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Anyone living with a chronic illness has experienced a flare. And so, would agree when I say how difficult and distressing it can be experiencing one...It can be an extremely dark time, but what happens when the current eruption of disabling symptoms start to dissipate into the ether? Written as part of the May Link-Up Party with @achvoice

The post Coming Out Of A Flare: Finding Light At The End Of A Tunnel appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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On Sunday morning, I received a nomination for an award. And today, Thursday, I received another comment on my recent blog post letting me know I had received another nomination! The award is titled the Disability Blogger Award which recognises and acknowledges those bloggers whose niche is disability, chronic illness, mental illness or special needs. Fellow blogger, Georgina from the Chronillicles blog had the idea for the award. She decided that disability and chronic illness deserved more recognition for their efforts and decided to create the said award. The Disability Blogger Award Rules The Disability Blogger Award Rules Thank your nominator Recognise Georgina from Chronillicles as the creator of this award and link her URL – https://www.chronillicles.com Use the Disability Blogger Award logo somewhere in your post Copy these rules onto your post Answer your nominator’s questions Write 5-15 of your own questions (they don’t need to be illness related) Nominate 5-15 other disability, chronic illness, mental illness, or special needs bloggers Comment on each of your nominees’ latest posts to tell them they have been nominated Firstly I would like to thank the lovely Liz and Nikki who have kindly nominated me for this award. I am honoured and extremely flattered to be recognised amongst so many other wonderful writers. Liz, blogs at the brilliant Despite Pain which offers readers many useful and insightful tips on how to forge a life despite pain. The blog also radiates hope and positivity that a happy and content life can still be found outside of chronic pain. Nikki, from Brainless Blogger, is one of my favourite blogs to read. Nikki shares life with chronic illness and chronic pain in such a beautiful and eloquent, and despite the writing being deeply raw and personal, it’s profoundly relatable. Thank you both. Please do visit their blogs to enjoy their amazing writing and follow them. Liz’s questions and my answers: 1. If you didn’t have a health condition, but you still wanted to blog, what would be your niche? Books! Definitely books; sharing what I have been reading and insights into my favourite reads. Other than writing, especially, my work on this blog, books are my other passion. I have loved reading since childhood and can usually be found with a book in my hand. And my Kindle is one of my essential items on my packing list for holidays! 2. What is your favourite season and why? Due to the symptoms associated with the neurological disorder I live, with, I often find that the hot and cold weather can exacerbate my symptoms. So, Winter and Summer can be problematic seasons for me, with flares becoming routine during the months these seasons reside. So, I would day Spring has become my favourite season – with it being not too cold and reasonably warm without the heat being unbearable. I also love all the colour and beauty that can be found during the Spring months, especially in nature. I do enjoy trips to the garden centre to peruse the beautiful and colourful flowers. And also, I am able to sit outside, even just in the garden, to get some welcome fresh air instead of being cooped inside the same four walls. 3. If you could time travel, which time would you travel to? History was one of my favourite subjects when I was at school, and although I found it incredibly fascinating to learn about the periods in history we studied, the events and how people lived was usually unpleasant and gruesome. Place and events that I would not want to experience. Instead, I think it...

The post Disability Blogger Award (x2!) appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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My Brain Lesion and Me by Rhiann Johns - 3w ago

Sheryl from A Chronic Voice, as well as sharing her own stories and lessons with chronic illness.  Sheryl is an excellent support to other bloggers and writers living with illness and chronic pain.  One such way is through monthly link-up parties whereby bloggers and writers share their stories through given prompts.  For April, and because for several weeks I have been experiencing a severe pain flare, I would use the prompts to write a letter to my pain. To My Pain Yes, I have addressed this letter to you, ‘my’ pain and not just pain. I know pain is felt by many. Perhaps if you were benign, harmless and temporary, I would have only addressed it to pain. But you’re not, you’re persistent and chronic, becoming a significant and permanent part in my life. You have become another part of me, so I think I can refer to you as ‘my pain.’ The pain I feel, the pain you make me feel, is personal to me; something that is felt by only me, remaining invisible and unknown to everyone else. Living with constant and debilitating pain is tiring…well more like exhausting! What’s it like to live with you, you ask? Well, it’s tiring. Wait, it can be so much more than tiring. It’s exhausting. For weeks now, the excruciating and debilitating as it’s worst, there have been no breaks, no respite from the torment you have been inflicting on me and my life. You, which has become a sharp, electric shock type of sensation throughout my spine and legs, and one which has prevented me from getting to sleep, or on other occasions waking me from sleep. Getting a decent amount of sleep has therefore been hard to come by. And it has only made these last few weeks even more tiring as a result. The impact that you have on those you blight spreads far and wide. The heightened levels of pain you have caused me has also added anxiety in my life. At times, I have become so overwhelmed and incapacitated by you that I can find myself unable to function. Physically, it can cause my legs to buckle before giving on me unexpectedly, giving me little time to react. You can also cause brain fog; causing me to remember important information or losing words I am searching for amongst a cloud of thick fog. The added stress and anxiety has become tiring, this constant worry about when this sudden loss of being able to function will occur, even the fear of going out in case of such an attack. It’s tiring having to deal with setbacks that you create; the impediments created by your overwhelming urge to show your continued dominance, causing yet another dreaded flare. The continued knocks to our self-confidence as we once again begin to question our abilities and what we are capable of on any given day. Through difficult times comes the opportunity for educating Through the exhaustion and tiredness that you create, however, is also the opportunity for educating ourselves about you and what methods we can implement to calm and lessen the effect that you have on my life. It reminds me of the quote ‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.’ Meaning that through the tough times that you cause, we can learn more about what helps and what doesn’t to come up with a more effective pain management plan for the future. Time and time again I’m reminded that pain is uncontrollable. You like nothing more than to show your power and dominance, and where there is nothing I can...

The post To My Pain appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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During Adversity, We Look For Inspiration Waking this morning in unendurable pain, I felt incredibly discouraged. Unable to get out of bed due, I immediately grabbed my iPad, for much-needed positivity and inspiration. On my Pinterest feed, I have a board entitled ‘Positivity.’ A board filled with beautiful and inspiring words that would fill even the melancholy of hearts with positivity. The board has an eclectic mix of quotes, from famous scholars to quotes from books and films. There is a quote for everyone. ‘The Flower That Blooms In Adversity Is The Most Rare and Beautiful Of All’ Scrolling through the many quotes that exist on the board, one immediately caught my eye. It read ‘The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” The quote above is from the Disney film Mulan. It is thought, however, the basis of the story is that of the Plum Blossom. The plum blossom is the earliest blooming flower that grows in China. It does not wait for the sun and warmth of Spring to arrive before it blooms. It thrives in the winter before the leaves of the tree have fully formed. The people of China are thought to be proud of what the flower represents. The plum blossom has been the inspiration of many poets and artists for centuries. A flower will easily bloom given the perfect conditions; it is easy. A flower that grows despite bad and adverse conditions is unique and more beautiful because by all rights it shouldn’t have bloomed at all. The same principle can apply to people. Those who live through adversity and hardships is unique and beautiful because of them. Mulan is considered a heroine due to her overcoming the problems caused by her not conforming to the cultural standards of being a woman. And also due to the difficulties, she faces from serving in the army as another gender and eventually saving China from the Huns. The Insecurities of Living With Chronic Illness Everyone lives with insecurities. But, when living with a chronic illness, these insecurities grow exponentially. We feel sick the majority of the time which strips our self-confidence and sense of self-worth away. The journey of permanently coping with pain, illness is long and arduous, continually changing our bodies and our identities as the worsening symptoms become permanent. But it is not only insecurities surrounding our bodies and our perception of beauty that we have to confront. There are many insecurities regarding everything outside of our comfort zone. Anything new and unfamiliar become frightening and overwhelming. After losing so much to pain and illness, we learn to self-doubt our abilities, and what we are capable of, a world where saying no is more comfortable than the anxiety-inducing prospect of what could be. We begin only to see our struggles and start defining ourselves by them. There’s Strong, and Then There’s Chronic Illness Strong What we forget, however, is the number of times we have gotten back up after being knocked down by illness. We get knocked down time and time again, but still, we rise. And when we are back on our feet, although it may not seem like it, we are stronger and more resilient than before. We begin to thrive and bloom when pushing past our demons, accomplishing things we may have never thought possible. However, despite all this, still radiating positivity and happiness despite the harsh conditions of living with a chronic illness. It is easy to go into survival mode when diagnosed with a chronic illness. To use disease as an excuse for...

The post Blooming Despite Adversity… appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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Sheryl from A Chronic Voice, as well as sharing her own stories and lessons with chronic illness.  Sheryl is an excellent support to other bloggers and writers living with illness and chronic pain.  One such way…

The post March: A Month of Celebration and Reflecting appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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My Brain Lesion and Me by Rhiann Johns - 2M ago

Waking After a Night of Painsomnia This morning, I awoke with a start as the alarm started to blare signalling the beginning of a new day. Except, that my day started many hours before. When…

The post Hiding Behind a Mask appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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Sheryl from A Chronic Voice, as well as sharing her own stories and lessons with chronic illness.  Sheryl is an excellent support to other bloggers and writers living with illness and chronic pain.  One such way…

The post Finding Beauty in Life With A Chronic Illness appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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If I were asked to sum up my current life in just one word, then there is only one word I could conjure which would adequately describe it. Pain. From the moment I wake up,…

The post Seeking Joy in The Midst of Chronic Pain appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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Sheryl from A Chronic Voice, as well as sharing her own stories and lessons with chronic illness.  Sheryl is an excellent support to other bloggers and writers living with illness and chronic pain.  One such…

The post Looking Back To Move Forward appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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My Brain Lesion and Me by Rhiann Johns - 4M ago

At the beginning of 2018, reflecting on 2017 and the year that I wanted to live, I chose resilience as my Word of the Year. Choosing a word, or theme for the year ahead is…

The post A Year of Resilience appeared first on My Brain Lesion and Me.

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