things you realise when you’re sick

things you realise when you’re sick
  1. WHY DID I NEVER APPRECIATE THE SWEET SWEET JOY OF BREATHING THROUGH MY NOSE. Suddenly the act of breathing requires such vast effort that one hefty sniff results in you needing a nap. To avoid this, welcome to the mouth-breathers club: a place where no one is happy and everyone looks like fish and your mouth is so dry from sucking in air you feel like a broken hoover. Who knew your sinuses actually governed your state of happiness?! I miss the good old days when my nose felt empty and cavernous because now its claustrophobic up there and you can’t even blow cos there’s nothing to blow cos its just SWOLLEN AF.
  2. The only thing good about a cold/flu is that moment, that rare but magical moment when you stand up quickly, or roll over in bed, or even lean on your face a little bit when suddenly…..*click*……YOUR SINUSES UNBLOCK FOR A REASON KNOWN ONLY TO A HIGHER BEING AND YOU CAN SUDDENLY REMEMBER THE TASTE OF COOL FRESH AIR AND THE SMELL OF FREEDOM
  3. and then 0.8 seconds later you’re clogged up again like a shitty broken drain.
  4. You remember when your body could regulate temperature? Doesn’t that seem a long time ago? Hot to cold to sweating like you’re in a rainforest, to sweating but like a really cold clammy sweat and only on your feet, to being icy and smothering yourself in blankets and hot water bottles to warm again to the whole cycle beginning again.
  5. but also that’s just kind of Autumn problems anyway but not when you’re inside, that’s where you’re supposed to be safe.
  6. Feeling sorry for yourself like the sick child you are.
  7. Thinking you’re actually okay and doing something really wild like getting up to make food and then falling over in a heap and staying there til you die cos you weren’t okay
  8. Breathing. Cos that’s still a really big deal okay I’m not over mourning the loss yet
  9. The voice….. it may be sore and raspy and dry and like there are a million tiny needles in your throat and if you breathe in, idk in the wrong direction or with too much vigor you begin to cough a lung up……..but it sounds sexy so you’re totally fine with all that
  10. Day time tv….. it really is tripe but I’ve watched so much Say Yes to the Dress I want to go wedding dress shopping like right now cos I know that fishtail lace satin dress is totally unsuitable for my bodyshape but I think id suit a sweetheart neckline with nipped in waist and it doesnt matter that i dont have a fiance, I think I’m ready to wedding dress shop
  11. Online shopping cos I have nothing else to do but I’m also sick and not at work so I’m not earning any money but I’m okay with spending it more than usual on crap I don’t want or need
  12. Being realllllly hungry but as soon as you come to eat it, the sight of it makes you wanna vom and you end up perpetually starving and not hungry (not pregnant before someone makes a wiseass joke)
  13. remember breathing
  14. remember smelling stuff
  15. remember that funny thing called taste
  16. remember the good old days where your senses worked
  17. Idk bout you but my balance is WAY off, more than usual and the corners of my house hurt a lot
  18. Not caring what you look like and it being totally 100% fine… like, I haven’t changed my top in over 24 hours and my hair is worse than Grease 2 and who needs makeup when you can rock the grunge vibe solely with the pallid complexion and deep dark bags under your eyes. Its 2017, you do you
  19. You leave a Kleenex shrine behind you, wherever you may go
  20. Remembering reading it was gonna be a REALLY BAD flu season and planning when to have your flu jab cos I’m one of those vulnerable people like OAPs and toddlers who need extra help and then realising that the damn flu caught me with my pants down and beat me at my own pre-emptive game and kicked me hard in the chest before I could even plan on trying to plan not getting sick
  21. Screw the universe
  22. Feeling a constant source of guilt cos you’re not at work and had to call in sick but also relief that you’re not sneezing on paying customers or your colleagues and being happy to be lying down and able to close your eyes when you need to but also still feeling guilty but relieved all at once its all so confusing
  23. Being annoyed I wished autumn would arrive so I could be rid of summer so I basically brought this on myself
  24. Not being able to breathe.


I hope y’all don’t get this bloody flu cold sickness from hell cos it’s crippling and I haven’t even got man flu, I’m used to being bunged up and dribble-y cos I had bad hayfever all summer but man, this is intense. Keep scarves on and hydrated and prepare yourselves. The war has come and I’m fighting a losing battle. Gondor calls for aid.

R.I.P.

O x

I’M BACK LIL BUNNIES

I’M BACK LIL BUNNIES

SOOOOOOO where have I been these last couple of months? Sitting in my bedroom dying over my dissertation is the answer to that. Not exciting or adventurous I’m afraid. But the good news is I’VE FINISHED MY DISSERTATION AND FINISHED MY MASTERS AT CAMBRIDGE! It’s such a relief to say those words and I’m so proud of myself. It seems to be a running trend that I have a tough time at uni, usually with my health. At undergrad I was in and out of the doctors surgery every week finding out issues and being told issues existed when they actually didn’t bla bla bla. ANYWAY this year started similarly…..trip to A&E in an ambulance on my 22nd birthday wasn’t ideal but since then I’ve stopped being malnourished, have become a healthier human and am getting myself back on track yay. Knowing I’m a coeliac means I’m even more proud that I even got through my undergrad with the ‘brain fog’ coeliacs often get from eating gluten but this time round I managed to avoid that….just procrastinated like hell and napped a lot, as per my character, not based on illness. Just a regular olive fog brain.

I also had a tough time at my undergrad with pals, I happened to get in with a crowd I really shouldn’t have and they negatively affected my experience massively. Shout out to third year tho surrounded by my babiesssss and had a lovely time. I was so worried Cambridge would be like undergrad halls again but this time I met and LIVED with some of the loveliest humans I could have hoped for. Holla and kisses to you guys for being babes and lifelong friends.

This year has been TOUGH AS HELL, work-wise, but also with massive periods where I could chill about work but maybe I shouldn’t have been but oh well…I’ve managed it. It’s been an absolute dreaaaaam wandering along these cobbled streets and spending hours among ancient buildings that make my heart hurt they’re so pretty. It’s spoiled me rotten having free access to, essentially, castles. SO wonderful.

This lil summary is just a post basically to say “I’m sorry ive been busy but I swear it was for a legit reason and now I’M BACK and will be blogging more about far more interesting stuff than this post I swear”

 

Hope you all had a good summer. Mine is just about to begin..

 

Nice to see you again, tune in soon for more fun
Peace out

O x

 

What Terror teaches us

What Terror teaches us

 

This is a cruel world. This is a tough time. Terrorism seems like its overwhelming us, from Westminster to Manchester to Saturday night’s London Bridge/Borough Market attacks. Three major incidents in the UK since March where hundreds have been left injured and too many dead. Countless other attacks across the globe (that we hear less about sadly) but that have the same awful impact. It may seem hopeless and an endless cycle but honestly I have seen way more support, more generosity, more strength in these last weeks than I knew possible. People pull together to help strangers, regardless of race, gender or faith. People love and care and continue to hope. This integrity and generosity and strength means terrorism will never win, however hard they try. WE are strong together. I must say massive big appreciation to the emergency services for everything they’ve done to help everyone affected by these horrible events. Appreciation to civilians that have helped. Appreciation to everyone that’s offered lifts or donated blood. Appreciation all round!

I’m not going to get preachy because that’s the least useful and most annoying thing to do in this situation. But some people still think they’re untouchable and that’s also not useful…..we all need to be alert and prepared. It doesn’t mean we’re not living our lives the way we usually do. It doesn’t mean terrorism wins if we’re always alert. It’s just GOOD PRACTICE. Its just SENSIBLE. It just could save your life. Being calm is great, that’s what you need to be. Being overly chilled out and thinking it won’t affect you is WRONG. That’s just stupid. Again, don’t start telling me that we can’t change the way we live in the wake of terrorism because that’s what they want. No it isn’t what they want actually, they want suffering and destruction. YOU being wary and cautious and just having your eyes peeled and a plan b is clever. You’d be a fool to not take these things seriously enough to consider that. Changing little things that you do or thinking about things a little more deeply isn’t letting the terrorists win because you’ve had to adapt your lifestyle, please don’t adamantly declare you’ll change nothing because we all have to be more on our guard.. (it means we’ll catch the buggers sooner and they’ll not affect us as much…not that they’ve won). We can’t just all ‘go to the Winchester and wait for this all to blow over’. We gotta prepare for the worst, even if it’s just mentally. We have to react and be safe while it’s happening all around us.

We must be careful not to judge extremists and terrorists as a mark of a whole culture or a faith. Whether or not the London Bridge attack was Isis related is yet to be confirmed. Accounts of shouting “for Allah” amid stabbings suggest that there is some influence involved, if the accounts are accurate. This doesn’t mean you have an excuse to be Islamophobic. A sect of radical terrorists does not a religion make. That’s as stupid as being scared of a white Christian male and assuming they’re a member of the KKK. We don’t ever stoop to that level of prejudice with regards to white people (whether they’re from America, New Zealand, France or Britain) so why is okay to stereotype anyone who believes in Islam as a terrorist. Anyone who’s skin is darker than yours. Anyone who has a foreign accent. Anyone who looks a “a bit Middle-Eastern”. Good God do you realise how ridiculous you are if you think like this!? Next you’ll be asking “where are you from” and when they reply “London” you’ll say…”No but where are you really from?”. You cannot justify this as anything but outright racism. Prejudice and stereotyping.

Fear does not help anyone, nor does ignorance. We must ensure these attacks do not make us slip into racist mentalities and attack all foreigners. Don’t make me get all archaeology on your ass and explain how Britain is a nation made of immigrants from all over Europe and beyond. There is no such thing as purely ‘English’ so stop acting the Little Englander and telling everyone to get out who wasn’t born here. Mate, most of your ancestors weren’t either so you can piss off too then and let’s all abandon the country, let alone the world ye? Lunacy. We must ensure we do not neglect to think about humans as humans and not define them by religion or race. We only have an issue with terrorists, don’t overly apply this term to people as hurt and ashamed by terrorism as you are. That way lies wickedness and makes us as bad as our enemy. I don’t know how to fully define or talk about Isis and their aims and desires because I don’t know the whole story so I’m not going to try. Most of us won’t either. Stop shouting about ‘Sharia Law’ and using it as a buzzword because you saw an article in a tabloid newspaper and assume that you sound clever by using it, even though you don’t really know what it entails. Let us research (and not just trust Daily Mail articles) and know our enemy so we can stop isolating and attacking peoples’ beliefs and cultures for no reason, and only attack the terror threat.

In ignorance lies fear and in fear lies danger because you never know how extreme people will take things. Don’t be one of them.

What can we do?

So we’ve established we’re facing increasingly frequent terror threats. It means we do need to consider some sort of plan IN CASE it happens to us/ near us. This does not mean I’m pessimistically assuming the worst. It means I’m cautiously and sensibly planning for a worst case scenario just so I’m prepared if need be. This doesn’t need to stop me living, just means we should all give it a bit of thought so we don’t get caught out (not like we can know if and when an attack might or might not be but you get what I’m saying)….. plus most of these are useful for daily life anyway.

  • Carry a power bar when you’re out for a long time, to make sure your phone battery doesn’t die at the key point when you need to google map a safe way home, tell your loved ones you’re safe or call for help.

 

  • Know key loved one’s phone numbers off by heart in case you lose your phone.

 

  • If you hear of an incident in an area you are e.g. it’s in London Bridge but you’re in Hackney, get out of London the quickest and safest way possible, just to be on the safe side. Last night “lightning struck twice” at London Bridge and Borough Market so don’t think because it’s happened elsewhere you’re fine where you are….. better to err on the side of caution, especially for the sake of everyone who loves you worrying about you helplessly from afar.

 

  • Get the bbc breaking news app on your phone so you’ll know exactly what happens, when it happens.

 

  • Don’t assume all Muslims are terrorists (don’t be a big ass bigot please)

 

  • Don’t assume Islam is evil and that’s the problem Britain is facing

 

  • Try not to get so blind drunk when you’re out in big cities that if anything were to happen you’d not be able to understand or even move to safety…..that’s just kinda good practice anyway but especially now if you could only get black-out drunk in your own home, that would be great.

 

  • Be safe xxxx

 

Peace and Love

 

O x

 

The Apocalypse (University edition ii)

The Apocalypse (University edition ii)

We all know this is the WORST time in University life………Easter/ Lent term. The term of pain and suffering. The place where your social life goes to die. The hideousness of every moment stuck revising..
For me, the apocalypse hit me early, it’s just ended. Having three essays due within one week and a grand total of 12k words due at once on three very different subjects……well, I think I now know what hell is and it’s gonna be something along the lines of that ^ but with a bit more heat and fire and screaming ya’know, Dante’s inferno style. ANYWAY TODAY I FINISHED. I BEAT THE APOCALYPSE. Completed it mate and wrote all my words and gave all those words in and now I’m free of all those goddamn words. Is it all academic tripe? Very possibly. Do I care anymore? Not a jot. It got me thinking…..isn’t it all a bit futile? Like I just busted my ass to get these things written and submitted and coherent and at the same time they had to be new and exciting and something no one has thought of before even though its 2017 and there have been archaeologists since the bloody 1700s. All for what? So two people marking it can judge me and then give me a mark. That’s it. They’ll be forgotten after that, those little pieces of academic hell that now have a bit of my soul inside them cos I nearly killed myself (mostly with boredom) to do them. My horcruxes. All to be told I’m clever or not and that’s it. I experienced the outer level of Dante’s inferno just to get a number that is a bit of my overall Masters?! I know that’s entirely the point of academia but after this ordeal I’ve just realised how ridiculous it is. Why did they have to try and kill their students in order for us to pass? Why was that fair? Why do they want to dampen people’s drive towards academia by giving them unrealistic deadlines that aren’t actually indicative of the ‘real world’ (as I was told when I disputed the deadline clashes). If a lecturer has 3 or more things due at once they just don’t do some of it or they decline. I couldn’t decline my bloody essays so this was not an insight into how the real world works. It was an insight into the cruelty of academia.

Okay, bit OTT since I actually do wanna become an academic but so help me god if I have anything to do with it, I will not crush the spirit of my students.

Now I have to start revising for an exam on the broadest topic ever “archaeological theory” which includes economics, genetics, psychology, religion, gender and feminism, food, technology and like a billion other things I cant even think of right now. It’s a tough life but luckily I only have one exam. Good luck to you poor creatures with multiple.

I’ve always been a big academic nerd and I love books and stuff but I have missed, more than I could have ever thought possible, reading for pleasure. When you have constant work and constant stress you don’t allow yourself the joy of reading for FUN because you feel guilty if you’re not reading a book you’re supposed to…. but they’re super dry and dull and most of the time you don’t want to read them so you don’t. It’s a constant struggle. Yes, I hear those of you saying “um but aren’t you doing a PhD next year?”……well that’s looking less likely and at first I was like OMG NO I MUST KEEP GOING but now?! I am so excited at the prospect of a break, at the chance to read for pleasure, a chance to regain my love of academia and study, a chance to let my mind settle and actually think again, rather than just churning out work for the sake of it. I’ve lost everything I love about academia and it’s really sad actually. Cambridge, amazing city and beautiful place filled with adorable people, has ruined it for me because ever since I arrived to find my course cancelled and a new one forged hastily because I was here, it’s all been an uphill struggle and it’s not fair. Not fair to crush someone who was on the right track to keep going and keep enjoying academia. Not fair to cause x100 more stress than was required. Just not fair. So maybe it’s best I take a year to *cringe* rediscover what I liked about this world.

I suppose its been a useful lesson. Just because you think you’re on the path you should be on, doesn’t mean you should be open to change if you find yourself feeling differently to when you started. There’s no shame in that, I’ve realised. There’s no disappointment either. Just a change. I guarantee after a year of working and being in charge of my own thoughts again, I’ll be ready to get back and do my PhD and become an academic and write books and give lectures and stuff but for now this opportunity of a break is very tempting.

This post is a message to all you exammers and dissertationers…. this may seem like the apocalypse but it’s not. Once you’re done, you’ll forget the suffering almost instantly. If you feel disheartened that’s okay. If your plans change and your future path changes form, that’s okay too. Just because you’re under pressure and overwhelmed that doesn’t mean you’ll feel that way forever. And if that’s the way you think your life is going, take a break and try something new while you have all the time in the world. After a spell away from something, you’ll know how you really feel about it. I’ve only realised that now. I thought if I just kept going I’d get through and it’d be done….but what’s the point of doing it out of obligation when I don’t have to and its only ME deciding that’s what I need to do.

So one apocalypse is over. The exam apocalypse is due. Then the dissertation apocalypse. Then no doubt something after that. But you know what? It’s not the end of the world and we can all get through it.

Peace and love little study worms

O x

 

are YOU an egotist?

are YOU an egotist?

Or do you know one?! Let me give you a few pointers on what to look out for in case you know one or you are one… take this “quiz” and see…

1.Do you think the world revolves around you in every aspect of your life?? For example…if someone says “omg I have the worst flu right now” do you say “yeah well when I was 16 I had three fevers at once and almost died”…..because that’s not relevant. All you should say is genuinely “you poor thing, do you need me to get you anything?!

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

2. I shall add a caveat… if you’re having a conversation and your friend says “I just went to Paris and it was so amazing”…and then you say “omg yes I went to Paris when I was younger, I totally can relate” (so now they know you’re aware of the intimate workings of Parisian life and they can now continue their conversation in further depth because they know you’re sympathetic and excited about their story”…

3. Do you cause unnecessary drama? either because you’re bored or because you haven’t had the attention on you for the last 5 minutes? Do you become a diva when you’re at a party and just act up because you can?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

4. Do you feel like you’re in a film 24/7? Like you could turn to your left and have a deep dialogue with an invisible camera? That you can be dramatic and over emotional just because you feel like there’s sad music playing and Morgan Freeman is talking about what a rough upbringing you had…..

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

5. Are you jealous of your friends if they’re successful? It could be in an aspect of their lives that you have absolutely no interest in but you’re annoyed people are congratulating them and not you? OR WORSE they could be successful in the exact field you want to be successful in (be it a profession, university, relationships, fashion etc) and your insides turn to acid because you hate everything in the world because why is it happening to them and not you? When really…they worked their bums off to get where they were and you sat about watching Netflix for two years and can’t understand why no one handed you success on a plate.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

6. Do you feel the world owes you? Do you feel your life is unfair and you should be compensated? When really, you’re experiencing mild first world problems and have no sense of perspective. This is okay in small doses because everyone occasionally wants to cry until you run out of tears because you dropped your last chocolate bar on the floor and its too fuzzy and dirty to save and you already had a bad day because someone shouted at you and now the world is over. That’s allowed. It’s just not allowed 24/7.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

7. Being a pessimist is fine. I am a pessimist. It just means I expect the worst case scenario and if that happens I can be smug because I was correct and if anything else happens it’s unexpectedly happy and great. That’s fine. But being a NEGATIVE person is totally different. If you shit on everything and everyone you’re not being a pessimist, you’re just a dick. Know the difference.

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

8.  Do you get annoyed when you don’t get the credit you deserve? (That’s normal.) Do you also get annoyed when you don’t get credit for things that really don’t warrant any credit being given? E.G. you put your plate in the dishwasher/ you organised a trip to the pub (that would have happened organically anyway/ just for being alive and in peoples’ lives

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

9. Do you brand yourself as a bigshot? as a ‘legend’? as a ‘top lad’ or female equivalent that I can’t work out the name for but you know exactly the type I mean? Do you actively give yourself a label like “the king/ the queen of the world” or “leader” or “most important person” in a non-ironic way?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

10. Finally…. is your sole purpose each day to maintain a façade that you don’t even really feel is your true self? If yes, is this façade aimed at belittling other people or bigging yourself up so you inflate your ego and you expect others to do the same? Do you pretend to make friends but really you pull a Mean Girls on them and compliment their bracelet just to mock them later? Are you mean to new potential friends so they don’t get close enough to ruin your “hierarchy”? Are you mean sometimes to people?

ANSWER: YES / ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY / NEVER / NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES

 

If you answered mostly YES then I’m sorry to say you’re an egotist.

If you answered completely NEVER then you’re either a nice person or you’re kidding yourself either a lot or only a little bit. A few of those out of 10 is manageable because everyone has the right to be confident about their lives and themselves. It’s just when those couple of occasions become ALL THE TIME that you stop being confident and start just bringing people down to raise yourself higher on your ego trip and you’re just mean then.

If you strongly answered NO BUT MY FRIEND DOES to a lot of these then your friend is an egotist. How to remedy this? Call them out on their bullshit and don’t let them think they can get away with acting that way. If they feel people will let them, they’ll stomp all over everyone. If they don’t listen, distance yourself a bit. Maybe they’ll realise your friendship is more important than fuelling their ego. If that fails and you just can’t deal with the negativity and lack of motivation to be a nice person then just scarper….you won’t be sad to have that outta your life and they’ll probably be too far up their own backside to realise it was them that pushed you away. We can just pray one day they mature and realise.

If you answered ONLY SOMETIMES ON A BAD DAY then that’s totally fine, we all have bad days and act in ways we aren’t proud of. Maybe you shouted at someone of maybe you just cried all day because your friend is prettier than you and more successful than you (but they’re probably not, you’re just lacking in confidence and they have their own insecurities and are just hiding them so you think they’re perfect etc.)

This is not a personal dig at anyone, I’ve just been people watching netflix and people watching in cafes and stuff and thinking about people in this world and realised there’s so much negativity from so many people and a lot of the time its the people who are lacking in confidence, or self-worth, or motivation that are the biggest egotists. By putting others down, they feel better about themselves but that’s like a drug because it wears off very quickly and you need more. Then you get stuck in your own power trip. Really, people just need to open their eyes to the beauty of the world, acknowledge that a lot of people have to deal with a lot of shit and that’s just the way life goes…some more than others, and you just have to get on with your life regardless. Be grateful for the good in your life….be it friends, family, partners, pets, jobs, talent, enjoyment, hobbies etc. Focus on those things and don’t let your shortcomings eat you up inside. No one’s perfect, we are all flawed but you don’t have to let them overcome you. Find ways around them and find paths to a future you want to live. It’s tricky and takes a lot of failure and rethinking of plans but if you’re motivated and keep going, you’ll get to the end goal: happiness.

 

Ew I got too cringey I’ve gotta stop.

Positive vibes everyone.

Wipe your feet and leave your egos at the door.

Peace out

O.

 

 

A cure for all ills? Spending time alone..

A cure for all ills? Spending time alone..

Disclaimer* …Okay firstly don’t jump to conclusions and assume that because I’m writing about spending time alone I’ve suddenly experienced a dramatic break up or something…. I have not. Still happily loved up. End of disclaimer.

So this Easter weekend, while most people travelled to spend time with friends and family, I spent/ am spending it alone in my room in Cambridge. I had the option to be with my family, this isn’t me being sad and lonely with no one to spend time with. This was a decision I made…..mainly so I’d get so bored I’d actually get started on the mountain of work I have to do (…oh look, she’s writing a blog post instead). But I discovered something far more important this weekend that has inspired me, not to do work (sadly) but to feel happier and more content with myself.

I spent time on my own. Like really spent time alone. And, it may be news to some, being ALONE doesn’t mean you’re LONELY. Being an only child I can vouch that this is still the case 22 years down the line. You can spend time enjoying your own company, listening to your own thoughts and just BEING. It’s damn cathartic and after a couple of days of treating myself well, I feel super zen and chill.

Let me give you an example. I’ve been bored out of my skull and procrastinating like mad since I got back, moping about because I have to do work but I really don’t want to do work because its boring. Yes I am aware I am a bad student with no motivation but whatever, sue me. So yesterday evening, before I drove myself crazy, I decided to go for a walk. It was quiet in Cambridge, a rare occurrence, because everyone had headed home for their Easter Saturday evening. So, just before dusk and basically in my pyjamas, I went for a walk. I took only myself and my phone and a £2.50 because idk just in case, and I wandered along through the little alleys between the colleges until I walked over the river and round the backs of the colleges. It was glorious. Not a single person was around and I got to really LIVE and enjoy Cambridge for the beautiful city it is. I gawped at the beautiful architecture for as long as I wanted without fear of ruining someone’s selfie. I sat and watched the ducks and a little rat I befriended. I really listened to the birds as they sang goodbye to the light of the day. I got to really feel and be a part of the nature, the architecture and the peace of an old city, empty as the dusk fell. It was glorious. Apart from taking pictures (duh) I didn’t speak to anyone. I just smiled as I walked around the town, seeing things I’d walked past 100 times but never truly noticed before. It was one of those evenings that everything looked beautiful. As I reached the town again I heard an organ in a church evening service mingling with a jazz busker on the street corner, just out of sight. I heard the chapel bell strike 8pm. I saw couples walking hand in hand through the market and groups of families heading home for the evening after a nice meal. It sounds so cliché but it felt like I’d woken up and started to SEE for the first time in ages. I hadn’t realised what a funk I’d been in.

Its a glorious thing, spending time on your own. Especially around nature. All of the problems you’ve been stressing about seem to disappear and you get everything back into perspective. The world keeps turning as you stress about that essay. The birds will sing even if you didn’t reach your desired word count for the day. The sun will still set whether you’re grumpy in your bedroom or enjoying the last of the light. There are bigger things in the world than work. There’s feeling at peace, and calm, and happy.

So today, I took another leaf out of my own book and took myself on a date to the cinema. On Easter Sunday what better than to go and see Beauty and the Beast (for the third time). I got on my scooter and pushed my way to the cinema, got my ticket, got a drink and plonked myself down ready to be entertained. Of course I was not disappointed. I smiled and laughed in all the best places and despite knowing what was going to happen, cried every time the music changed to a minor key or something just too sad got me sobbing. But because I was on my own, I could just cry it out and not try and act like I wasn’t upset. Of course I am bloody upset, the Beast is singing and watching Belle ride away and he thinks he’ll never see her again. (Not a spoiler, the plot has been around since I was a kid so stop moaning). It’s quite a release just to cry when you’re sad. It’s so rare that you can let it out when you need to.

Then I came out of the cinema to a fresh light rain and scooted home. It was refreshing and meant the town was pretty empty and made scooting more fun. And here I am, windows open, enjoying the smell after rain and feeling soothed and like I’ve meditated for a week. Really all I’ve done is go on a walk and go to the cinema. But it’s so much more than that, I’ve spent time by myself and re-learned what I truly appreciate in life. It doesn’t take much to commit to some alone time. It doesn’t make you a recluse or anti-social. You commit to so many things you don’t want to do out of work/uni/social obligations, why not take half an hour to do something just for you. Go have a coffee on your own and bring a book. Go for a walk. Go charity shopping (I also did that yesterday). Spend time listening to your favourite album without doing something else at the same time. Just find time to BE.

And you know what? I did so much more work after I came home from my walk because I felt rejuvenated and inspired….something 3 hours of Netflix did not achieve.

Happy Easter folks
p.s you’re probably bloody good company so why should everyone else get to enjoy that and not you? Yeah, deep I know
P.p.s this doesn’t mean people should stop inviting me to do stuff or talking to me….I’m not a recluse.

O.

Trying to do university/life with a chronic illness

Trying to do university/life with a chronic illness

Life is hard. University is hard. Like super hard. Whether it’s your first or third year of an undergraduate degree, your masters degree or your PhD. This even applies to college too. This especially counts for being in a workplace too because work is hard. EVERYTHING IN LIFE is hard *sometimes. 

Edit… put an illness or disease in there and BAM it gets a whole lot more impossible.Oh hey hi here we go again, Olive is gonna talk about being broken again but HEY it’s a big deal and I want to express it and since this is my blog, its a pretty good platform.

SO I have coeliac disease. I also have an underactive thyroid and am on tablets for the rest of my life to try and control it. I am also anaemic. I have low blood pressure too but hey that’s no biggy anymore. It may sound like giving them names and being aware of them means I have it all under control and it’s all easy. Its not. Its soooooo not. So with coeliac disease I obviously have to avoid gluten like the plague as it has almost worse effects than just those boils and you know death and stuff. It sounds easy enough to just not eat gluten….it is when I cook for myself but I hate cooking and am lazy (I’m actually not but I’ll go into that in a moment) but whenever I step foot outside or into someone else’s kitchen, all hell breaks loose. FOR EXAMPLE the other week I had some fancy wine at a fancy Cambridge event and I almost passed out and had to sit on a bench outside my college for 45 minutes because I was too weak to walk home alone and wasn’t coherent enough to ask for help and to be walked home for half that time. When I got home, I curled into a ball and tried to ease my gut wrenching tummy pain (still feeling weak obvs because why not). WHY DID THIS HAPPEN!? BECAUSE THE WINE WAS AGED IN A BARREL THAT WAS SEALED WITH WHEAT FLOUR. How did I finally work out what happened? The blessed god google helped me out because some poor buggers had had it happen to them too. Wine is supposed to be gluten free but what they actually mean is cheap wine is. Fine by me, less money, less sickness.

My point is that just because you know what’s wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s fixed. I am on constant red alert for things that could legit poison me, from crumbs on a coffee table in a café to someone drinking from my glass who’s just had a beer. I even make my poor long-suffering boyfriend carry a mini mouthwash around with him now so I can kiss him after we’ve gone for dinner. So many little things that no one really thinks you have to worry about and then they don’t understand how you’re always sick. It’s hard to hide from the things that make you ill, they’re freaking everywhere.

Next up: hypothyroidism. So having an underactive thyroid means I take thyroxine every day. Because I take this, my thyroid has effectively gone on a long-term trip to Aslan’s land beyond the waves aka it is dead. SO I have to make sure I take my tablets every day. Sounds easy. It is easy. Until you have to get constant blood tests to check you’re actually taking the right dosage as it’s a super sensitive level needed. If I’m getting slightly too much I can’t sleep, despite being constantly exhausted, my heart aches and flutters, I get really faint all the time, especially if I get warm and I get old-overweight-man-puffed-out from walking two steps. Apparently you can also lose weight when your thyroid is overactive but typically I miss out on the only ‘good’ side effect. So then I lower my dose. Sweet. All  is fine for a moment. Then I get another blood test because my nails are crumbling and I’m all dry skinned and reptilian and then BAM its underactive again and suddenly I’m sleeping 24/7, gaining weight (yeah I get THAT weight one), seriously bad depressive moods, shiver like I have frostbite when I step outside and my muscles hurt. AND THUS THE CYCLE BEGINS AGAIN! It’s never ending, for the rest of my life. You just hope the periods of you actually being on the right drug level last a long time, which they can do and it’s great!

Anaemia… pretty common so not really a biggy because most people have something like that. It links with the low blood pressure. It just means I feel faint all the time and have those Phoebe-from-friends headrush moments but they’re way not as pleasurable when they’re every time you move quickly. It also means, again, I’m always exhausted and puffed out. Now when I say some of the symptoms are ‘tiredness’ it just sounds like meh a bit groggy and dozy but nothing major. No. It legit means I need a nap every day, not just wanting one because I like being snuggly (I do too). Being puffed out doesn’t mean I’m unfit….it means something else in my body isn’t happy and I’m not really unhealthy and need to exercise more. In this situation, exercising would make me pass out almost instantly so is not desirable.

I’m not using this post to moan about my illnesses etc. That’s life, everyone has shit they have to deal with and bad things they have to get over. Mine is my health. I can deal with that. I have lovely friends and family and that’s the area my life is good. It’s a matter of balance, I couldn’t get it all. My point isn’t that it’s all about me either. I’m using my ailments as an example because I know about them best. My point IS that there are all these issues (some) people have that you can’t see. If someone with a chronic illness bails on your plans a lot, it isn’t out of laziness or poor planning. It’s 99% of the time an unexpected health issue that they gotta deal with. I slept through my lectures all week? Not laziness, my body stopped working a bit. I nearly passed out before we all went out to the pub so I couldn’t go? Not on purpose. Just because you think we’ve worked out our health issues and should be fine, doesn’t mean that’s how it works. The best thing about being healthy is when you get sick, you get better and back on top form. When you’ve got a disease or illness, you get better but constantly dip up and down into average health and sub-par health. It’s not all sunshine and roses because we had a hospital appointment two months ago and now we’re cured.

I am obviously not putting myself in a disease/chronic category alongside people who suffer with illnesses such as cancer or leukemia or awful ones that keep people housebound or hospital bound. My heart goes out to anyone suffering anything that terrible and I hope you find a path to better health soon. No, instead I’m talking about the people you see every day, the people you know have a bit of a health problem but look and act healthy, the people who say “nah I’m all fine now don’t worry!” when actually they’re sick to the bone of talking about their health in vague details because it makes them sound weak or pathetic when you’re not able to fully explain it all to someone. And you’re so tired of hearing yourself talk about being ill theres just no point trying.

So it’s extra hard trying to University at the same time as all this. I’m talking about Uni because that’s what I’m doing but anyone in full-time employment or school etc knows the same pain. When you’ve tried really hard to get your work in on time, despite numerous hospital visits and days where you’ve wanted to curl into a ball and hide forever. Then you don’t get the mark you want or someone says your idea in class was rubbish or something like that and suddenly you wonder if it’s all worth it. If you really need to bust your ass just to try and be present and how you have to fight so hard to get stuff done even when you feel like shit or are faint and can barely see the book you have to read for your seminar tomorrow. And at the same time you’re in a class full of healthy fighting fit folk who have no idea how tough it is for you just to be in class because you spent yesterday throwing up because someone in a restaurant didn’t understand that ‘gluten free’ meant NO gluten anywhere near it and thought you were just on a fad diet so it didn’t matter. And then you have to stumble home from class and make it to your room before you pass out. And then you have to try and finish an essay?  It’s tough man.

I just want people to spare a thought before they brag about how smashed they got last night and how rubbish they feel but hurrah for them that they made it to class with a hangover….maybe don’t say that to someone with a chronic illness. Maybe don’t brag about an amazing grade for an essay you did no work for but your pal had to write while in a hospital bed. Maybe don’t mock someone for walking slow or being lazy when their legs feel like they’re made of fire and every step hurts. Maybe don’t call someone boring for not wanting to come for drinks or out for dinner when you don’t realise all they want to do is go home and cry because they feel sick and are SO sick of feeling that way. They already know they’re missing out…don’t make it worse. Maybe just think before you do those things.

Massive shout out to everyone who suffers from an illness, mental health disorder or disease or whatever that keeps you from living your life the way you want to. GO YOU for being you and being strong, even when you feel weak. Massive shout out to the hoards of really really supportive friends and family who totally get how shite it can be and never judge you and only every care for you and want to help you. You guys genuinely made everything so much easier and so much more worth it. Thank you. This isn’t a dig at anyone in any way. It’s so easy to think things are perfect in other peoples’ lives. This is just a post to say, maybe things aren’t so maybe be sensitive. You can’t see stuff going on inside someone’s body. You can’t see a mental illness. You can’t know the emotional struggle someone is facing. If we were all a bit more openly supportive, life would be a little bit warmer, don’t you think.

 

Peace and love my beautiful people

O x