Hi, I’m Raychael and I have not one but two invisible illnesses. There I said it.
For the most part, I’ve mastered the all-is-well disguise. I plaster on the war paint and smiles, only sharing snippets of the better times both online and off. It’s still not picture perfect but it’s better than my current reality.
Lately though, I’m finding my reality exhausting and I’m wanting an outlet. If I’m honest I’m wanting an out.
Although, I’m not convinced this is the right outlet or that anyone (including myself) really needs to see this side of me.
** the good, the bad and the keeping it friggin real side of me **
(yes half my face has drooped, yes I’m 90% grey, yes I’m getting good at disguising this)
My reality isn’t new to me but more than a few things came to a head this week. Literally.
It would seem the stress of this week’s medical tests (including MRI – brain scan) well and truly caught up with me, resulting in a rather rare sleep goal being reached this week. For those that are new to the blog, I’ve been tracking my sleep since October when hubby gifted me a Jawbone up fitness band.
This is only the second occasion (I believe) that I’ve reached my sleep goal since I started tracking my sleep. Generally I average three to four hours a night. It’s just not enough. With ongoing health issues, it’s hard to know if my sleep patterns are a symptom or a contributing factor. I suspect both.
With a good night sleep under my belt and MRI results looming, I was in the right (or possibly wrong) head space to take stock.
With hubby heading to sea next month, managing my health and being in the best condition I can be (under the circumstances) is crucial if I’m going to pull off the whole temporary single parent gig, not to mention all the projects (blogging and otherwise) that I have on the go.
In an effort to get my health and life back on track (as much as I can under the current health circumstances), I will be undertaking five weeks of wellbeing. Kick starting next week with a five day juice cleanse with Pure Glow Cleanse.
Why 5 Weeks of Wellbeing?
I want to emphasis at this point that this isn’t some quick or easy fix. This isn’t a temporary measure. This is very much something I need to do to get my life even remotely back on track. I can’t begin to explain just how off track things are at the moment. I don’t really want to. I’m not at rock bottom but I’m not far from it.
For me, this is all about wellbeing for life.
Tests this week, only confirmed how bad things are and while I’ve been resolved of the outcome for some time, there was a slight glimmer of hope with these latest tests. That hope has now gone and a further issue has been thrown into the mix. Another curve ball. So I’m needing to take some time out over the weekend, to once again digest the cards I’ve been dealt and move forward.
A big part of moving forward, has me wanting to hit the reset button on just about everything and everyone.
I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of gal and for me, this really is the best way forward. I’m refusing to let my ongoing and chronic health issues consume and control my life. In short, I want my bloody life back. I want to be able to make plans for the future and stop living day-to-day. I’m not sure if that’s possible right now but I’m not willing to wait around doing nothing in the meantime.
As much as I need it, this isn’t about weight loss. In fact I believe with the Thyroid auto-immune disease side of things (just part of the issue) weight loss is near impossible and probably a contributing factor to my weight gain over the last twelve months.
This is about being as healthy and well as I possibly can under the circumstances. This is about letting go of the old version of me that I have in my head. This is about moving forward, one unsteady step at a time and then hopefully moving way beyond that.
As I mentioned earlier, this isn’t going to be for everyone and it isn’t necessarily what I want to be openly blogging about. Next month, the health side of things (Pieces of Me) will be under lock and key as part of a sealed section on the blog because I appreciate this side of me, isn’t exactly for everyone.
The lighter side of life, including some of my wellbeing endeavours that may benefit more than most, will continue to feature here occasionally. Still maintaining my keeping it real approach to things just focusing more on the positives.
With chronic health issues, my journey to wellbeing needed to start with a trip to my GP. Which seems strange given how often I’m there but after almost 2 years with little to no real results, I’m looking at all my options. I’m looking for a new and different approach.
There’s a reason this is on the top of my wellbeing list. Possibly because I’m having trouble digesting the latest health news but it’s also one of the areas that impacts my life the most.
Sometimes I fear my digestive tract is beyond help. I have more than a few issues here and function better without gluten in my diet.
Without necessarily wanting to undertake an elimination diet (or any diet for that matter), I’m needing to give my digestive track a rest.
The best way to do this, for me, is a juice cleanse. As I’m wanting a more substantial five day cleanse and given my health issues I needed to take the nutritional guess work out of the equation and turn to the experts, Pure Glow Cleanse.
Thanks to the gorgeous and glowing Annette from Pure Glow Cleanse, I’m also looking for one of my Perth followers to ‘case’ their one day cleanse, next month. If this is something that might interest you, keep an eye on the blog for a callout aka GIVEAWAY coming soon. If you have any questions or concerns about juice cleanses in the meantime, I would love to hear them.
I will be following my five day cleanse up with three weeks of raw food. Nothing over the top just getting back to basics with my fruit and vegetables.
NOW to anyone rolling their sugar loving eyes at this point. I hear you. Loud and clear. BUT I also think you need to walk a day in my sick shoes to appreciate just why I need to take this approach.
I will be looking for interesting and low impact ways to increase my fitness.
At the moment, I’m limited to what I can do here. I’ve only just recently been given the go slow go ahead to return to exercising after 12 months off. Following three unexplained falls, which resulted in a busted rib and a popped shoulder, I’ve lost all confidence and will be following doctors orders to the letter.
For now, walking seems like the only real way forward but even this is proving a challenge due to swelling and numbness in my legs and arms but I’m also casing Pilates, Yoga and water aerobics as possible contenders.
I’m still trying to pinpoint this side of things. I suppose it’s the day-to-day things that make life easier and worth living. It’s also keeping my mental health on track so that I’m in the right frame of mind to tackle all the curve balls thrown my way.
This is about looking after myself, even when I don’t have the energy. About how I spend my time. This is about learning to say no and not feeling the need to explain myself each and every time. It’s about managing anxiety. It’s about living my life with limitations but still having purpose. This is very much about finding peace while living with an invisible illness (or two).
What does Wellbeing for Life mean to you? What parts of my wellbeing journey would you like to see hit the blog?
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I’m so sorry that all of this is happening at once for you. I think it’s great that you have a plan of attack, even if you feel that it’s not everything that you wanted it to be. Our health is so important, so I think making sure that you are doing what you can is a great way to move forward. If that means a diet shake up, then that is what you need. I wish you all the best and as you know, I’m always open for a chat.
I think the plan of attack is the control freak in me.
Your strength and will is so inspiring! The way you have the ability to encourage others while you are struggling yourself is beyond amazing. Stay strong but know you CAN lean on others for support. xx
Thanks Kell, I really appreciate your support.
Sorry Raychael to hear of your health struggles and all my thoughts are with you through this hard patch in your life. Resetting with juice and raw foods can be amazing (so I have heard) and when I did go sugar free I did feel heaps better. Any insights into well being will be great. Take care xx
I’ve heard great things too with cleanses and raw foods. I know it’s helped me in the past. At the very least, it will keep me distracted.
I really hope that your five weeks helps to get you back on track x
Thanks Sarah. I think it should keep me distracted and give me something interesting to blog about in the meantime.
I hope the juice cleanse and raw food diet help Raychael. Wishing you all the best in your wellbeing journey. x
Thanks Vanessa. At the very least it will give me something to focus on.
Raychael I wish you all the very best with all your endeavours to get your health back on track. To be honest I am interested in everything and following your efforts here on your blog. You never know who you are helping. Take care an look after YOU. V x
Thanks so much. I do try to keep things light and almost fluffy on the blog. Almost as a break from reality I suppose. I’m looking forward to sharing snippets of my wellness journey from time to time. Especially the quirky exercise ideas, although I’m not sure I will ever be ready to take on naked yoga.
I’ll be following along and cheering you along the way. most particularly interested in general wellbeing as it does seem a rather murky and confusing area for all of us. Take care of yourself x
Thanks Kirsty, I really appreciate your support. I’m going to be looking to Tegan (Musings of the Misguided) and Sarah (Creating Contentment) for tips on general wellbeing.
I’m happy to read whatever you want to share. One of the things about having a serious illness, invisible or otherwise, is that it leaves you powerless. I am loving how you are turning this around and taking control and making the best choices for the best you! You have a plan. And it’s such a good one xx
I’m a control freak from way back. Got a find a way to control something or I’m completely out of my comfort zone.
Wishing you all the best for the way forward. I had a friend who a mystery blood illness around by going gluten and dairy free so I would never side eye any reasonable diet changes to at least see if it makes a difference. Hoping your recovery and return to health comes soon and if you want to share your journey I’m more than happy to read about it here!
Thanks Beth. I’m really hoping the cleanse followed by 3 weeks of raw food will be the detox I need to get back on track.
Good on you for the brutal honesty, and for attempting to take some control of a seemingly powerless situation. xx
Thanks Jess. It’s the control freak in me.
Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going through. Blog about what you feel comfortable about blogging about. Haters are gonna hate and people who care and want to know more than just the airy fairy frilly pretty things will comment and help you through this journey. And also don’t feel bad if the blog posts get put on the back burner. I think most readers will understand.
Thanks Alison. The blog strangely has been a great distraction but yes most of my grand plans (blogging and otherwise) are on hold for the time being. Just going at my own pace for now.
dear raychael, thinking of you and sending positive energy vibes your way!
all the best! … accepting it is well on the way to dealing with it! lots of love m:)X
Thanks Merliyn. Onwards and upwards.
I wish you well on your journey. Found you today at Friendship Friday.
Thanks for popping over Suzie. Love your blog.
Sounds like you’ve got a really solid plan for how to heal yourself. Best of luck! I’d love to hear more about what you come up with under the ‘general wellbeing’ heading – make sure you also take time to relax 🙂
I’m looking at a couple of my favourite bloggers for inspiration for general wellbeing. Hope to be sharing a snippet of this side of things soon. I’m guessing my One New Thing a week project would fall under this category.
Thank you so much for sharing this and I’m cheering you on from the sidelines. I’ve done several juice cleanses now and while the 5 days ones are hardcore I’m sure you will see the benefits. For me day 2 I turned mean with withdrawls so wasn’t pleasant for anyone around me, day 3 was hungry but not so mean, day 4 felt great, day 5 felt amazing. It’s tough going and not for everyone but it really does reset you. I’ve also just started back at pilates after a long break (due to laziness) and it’s fantastic, a good way of being kind to your body and getting a work out. All the best Raychel, thinking of you and I look forward to hearing all about how you are getting on. x
Thanks Vicki. I’m sure I will see the benefits too and as I’ve been doing green smoothies for a little while now, I’m convinced the 5 day cleanse is the best way forward for me.
Raychel all the very best with this. Sorry to hear your results from the last tests weren’t good but glad to see you have a firm focus on changing things and getting your wellbeing back. Happy to help on the healing side with some yoga ideas. There are some asanas that can be particularly good for digestive health and some breathing exercises that will help with calm in the midst of the healing process.
Thanks Kathy, I’m honestly not in the right head space just now, to take anything else on but would love it if you could throw anything my way in this regard for when I’m ready to look at it. Particular interested in Yoga and have very little knowledge in this area.
Good luck on your 5 weeks of wellbeing journey, and good on you for having the sense to take stock, and realise you need to do this. I am also one of the ‘lucky’ bearers of a few invisible diseases , so I will be following your posts with interest, and hopefully feel inspired to get my own arse in to gear in relation to self care xx
Thanks Jane. It’s so easy to put ourselves last. I know I’ve been doing this since having kids. Would love your input on my progress and happy to support you in anyway. Keep in touch.
i love your comment ‘This is about letting go of the old version of me that I have in my head.’ Very different circumstances, but something I’m battling with myself at the moment. Feel for you Raychel. Hope you feel the benefits of all these things soon. I might even take some ideas from you! I’ve tackled the mental wellbeing, but love that you cover all areas. Xx
I’ve been wondering if I’m tackling everything at once and taking too much on but it’s more my style and it needs to happen. Keen to hear more about how you’ve tackled the mental wellbeing side of things Kate. Will head over and case your blog. 🙂
Raych it breaks my heart to read you’ve been unwell for years, it must be incredibly frustrating. All the best with your journey, I’m cheering on the sidelines. xxxx
Thanks Emily, I’m honestly sick of being sick and sick of it consuming me. No pity parties here though, I’ve got to keep on moving.
So sorry to hear you have been struggling over the years. At the same time, I’m mighty impressed at your resilience. But I’m sure that there are days when you just want to shut everything and everyone out and just wallow. Good luck with your wellness journey! Hope all goes well xx
Thanks. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of good days but yes a tough couple of years with much of the same to look forward to.
I totally got when you said “…letting go of the old version…” – which I had to do 7 years ago when I was diagnosed with CFS, and the ensuing debilitating anxiety. That is so hard to do, emotionally, and depressing too but then also an exciting challenge to see what you can come up with the “new you”, if you know what I mean! I wish you much success and happiness on this journey, and much more good days than bad 🙂
Thanks Petra. I’m trying to put a positive spin on things. Well as much as I can. Please keep in touch, would love to hear more about how you are managing your condition.
Oh hun – I had no idea you had this much going on. It never fails to astound me just how much we really know about some of our fave bloggers. Much love to you hun and we are all here for you xx
Thanks Sonia, today’s the day for my 5 day juice cleanse. I can’t wait to get started. I’m rewarding or distracting myself with lots of me time pampering.
I am sorry to hear of more health issues for you…
I am struggling a little at the moment with the class of wanting to be fit and healthy and wanting to travel, which don’t seem to go hand in hand. When you have no choice but to eat out and menus over here very limited with healthy options I can feel my weight increasing and my digestive system taking a hit. Before about a month before I left I was pretty much gluten and dairy free but there is no way I could maintain that diet over here…
Take care and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the detox as it is something I have always wanted to try but not sure I would have the willpower to go through with it. Would be interested to here if you feel satisfied after only have the detox stuff.
I struggle to eat out. It’s only been the last six months that I’ve managed to get back to feeling confident to eat out and be more demanding and selective of the menu.
Today’s the day for the juice cleanse. Can’t wait to get started.
Raych, this will just make us love you all the more for being real! I can’t imagine all the issues and ramifications, but I do know you’re a strong woman! You can do this!
I probably should have opened up about this sooner. Anyway, onwards and upwards.
We all have the right to make the best choices for us. I love my fresh juices – wish I had the motivation to make them every day. Thinking of you as you deal with your health and well being.
I love Zach’s quote.
I love Zach’s quote too. Sammie from The Annoyed Thyroid, recently reminded me of this quote.
Sorry I’m a bit slow to the ‘party’ Raychael. It saddens me to hear of all your health woes, but I love your positive attitude and sense of humour through it all.
As long as it’s not a pity party. I’ve tried to keep things under wraps but starting to appreciate that this approach wasn’t helping. Most of the health side of things will move to the sealed section from here on in.
Raychael, I’m sorry to hear about your health issues. I’m excited to read how the cleaning process with the juices goes, it’s something I’m really interested in. I hope you have the strength to look after you, to take more time for yourself, to do whatever is good for your body. I hope you find your way back on track and you hopefully also have some time for a little vacation which you deserve! All the best!
The juice cleanse went really well. I have a blow by blow review here on the blog. Just search Pure Glow Cleanse. I’ve been slowly going backwards health wise this past month, so revisiting this post, thanks to your comment has been just the reminder I needed to get back on track. Thank you.