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2019 has been a challenging year, but also one filled with hope. Rather than write a post looking back at the last 12 months, I would like to end 2019 with a round up of some of the most popular posts I have published this year. My blog is like my diary, so it seems fitting to end the year this way. 

Just click on the images to read the full posts. Thanks.

A migraine is not just a bad headache

“Next comes searing and throbbing pain, usually down the left side of my face and head, I also experience stabbing pains in my eye. It feels like my head is in a vice that is being slowly tightened. The pressure build up is overwhelming, and it spreads to my face. I often feel like drilling a hole in my head just to relieve it. I overheat and sweat. Nausea and dizziness add to my confusion and distress. It feels suffocating. My tinnitus screams at me. I feel like I’m going to pass out.”

Whatever you do today, let it be enough

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the past few years, is to respect my body rather than fight it. To accept my limitations rather than push my body beyond its limits. To acknowledge that my self worth is not determined by my productivity. That it’s perfectly ok, and beneficial for my health, to live within my comfort zone. It was only when I accepted this new message, that my health started to improve.”

Do you ever feel like giving up?

“I’ve been knocked down so many times by my ill-health, and by the world around me, that sometimes I don’t have the strength to get back up. Sometimes I (temporarily) lose the fight.” 

What is CBD? Everything you need to know

If you are new to the world of CBD then you probably have a multitude of questions. There are many myths surrounding CBD, and misinformation is rife. In this article I tackle the 14 most frequently asked questions about CBD. 

10 Low activity creative hobbies for spoonies

“Developing a creative outlet is an essential aspect of our emotional and psychological wellbeing. Having projects or hobbies to consistently work on and dedicate our time to gives us a sense of purpose. Creative activities not only give us a way to fill out never-ending days, but they also offer many benefits to our health and wellbeing.”

Living with severe ME – a glimpse into my world (video)

“ME has stolen so much from me but the most frustrating part about this illness is not being believed, and not having a voice. The lack of belief and ignorance surrounding ME is deep-rooted and causes significant harm to patients worldwide.”

Self compassion: the gift of kindness

“I have to admit, I’m a bit late in discovering self-compassion and the vital role it plays not only with mental wellbeing, but also in physical health. I’m 44, and for the first time in my life I’m making myself a priority. Now I have discovered self-love I can see how important it really is.”

ME/CFS patients worldwide face scepticism and ignorance from doctors

“I wanted to use this post to highlight the neglect and lack of education surrounding ME/CFS by detailing my own experiences with doctors over the years. I have included some of the direct comments I have received, which may sound shocking to some but all too familiar to others.”

8 Common Myths about ME/CFS Debunked

Due to the disbelief, misconceptions, and stigma that are attached to ME, patients can often wait years for diagnosis, and treatment is inconsistent. In this post I debunk 8 of the most common myths about ME/CFS. 

6 Great Ways to Enjoy Audiobooks

While audiobooks offer a convenient option for many, they are often the only option for people in the chronic illness community. Many of us have an illness, physical disability or mental health condition which impacts on our ability to read or hold books. This makes audiobook apps and subscriptions a vital service. 

Chronic Illness & Guilt

“For a long time, I refused to accept myself as disabled and like much of society, saw disability as an entirely negative thing – I’m not normal, I’m a challenge and a burden. These negative ideas stem from how society assigns inferior value (worth), and limits the potential of persons with disabilities. We, as disabled people, often internalise this deep-rooted ableism within society, even if we don’t realise we are doing it.”

10 benefits of having a pet when you live with chronic ill-health

Animals are truly amazing. They can be trained to be someone’s eyes or ears, to help disabled people live more independent lives, and even protect their owners while having a seizure. Animals also offer much needed emotional support for many around the world. For this post I reached out to my followers and asked; How do your fur babies (or furless babies) help you when you are having a bad day? What comfort do they bring to your chronic life? 

What Is CBG & How Could it Benefit Your Health?

“Preliminary research of the cannabinoid CBG highlights some rather substantial health potential. I personally benefit from taking CBG in many ways including, reduced anxiety, improved sleep, improved mood, reduced muscle spasms and tremors. I also have severe osteoporosis in my spine and hips, and as CBG had been shown to improve bone health, I am excited to discover the benefits of long-term use.”

The Storm Ends: A Message of Hope

“I wanted to write this to let people know; things can, and will get better – The storm ends. Please don’t give up, please know you are loved more than you’ll ever know. Please know you do have a future, a future where you will be happy again. A future where you will rediscover the joys life can bring – you deserve happiness.”

Unsolicited health advice is intrusive & invalidating – Please stop

“The truth is, when you have lived with a chronic illness for several years, you have pretty much tried everything. People don’t understand that we’re not just lying around passively accepting our fate. We’re online doing research on treatments – we are experts on our illness.”

I’m disabled and I rely on single-use plastics, but I still care about the environment 

“Our planet is dying. The climate crisis is very real. We must all take responsibility for our own negative impact on the environment. But what if your chronic illness or disability restricts the positive changes you are able to make? What if current environmental initiatives actually put your safety, and life at risk?”

It’s 2019 yet 2 out of 3 women with a physical disability are still unable to access cervical screening

“There are potentially thousands of disabled women struggling and failing to get cervical cancer screening – this is not fair. I’ve even been told that women with physical disabilities are ‘less at risk’, or because cervical cancer is rare, not to worry about not having a test. This is really hurtful to hear. It’s like our needs are not taken as seriously as those of an able-bodied person. It’s so important that we make this test accessible to everyone who needs it.”

Don’t let anyone discourage you from sharing your story

“I refuse to sit back and be silent. I refuse to hide my health challenges to make healthy, non-disabled people feel comfortable. I’m not ashamed of my chronic illnesses or mental ill-health, and I should not have to hide this to appease others. And, just because I share my story openly, I shouldn’t have to put up with unsolicited advice about my health.”

The 20 Best Supplements for Pain & Fatigue

It is estimated that around 43% of people in the UK experience chronic pain – this equates to 28 million in the UK alone. In the US this figure is over 100 million, and Worldwide it’s 1.5 billion. Fatigue is also prevalent within society today, with growing numbers experiencing chronic, persistent fatigue. And for those of us living with chronic illness, debilitating fatigue is often a constant companion. In this post I feature the 20 Best Supplements for Pain and fatigue, as recommended by my followers. 

Learning How to Dance in the Rain

“I knew I needed to find a way to accept myself and my life with all its messiness. I knew that unless I found a way to be kinder to myself I would spend my whole life consumed by a war I could not win [..] I didn’t want to keep putting my life on hold. I knew I was just sacrificing my present happiness for a future full of unknown promises.”

Thank you for all your support. I hope 2020 brings you improved health, and happiness. I look forward to seeing what the new decade has to offer.

Which post was your favourite? Are there any topics you would like me to cover that I haven’t already done so? 

For more personal stories, reviews, news, inspirational quotes and in-depth discussion, please head over to my Facebook page.