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It’s so easy to get pulled into a spiral of darkness. Trying to keep a ‘brave face’ when everything around you is tumbling down can be so extremely exhausting. Telling those around you that you’re ‘fine’ when you’re definitely not. The pretence becomes part of your existence. Keeping up appearances and always smiling on the outside, suffering and deteriorating on the inside.

FND can sometimes be an ‘invisible illness’. There are many others, such as Chrones, MS and even the dreaded ‘C’. In some ways it’s good that you can’t always see my pain. On most days, I can carry out a ‘normal’ existence. I have learnt to control my pain and cover up tell tale signs. On harder days, those around me have come to recognise my symptoms. I become pale and shake quite obviously, I hate this. I feel weak and angry. My own body letting me down.

Every one has there darker days and it’s so important to talk about these and about how you feel. Don’t allow yourself to become consumed with self pity and self loathing. It’s so important to look at what you have.

I know that I’m not suffering with depression or anxiety. I’m lucky to have a good understanding of the warning signs. I can give myself a proverbial slap and lift my spirits. I know that many with FND understandably suffer with anxiety and depression because the illness, like so many other invisible illnesses, becomes so life consuming.

A fellow sufferer once said to me, “If I woke and felt no pain, I would think that I have died”. This is sadly quite true. On the other hand, at least we are alive! We may have been dealt a rough card at the moment but we won’t or at least shouldn’t die as a result of this illness.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we only get one life. I can’t keep letting FND control it! I want to enjoy my children, my family, my friends and most importantly my life! It’s time to start living. My life has been on hold for far too long. A lovely work colleague of mine who has unfortunately been ill herself made something click the other day. She said, “You can’t keep putting things off until you are ‘better’ , that wait could be a long time”. She was right, I could wait forever and I don’t have that long!

I need to change the parts of my life that I am unhappy with. I think we all need to live each day like it’s our last. Stop existing and start living.

I hope that this will inspire some of you. Life is so short and before you know it, it’s gone. No one knows how long we have, don’t be full of what ifs, be full of wow, what’s next!!

Thanks for reading.

Charlotte xxx

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