a normal life with normal dreams – I was living in the ‘burbs’ with my husband and five young children. My dreams were for health and happiness. I dreamt of us owning our own home, going on fantastic holidays and becoming a top financial accountant to help achieve the goals. For a time…..that was reality!

But, WOW – taking a trip back down memory lane, shows just how different life can turn out! That was over TWENTY YEARS ago, because gosh, I’ve been living a life filled with invisible illness for over 15 years NOW!!!!!

Invisible illness came to greet me through a journey that will be another story but as a taster I was introduced to lupus SLE, wegeners granulomatosis, ulcerative colitis, RA and run ins with a couple of different cancers. That journey found me, delving into many hospital visits and clinging to life numerous times…….

It was a battle……one continuous battle that had no end. With each fight, I would search for something new, some kind of healing magic that would allow all the pain, hurt and angst to be gone. The year 2015 came and the holistic modalities that I had been starting to use were beginning to help me – I was finding what is referred to as remission! I was able to open my own business – a holistic wellness centre helping others through coaching, teaching yoga and meditation. Life had a new set of goals and dreams…… The later part of that year, felt me tiring but I kept on pushing, Christmas 2015 came and went. The year 2016 delivered me an explosion that just went BANG! I wasn’t expecting it. I initially thought that it was just flares from the autoimmune and connective tissue illnesses…..but although doctors and specialists could see flares, previous medications and treatments were not helping these new symptoms. As more and more tests were done, I was growing more tired of all the pain and suffering. It was affecting my mood more and more as well…..to the extent that I began researching how to kill myself. I, of course kept this to myself just continuing to push myself knowing that something would show up in the medical tests. 2016…..April, May and June moved along….. my health was deteriorating with more and more strange symptoms that included balance issues and seizures…..but nothing could be determined by medical practitioners. July 2016, brought about a massive seizure leaving me unable to speak, a dropped face and paralysis down my right side. My husband wanted me to go to the hospital immediately…..but at this time, I was almost done with hospitals so I stayed at home. After a few days my face and speech did improve but I couldn’t walk…..the balance was as if I was on a tightrope and my walking gait was non existent. I went to hospital- immediately admitted! More tests over and over again! I had doctors and specialists surrounding me like flies on a hot day……but still no concrete reason! Late one afternoon, one particular specialist tipped me over the edge – as she left my hospital bed and ward, so did I with the real intention of COMMITTING SUICIDE!!!!
I didn’t make it out of those hospital doors because I fell and hurt my hip! I was helped back to my bed……and OH GAWD, if I thought I had doctors and specialists hovering aplenty before, now that I was on suicide watch – I was being hounded every minute but could they give me reasons for my seriously debilitating symptoms- the short answer was “NO”. They could only tell me that due to being chronically ill, I had depression but even though I was in a dark place that didn’t help me understand what was making my body behave in mysterious ways. Five days later after more and more tests, often ones that had been repeated and repeated my neurologist and her fellow walked up to my hospital bedside. They had worked out what these new symptoms were. Basically my internal software that allows communication between my brain and central nervous system had shut down……this they diagnosed as ‘functional neurological disorder’. I immediately had a million and one questions, almost all that they could not answer. With that diagnosis,  I was allowed home…..discharged with a lot of referrals and a website to help me understand what this thing called FND was all about……

Awaiting my referrals being picked up, I spoke to my local GP, he was almost as much in the dark about what this neurological illness was as I was…..so we went on a journey of awakening together.  What we deciphered was that FND is an umbrella term for a variety of neurological symptoms which current medical diagnosis models struggle to explain psychologically or organically. Patient presentation can be so very similar to a whole range of other neurological conditions. The symptoms of FND can be as debilitating as MS and Parkinson’s disease as there are many similar symptoms. It left me wondering if I was ever going to get the help I needed…..but at least there was hope coming through my doors again.

Soon, enough referrals came flooding in. Home care and the most important NeuroPhysio and OT. These referrals were music to my ears as I was learning almost everyday that due to FND being very new to the medical research fields there were not many effective treatment plans in existence. I began initially home based physio, in which I was given a walker. When NeuroPhysio began, I was very lucky to get a physiotherapist that had knowledge of FND and she quickly created a plan filled with physical therapies that would be most effective in bringing forward goals for reintroducing proper functional movement and motor control helping to retrain my brains pathways. She was able to work closely with my OT to help me dramatically improve functions that I thought were lost forever.

I have improved in many ways very quickly, HOWEVER I do still have a long way to go in the big scheme of life. I am continuing all the physical treatments as well as speaking regularly with psychologists and counsellors that are helping me to release so much allowing profound healing to begin. But it’s hard work, and it is the lack of understanding of FND and other invisible conditions that negatively influences treatments and care. Researchers, money, and volunteers are greatly needed to help illnesses like these that have greatly impacted and impaired my life and many others. This is why I now walk and talk openly,  sharing my story and experiences in hope that I may shine a light for others to begin sharing their stories and experiences and together we can light a flame where that most needed research, information and funding will be found…..and most of all stigma can be silenced.

I hope that by telling my nightmare of falling through a dark hole of invisible hell, I may have helped you. This is one part of the hell that brought me to my message and mission of teaching and preaching to the world about learning more about invisible illness. I will not stop and I would love you all to help me. One way is to like and share this post, but you can also join me on my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/TheBarefootGoddessAU

http://www.twitter.com/just_1_goddess

http://www.instagram.com/the__barefoot__goddess

where we can all join as one by #lightingtheflame for invisible and mental illness.

Much love 

TBG 💋

Chronic & Mental Illness Doesn’t Change Me From Whom I Was….So Please Don’t Stigmatise ME!!!

So as I lay here this warm summer evening in  Australia and I am thinking about the multiple chronic illnesses that I have. But there is one that stands out for all the wrong reasons! That health condition is Functional Neurological Disorder. It was a condition, that was not offered to me, but as many others it was given. The road wandered is hard! Some days it can feel like I am not really that sick, but then there are the najority of days that leave me wondering, why I have to be one of the small percentage of people around the globe that have to endure the most horrible pain and suffering that anyone has to deal with. 

Unfortunately, this is the hand I’ve been dealt , so let me get to , walking on and strong. It’s how I choose to use this hand throughout my life. This health condition which is Functional Neurological Disorder, will keep you down in such darkness or uplift you to such sunny skies. I can tell you that FND, can keep you tied down or it can you lift you up!  I have used so many different treatment plans and therapies. BUT , now I’ve found a path . It’s allowed me to walk past and through the ‘denial phase’ , where I just didn’t want to know. I am now in the ‘acceptance phase’ where I understand the difficulties that I face and that I will face.  

BUT , now all I want is to be the light, so that I can shine for others, through their phases  – initial and long term !  As we get ready to welcome the new year in, I will be launching two books, one about my own illness and life journeys and one filled with stories from my brothers & sistas  and their journeys. I have also created a storyline for my awareness documentary , a Ebook stepping the baby steps using yummy healthy vegan food..

If this resonates with you again , please connect and join my little tribe, because when we walk together, we simply the sun and our lives.

So if you broken, please know you are not alone and you definitely don’t need to stay broken, I am here and we are here together and we will become strong again.

Much love 

Lisa-Raie

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
“Wandering Towards Wellness Globally”

“Oh But You Don’t Look Sick”…..

Lately, I have been looking back at the journey I’ve wandered and it’s sad to think that I’ve been chronically ill since 2012. Every single day, since then I’ve learnt so much about the ups and downs related to my hidden health conditions. I want you to know that these health conditions use what I would describe as a kind of lottery system, that give me highest of highs and the frightfully lowest of lows. Anyway, with that said, I sit here journaling for the benefit of all the sick and healthy people across the world. As I walk and talk my journey to more people with so many varied chronic illnesses, i see that the perception of what being sick looks like has an impact on more people than just me. It affects so many areas of life for every chronically ill person. I want to tell you, out in the big wide world how the phrase, “Oh but you don’t look sick” can seriously impact those people like myself, who suffer with invisible and chronic illnesses . It is time to look deeper into  what chronic pain and chronic illness looks like in the real world, so that they can receive the necessary medical care. 

As you are reading this, you may have just connected with me through social media, this blog or maybe you might be a good friend or family member. I just want to take an extra moment to talk to you about the phrase that I mentioned earlier “oh but you don’t look sick.” I want you to remember that as you are saying that to me, you have never seen me at home on the yukkiest and darkest days. So, at the moment that you are seeing me – you maybe right, I may not look sick or just because you can’t see my pain or illness, it doesn’t mean I am feeling at my weakest. Sometimes, dressing up helps mood, or even if it doesn’t help my pain, it helps to mask it. I’m so sorry if that messes up the idea of looking sick – but that is one indication of chronic and invisible illness.  I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for what you may mean as a compliment, but it is kind of insulting to me or anyone that is chronically ill. That little phrase dismisses the pain and suffering that I and so many go through on a day to day basis. So, if we have just met, and I open up to you about my painful neurological condition and I don’t even begin to mention my other autoimmune conditions that I live with, please don’t think you’re complimenting me. If you follow it up with but “you’re so strong ,” you are implying that being sick should make me weak. Maybe you think I’m exaggerating my pain because you perceive me as strong. When you are ill for such a long time, strength fades, but pain doesn’t.

This journaling and blogging session is not about only me, it’s about all of the incredible souls that I have connected with through support groups to keep me from giving up. By telling me that i don’t look sick and that I’m strong, BRAVE or beautiful you are reinforcing the idea that I don’t want these medical conditions taken seriously. Maybe I should not take any pride in my appearance, when I am on my sickest days so your conceptions of these illnesses and my illness will fit together. The thoughts of what being chronically ill looks like is what stops people from seeking the medical attention that they need, receiving the benefits that they deserve, and being treated with respect. We are the people who even lose the much needed family support during their illnesses because their families do not understand or believe that being sick can look so many different ways. SICK LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE ON DIFFERENT DAYS. 

You don’t see me at home. You don’t see me the way my close network do. The way I live is so horribly embarrassing that even some of my doctors don’t see all of the pain. The mask I apply is there, because of the negative experiences with showing vulnerability. Even the necessary doctors’ appointments and my God, there are many are excruciating hard because  it means that I have to take a shower with energy that I do not have. I let many of you see what I want you to see because to me it feels uncomfortable with showing you the truth. I don’t want to be ridiculed by the “oh but you don’t look sick” scenario each time I venture out.  So, if you see me outside of my home when I’m dressed up, don’t presume. Living a chronically invisible ill life is isolating and lonely and there are many days that I don’t have the energy to make myself look presentable. There appears a huge amount of stigma around when we the chronically ill can’t shower ourselves because we feel that sickly, but there is just as much judgement because you can’t see the whole story within a moments notice.  That’s why you only see me and most invisibly chronic ill people when we apparently don’t look sick. 

So,  I can’t explain my whole life’s chronically ill story across my blog or in a short conversation because without the endless health specialists notes and medical timelines,  I cannot tell you about the hours and money that have gone into tests and examinations that I’ve had done and then there is all the extra stuff that I have taken or done to maintain a manageable pain level. In conversations apart from now I won’t tell you how many doctor visits that I average a week or how many pills that I’ve tried and have had horrible side effects or allergic toxic reactions. I won’t tell you about the pain of when the doctors don’t know what to do with me – yes, I have been turned away by many doctors because I’m too complicated !!! I want you to understand the frustrations that I and so many deal with on any given day. Being chronically ill is like you are slowly losing your sanity and that’s what makes us feel even worse. So if I brush my hair to try and look ok when I leave the house, but I carry so much pain behind the pretty faced selfie don’t think that’s my everyday experience. I go out of my way to document the moments that I enjoy life, so when everyone else is out there having amazing and exciting life experiences and I am alone in my lounge room with my heated blanket I can see evidence of the few times life shined.
So, to end positively, I do appreciate it when you tell me that my voice sounds strong or notice an improvement in my symptoms. But, if I don’t know you or you think that “but you don’t look sick” phrase you aren’t complimenting me – so it’s probably best to stay quiet, with my favourite saying “if you can’t say anything nice – don’t say anything at all”.

             Life NOW- 2016 & beyond!

** I want to tell you that it’s at this point along the journey looking for healing and wellness through endless doctors sessions and research that I am now, standing strong because of a doctor that saw me at my weakest and was not going to let me take my own life. I am currently undertaking weekly physical and psychological therapies in order to be strong and well. I have also returned to my vegan dietary choice to strengthen and alkalise my internal health. Through this therapy, my love for writing again came and why this blogging map is here for you but probably what’s happened is my love for mindfulness with meditation and yoga. I am stepping a new and revived pathway to trigger brain, body, health and life to commit to a life to love. This is me, this is my passion and purpose – this is life being authentic and vulnerable so if you see, me out and about don’t utter the words “oh but you don’t look sick”. I have a incredible long journey to go, but I am on a path for myself and so many others. Let’s walk together for life in brilliant colours!**

I hope you may have resonated with some part of this – if so make sure you connect and let me know;

SOCIAL MEDIA 

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie 💋

Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

How I Rediscovered My Mindfulness Key 🔑 For Chronic Illness. 

Mindfulness was something that I fell into accidentally when I was first diagnosed with chronic illness 10 years ago. Looking back, I wish I had kept my daily practice strong in my life. It may have saved me a lot of worry, distress, and hopelessness over the last five years of further and debilitating chronic illness symptoms. Through a lot of research and life experience learning, I found that mindfulness is a set of skills for healing, intuition, insight, calmness, focus, resilience, and hope that you can use to counter the destructive path that chronic illness is. 

But what is mindfulness; 
Using Google as a reference, mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

Across my journey of life, I’ve dealt with my share of pain and tragedies many which caused my path to being chronically ill. Prior to becoming chronically ill, I was a full time busy working woman, wife and mumma. I was focused on building a life for my young family to grow in. Unfortunately, the path that transpired was different . It began initially as a virus that never went away. Slowly that virus, tore my immune system apart and disease after disease began to be diagnosed. It often left me with debilitating aches, unable to eat and everyday simple tasks seemed  overwhelming to say the least. It was then I found mindfulness through yoga and meditation . The techniques I found allowed me to build remission and a new passion for life. I began to research, study and train within coaching, yoga and meditation and my holistic wellness centre opened. It was growing in such a way that my body couldn’t cope. Through the path, I lost my mindfulness mantra and I fell ill again but this time in such a dark despair of dark inner destruction. The stress of chronic illness, was back worse than ever. Back in and out of hospital- more tests after tests! By the time end of 2015/beginning of 2016 came – suicide became my only option! Ahhh yes, this is when the first doctor stepped in and saw my darkness and depression. More tests occurred and it was my next hospital admission after I had , had a seizure and fall leaving me with right sided paralysis that my neurologist diagnosed (FND) Functional Neurological Disorder, just to add to my multiple health complexities. But, I was connected with a team of doctors, physical therapists and psychologists that began my rediscovered walk towards healing and wellness. Just as I was thinking I could not survive more stress and illness, I found a positive pathway to bring me healing. It allowed me to find the mindfulness tool of a few years back. 

Today, I am rebuilding health and life. No, I haven’t completely moved mental and physical symptoms, but a LOT has changed for the BETTER in my life! So much so that I want to stand up in the world to show people that have struggled with the dark days of depression and chronic illnesses that their is a healthy healing path to wellness. Through strengthening my mental and physical health I am learning the daily practices of yoga and meditation that is enabling me to develop inner health and again a professional support network for others. Everyday I am grateful for my wonderful husband and youngest son that I have supporting my every step and struggle and in short, I am blessed to breathe clearance and clarity for life’s future. 

Practicing mindfulness will always be a continuous learning process. But I know staying strong in this lifestyle that  I’ve been fortunate to learn skills in of how to be more mindful. There are ways mindfulness can help heal chronic illness. 

Here are 6 ways I have used mindfulness to help manage my chronic and I know that they can help you too;

1. Self-Love – Be good to yourself, treat yourself with kindness and compassion. 

2. Focus On NOW  –  Live life with awareness in the present moment.

3. Be your POWER – Know yourself, don’t let your illness define you.   

4.  Heal Yourself – Seek healing by finding others that can help you.  

5. Connect With Like Minded Souls – Surround yourself with people that love, support, and inspire you, especially when facing illness and other challenges. 

6. Gratitude & Mindset are everything – Be grateful and stay positive. 

This journey hasn’t been easy and it still has moments of fear, and hopelessness. This is something that happens to us all. But I don’t stay in the fearful moments long anymore because of the daily gratitude that mindfulness brings won’t allow it!

Using the skills I use, I want to help you find this lifestyle too. So if my story has resonated in anyway, please send me an email to: theblessedgoddessproject@gmail.com or connect with me through my social media channels;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess

Namaste 🙏🏻 
Lisa-Raie 💋

‘Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally’

Living A Life Of Contentment 🙏🏻

A lot of people search for ways to find happiness, but I personally think the idea of contentment is more important than happiness.

So why contentment over happiness? 
SIMPLY- 

  1. Happiness can go up or down each day or by the moment, BUT contentment is something more stable.
  2. We seek happiness by adding things like food, a warm bath, time with a loved one but contentment is a skill that allows you to not need those things and still be contented and balanced.
  3. Contentment can actually be a good place to start as we make changes to health, life and simply ourselves.

So what is contentment? For me, it’s about being happy with who we  are as individuals. This is something I wasn’t for many years, and I think is one of the reasons I am slowly becoming more and more my truest self.

As I am journeying life and healing myself , I’m learning to be better with the skill of contentment.  I am happy with my life. I am happy with myself. I’m happy with where I sit myself each and everyday because I now see me for who I am and I love the woman that I’ve grown to be.  I’ve grown and I am still growing in ways that I would never have imagined and part of the reasoning is that I am content with knowing that I am enough in everything that I try and do on any given day. Of course, I still strive for many things but I know that for when one day ends and the next begins, I’ve been and done all that I can do – that is true and total contentment and that is enough!

So let’s take a look at the path of contentment and how it’s a good place for letting change to begin and how to get started down that path. The question is how to get there. How to go from being unhappy with yourself to being content with yourself!

  • The path is learning a few important skills at a time.
  • Build self-trust. The only way to fix a lack of trust is in small steps. You can’t  trust your unreliable self right a way,  instead, it’s about starting to build trust in small steps. Do little things, each day, where you start seeing things showing up. As this begins to happen, you open yourself up more and more to being able to want , think and feel more expansive options in health and life.
  • What I usually do to build trust is to start with small things that I’m totally certain I can do, for instance  drinking a glass of water every day is an easy to do task. If you want to drink more water, like I do set yourself a bunch of reminders in your phone or with notes scattered around your home to remind you to drink more water. Keep that up for a week or more and it will help you to trust yourself. If we try to change hard stuff, we will fail, every time and then your self trust is gone. So start with the small stuff.
  •  The other problem is with finding contentment is the reality of ourselves does not meet some of the ideals we hold in ourselves . That ideal comes from the media, particularly social media in this modern day world. Or are maybe our thoughts, are just coming from some idea about how perfect we think we should be – that was my idea and it’s still a process I am working on releasing.
  • The truth is, the reality of ourselves is only bad in relation to the ideal that we have about ourselves. When we let go of that ideal, we’re left with the reality that can be judged as perfectly great and then we are able being someone who is beautiful in its own special way. It’s a most beautiful feeling to step into the thought when you suddenly realise , “oh I am really worthy and enough”. Life changes so dramatically when these thoughts appear.
  • So ask if you’re feeling bad about who you are and how you are doing. When you can  recognise those traits that is awareness that you are noticing and those traits are your ideals.

Once we notice the ideals, we need to stop comparing ourselves to them. The only way to let go of the ideals is to see the pain that it’s causing in yourself. Letting go of an ideal that’s hurting us, is self-compassion. Being self-compassionate about causing pain within ourselves begins the process of comparing ourselves with these ideals. So are you ready to live a life of true contentment? Are you ready to commit to being really connected to yourself and living a life of contentment.
Let’s connect and wander together within life everyday using social media;

http://www.facebook.com/IAmFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie 💋
“Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally”

Just Breathe….you are finding yourself ❤️


When we find ourselves, we can truly love ourselves and it’s then we can create ourselves ❤️️

Don’t worry if it’s painful and messy- creations are best found in these situations 🙏🏻
“Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do. Lots of times people just let themselves get lost, dropping into a wide open, huge abyss. But that’s why we have to keep trying. We have to push through all that hurts us, work past all our memories that are haunting us. Sometimes the things that hurt us are the things that make us strongest. A life without experience, in my opinion, is no life at all. And that’s why I tell everyone that, even when it hurts, never stop yourself from living.”

Let’s connect on social media;

http://www.facebook.com/IAFNDAware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com/fnd_goddess
Lisa-Raie

Wandering Towards Wellness, Globally “

My Walk With Invisible Illness…..

We are in the middle of Invisible Illness Awareness Week, so i’ve been thinking of a way to talk about what it actually is and how it affects me.

So to define invisible illness;

Invisible illnesses are chronic illnesses and conditions that significantly impair normal activities of daily living. 

The definition, tells us what it does but their are so many different spectrums of invisible illness, that everyone’s experience is different. My journey with invisible illness involves a complex list of illnesses, which include; fibromyalgia, mixed connective tissue disease including lupus SLE and Wegeners Granulomatosis, Ulcerative Colitis, anxiety, depression and functional neurological disorder. Each one of my illnesses joined together mix a chronic cocktail to significantly impair my life walk.

So, I’ve defined invisible illness and what it is to me, now what does a average day look like. This, is difficult to describe because everyday can be so very different to everyone that lives with these most chronic and varied conditions. So let me tell you a little bit about of how invisible illness can affect me, on any given day. My invisible illnesses leave me feeling so exhausted, that I feel like I am clinging to the edge of life but because nobody can see what and how I’m feeling, many times people judge me and tell me that what I’m feeling is not real, other times that I’m just a failure and many times,” oh Lisa Raie you are looking so well” but seriously I may be having one really bad day. Having people say these type of things, makes living with such chronic and complex invisible illnesses oh so, very lonely as I get so tired of having to prove my illnesses. I have infact lost many people along my journey. For the ones that I still call family, friends and colleagues they know that plans may need to be changed or postponed when pain and illness cause immense problems.  


Every day  I do the best I can, if I need to sleep, I now sleep, if I need to change booked commitments, I will change or cancel and if I’m told that I’ve let someone down – I just have to deal with it. It is hard to take when people get angry or upset, but I know that as much as I try and make them understand they can’t – why because unless you live with these chronically hidden illnesses, you can never feel what I am feeling. Many times, I’ve felt like saying – ” I wish you could feel what I feel ” but seriously I would never want anyone to feel what I live with.


Living with such invisible illnesses has taught me to be strong at times when I thought that my time maybe up. I’ve learnt what never giving up really means and it’s why I’m now wandering the globe talking and sharing my experiences so that those uneducated and ignorant to invisible illness become aware. When we can all walk together, it is my hope that further help, assistance and change can be given to all the invisible illness warriors and goddesses.
If you’ve resonated with my words, please connect with me over on my social media channels because we all walk as one and it would be great to walk as one together rather than tearing each other apart.

💋

http://www.facebook.com/iamfndaware

http://www.twitter.com/FND_Goddess

http://www.instagram.com:fnd_goddess

SnapChat – simply_lisaraie