Wordless Wednesday: Hope exists even in darkness…

306191_10150737763284254_36556179253_11203299_595333616_n

Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.

Today’s prompt reads as follows:

Wordless Wednesday…We all know a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  Post/share a picture that relays a message or story to the viewer

486621-bigthumbnail

Finding hobbies and interests in the midst of illness and incapacitation…

306201_10150737754389254_1241404170_n

Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.

Today’s prompt reads as follows:

Hobbies…We at WEGO Health love hobbies.  Tell us, what are YOUR hobbies?  Are you a rock collector?  Scrapbooking?  Photography?  Dancer?  Share your talents.  (Pictures encouraged!)

Battling fatigue, dizziness, trembling and weakness in the legs can make it extremely difficult to take part in hobbies.  That it not to say I do not have any hobbies.  One of my loves is reading; ever since I was a child I was a bookworm and loved reading fiction books that will transport me to different places and times.  Or books just to escape from the reality of pain, dizziness and depression.  The love of reading, fortunately has not left me and I am a proud owner of a large number of books.  Those who know me, will already know that my favourite author is Jodi Picoult.  I have at least two shelves in my bedroom dedicated just to her books.  I love her writing style; the fact that each chapter is narrated by a different character enabling the reader to consider both sides of an argument and allowing the reader to determine their own opinions on the subject matter at hand.  Each book is thought-provoking, deep and thoroughly researched.  In my opinion, my love of reading, especially my recent devouring of novels are a result of the weakness and trembling in my legs.  Due to the mobility problems that are a result of these particular symptoms mean that walking can be difficult, sometimes even I am unable to leave my bed because of them, and so it is in these moments that my love of books are a real blessing, as it a hobby that I can take part in bed or wherever I am stuck with my uncooperative legs.

Another hobby of mine is collecting butterflies.  As a lot of my followers and readers of the blog will know that I am a big lover of butterflies.  In my opinion, butterflies are beautiful; the bright and colourful colours of their wings, but also they are a sign of hope.  The hope that something beautiful can come from the end of an old life.  For someone with a chronic illness like myself, it really symbolises hope that despite being diagnosed with a long-term health condition it is not the end and something positive can still be found.  This is beautifully summed up by  the proverb “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly”.  I have a piece of artwork which encompasses this very proverb within the piece.  It’s a lovely piece of artwork and I have near it my bed as a positive reminder that good things will still happen despite having a chronic illness.

ucIjsN6p

In addition to the piece of artwork, butterflies can be found everywhere in my bedroom!  A butterfly clip on my curtains, a photo frame adorned with them and even on my wallpaper!  I have just recently bought some butterfly LED lights to hang around my headboard.  The lights are pretty and colourful and make a bad day a little better.  As a symbol of hope and change, in my opinion butterflies are a perfect addition to be included in my own personal and private sanctuary.  A sanctuary in which I can recuperate on my bad days, and just get away from everything.  It’s a room which I spend a lot of time, so to make it as lovely and positive as possible is in my opinion very important.

Another hobby of mine, which I have been unable to do for a while because of trembling in my hands is card making.  I love making intricate decopauge cards.  It not only is it fun but doing them takes my mind off my pain and the dizziness that greatly affects my daily life. Again it is something that I have found to do despite my condition and one which I am still able to do even when my legs are too weak that I cannot stand or walk.  I am still able to drag to a table and chair and make cards despite the severe weakness and trembling. I like making them for friends and family for special occasions such as birthdays but I have also been asked to make them for others too.  It is a lovely hobby to create something both beautiful and special.  Here are some examples of the cards that I have made:

Comfort Box: Getting Crafty!

I was browsing on YouTube a couple of weeks ago, and came across a video by a young woman called Kelly, who like me suffers with chronic illness.  In the video she describes, and demonstrates how she made what she calls a ‘comfort box’.  It’s a box which on the outside reflects your personality and your personal likes and interests.  On the inside, however, holds on the things that you hold dear – those items which bring you comfort, a smile on your face on the bad days; those days where you feel really unwell, or so down that everything seems like such a struggle.

So, I decided to make my own comfort box, and thought I would share you some photographs of the comfort box that I made for myself:

The front of the box with a couple of pretty butterflies and jewelled gemstones that reads Comfort Box’

The back of the box that again has butterflies and a couple of sunflowers – one of my favourite flowers and symbolic of my time at ‘Life 4 Living’

Again more butterflies! Plus a bird! And some more sunflowers!

More Butterflies!! – I know I’m predictable!! :)

The Lid – I used some decopage paper for this effect

At the moment the box is empty but going through my things and deciding what really makes me happy and gives me comfort for those ‘dark’ days especially when I am stuck in bed, and too dizzy and weak to get up out of bed.  Thinking of selecting some of my extensive DVD box set collection in there, which often cheers me up and keeps me entertained when bored and lonely!!  And maybe one of my cute little stuffed animal toys, really cute and puts a smile on my face and reminds me of some good times when I bought it.

If you were to make a comfort box; how would you decorate it?  And what would you put in it?

 

 

 

Images of Hope for Invisible Illness Awareness Week

As you may already be aware September 10 – September 16 is ‘Invisible Illness Awareness Week’ and as part of this fantastic campaign they are asking for people battling chronic invisible illness to share pictures that brings hope.  This can be anything from a photograph depicting a favourite place, a pet, flowers…anything which provides hope!  So, as I have been unwell lately and have not been able to participate in the Weekly Photo Challenge, I thought I would share some pictures that bring me hope!

My beautiful dog Honey who provides comfort, laughs, cuddles and kisses during times of illness and being bed-ridden!

 

This is a picture of Honey on ‘Rhiann Watch’ on a day in which I was in bed due to severe dizziness and incredible weakness in my legs. Was home alone so Honey saw it has her duty to keep me company and make sure all is well!

 

I love sunflowers, all flowers really! They are really pretty to look at – and sunflowers especially. At a recent ‘Life 4 Living’ group session we were asked to visualise sunflowers as part of a stress relieving exercise – which really does work!

 

And for all of you who know me – know that I really love butterflies!! I find them really inspiring for all that they represent and stand for. They are the epitome of change and growth

To see more images of hope you can view them here

 

HAWMC Day 24: Health Mascot

Hello, to all my readers.  Welcome to Day 24 of the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge – 30 Days, 30 Posts.  The prompt for today reads as follows:

Health Mascot…Give yourself, your condition, your health focus a mascot.  Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them.  Bonus points if you provide a visual!

I found this prompt difficult.  With any invisible conditions, it is hard to come up with any visuals to describe the condition, its symptoms and the effects it has on the individual.

However, one of my favourite things in life is butterflies.  I love the symbolism of them – the freedom they have, flying freely.  I also think they are beautiful with their bright colours and different patterns on their wings.  It can also symbolise change – as a butterfly emerges from a cocoon.  I have butterflies on a range of items I own, they are on my wallpaper in my bedroom, pendants on necklaces, on t-shirts and tops I wear, and so on.

Therefore, I immediately knew that due to my love of butterflies, I had to somehow incorporate a butterfly into my ‘mascot’ for my health condition.  So, I have decided due to my condition being caused by a lesion in the brain stem, I have used a brain stem as the body of the butterfly and then have used wings to surround the brain stem.  I have attempted to draw what it would like, which I have found exceptionally difficult as I am not artistic at all, and even more difficult with the tremors in my hands which I am experiencing today.

But this is my attempt:

I know it’s not very good, if someone out there is artistic and could up with something even better which I could use for the blog I would be most appreciative!!  Maybe even producing a banner for the blog instead of the one I have of the willow tree and the sea.

Again, if you have any suggestions, comments, I would love to hear from you.

Until Tomorrow…