chronic illness · creativity · mental health

here’s to new beginnings

An introduction to the inner landscape of my haunted little mind, creative art therapy, mental health and chronic illness.

So this is the awkward part of setting up a blog – what the heck do you write about for your first post!? Do you introduce yourself? Do you ramble on about all of your amazingly in depth spiritual philosophies that are going to make a bunch of strangers want to start following you? I have no. freaking. clue. But here goes.

The first part of any journey is genuinely the first few steps, but hey, we all have to begin somewhere, right? So here’s mine. I have been procrastinating for far too long, avoiding my mental health needs and pushing on through, regardless of the innate knowledge that my mind, body and spirit need a LOT of looking after, especially right now.

We have just relocated, to a beautiful part of the world I must say. In the sunny little cove of the Purbecks, in the heart of little Swanage, Dorset. It’s beautiful, idyllic, stunning and I know that I should be completely 100% grateful to be here. That I should be jumping for JOY at just the prospect of living 30 seconds from the beach, 5 minute walk to the country park and cliffs overlooking the jurassic coast.

But, this would be disregarding the very fact that I wanted to write about in this blog, the fact that I suffer with a debilitating chronic illness, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), and at 26 years old, this is pretty wrecking. My life revolves around counting imaginary spoons of energy, making sure I have enough reserves to get me through my small amount of tasks everyday, and attempting to keep my mental health in check just enough that I can still be enough of a girlfriend to my loyal and wonderful partner, who frequently endures my (way too many) meltdowns, shutdowns, freak outs, anxiety bouts, panic attacks and exhaustion, among many things. He is a wonderful human being.

Creativity is my lifeline right now. Working from home as an artist means that I can attempt to control my lifestyle enough to maintain a fairly manageable schedule, working around my unpredictable symptoms and try to avoid flare ups as much as possible, meaning a lot of rest, in between little amounts of doing calming, quiet things.

I am also an incredibly hypersensitive and anxiety-prone soul, meaning that even leaving the house to attempt to make contact with anyone new has been extremely distressing, immensely challenging and has left me feeling isolated, lonely and falling steadily but surely into bouts of depression, of which I am definitely no stranger.

So here it goes, here is my attempt to begin writing again, yes as a form of therapy, as a way of understanding my head, as a map of my haunted little inner emotional landscape, an attempt to form some guide to my own self regulation, helping to give me a space to breathe, play, explore and share ways that have been helpful to me in this path, and that one day, perhaps other people may find solace in my endless wonderings, the place that I escape to in the early hours of the morning when insomnia strikes its daunting and eery head, and that one day, I might find peace in myself.

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