As the year comes to an end, it is always a good time to look back and learn from the choices you have made. This year, has been one of ‘ups and downs’.

I was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder in 2013. When I was diagnosed the neurologists assured me that one day I will get better. Everyday I wake up and hope to feel ‘normal’ again. I pray that I will be able to live like every other ‘normal’ 33 year old woman. I know that one day this will come!

Looking back to January of this year, my health was quite good. I was managing my seizures well and was working only mornings teaching small groups as a Teaching Assistant. All was well, the boys were happy and we were living.

In June, I fell ill again. I was admitted into hospital as my seizures had gotten out of control. It turned out that my medication was no longer having the right effect. My migraines became unbearable! Once I got my medication sorted things settled down again.

I have a tendency to ‘over do it’. When the new school year began (September) I threw myself into work full throttle. I had increased my hours to teach whole class one day a week. I felt that it was a good way to gently break myself back into normal working hours. I truly believe that this was a sensible move and if I had paced myself better, this would have been no problem. However, being me I clearly couldn’t pace myself! I tried to take on too much all at once and began to gradually deteriorate.

In November, I ended up being hospitalised again. I had begun to having fainting episodes and numbness on top of my usual symptoms. I straight away assumed that these were another nasty symptom of FND. It turns out that they were a result of an underlying issue with my heart.

In hindsight, I think that whether I had over done it or not, this heart issue would have arisen anyway. We all have our built in ways, many of my friends and family are just like me. We like to do things properly. Why do a job half heartedly? As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, acceptance plays a big part in my illness. Accepting that I can’t do everything that I want to.

I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked to this year. I do believe that many of us haven’t. When a new year starts, we always have great expectations and aspirations of what we want to achieve. In reality, life gets in the way!

My advice is to stop and look around you. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a few good friends who care for you? Do you have a family that love you? If you do, then you are richer than you think!

Life would be boring if we didn’t have challenges to face. It’s how we choose to deal with these challenges that will have the biggest impact on the year ahead. I say ‘BRING IT ON!!!’. I know with my family and friends around me, I will get through all of this!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken time to read my blog this year. It has been very therapeutic to share my story and raise awareness. The amazing words of encouragement from everyone has really meant the world to me.

I truly hope that anyone reading this has a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2016. All the best.

Charlotte x x x