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Fabulous, Frightened and Flaring up

It has been such a long time since I have written anything and as you can tell by the title, a lot has been going on.

So, I will start first with the fabulous things going on; it’s been just over a month since I have started my new job and I am loving every minute of it. I work for a website that sells a bit of everything and it makes for a different experience every day, it can be hilarious most of the time and it is just such a lovely place to work. It was quite bittersweet how I got the job in the first place; I had been offered another job working in cyber security, had been going through all of the background checks, was preparing myself to hand in my notice at my previous job and then at the last minute, I had received an email saying that I had been unsuccessful getting the job because I didn’t provide them with enough information about my mother. This made me quite sad because I was so looking forward to starting what seemed like an exciting job, a fresh start and then getting told at the last minute that I couldn’t have this job anymore since I don’t really know my mother left me feeling a bit deflated and quite angry because of a situation I don’t have any control over.

Anyway, I was sad and all in my feelings constantly and thought I was never going to get another job, then a week later I got a phone call offering me an interview for what is now my new job and let me tell you I have never danced around the house as much as I did when I found out I had been successful! Applying for jobs after being a barber for so long was quite a stressful experience anyway, I had to be picky and find new roles to fit my new situation and it was one of them moments where you wonder if things are going to work out because it seems so out of reach. But, just like magic, everything seemed to fall into place and I realised that what is meant for you will eventually find you when you are ready. On top of starting this new job, I have been having such a wonderful time with my partner, my friends, my family, and I just couldn’t be more grateful. It feels so nice to be present and to enjoy each moment.

Now, time for the frightening and flaring stuff. As of last month, just before I started my new job, I realised that I had started flaring up again; luckily it has not been as bad as the first time it happened, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Oh, and I have experienced some new exciting symptoms just to spice things up that little bit more. My vision has started going blurry every now and then, which has made it harder for me to read, to write and to concentrate on the telly a lot of the time. (Which has meant not much reading, playing on the Sims, or watching good films like I normally would, sigh.) I have a constant pain in the sole of my left foot, which is awful, and very swollen feet which as you can imagine is quite painful. My hands also swell up every now and then, but that is alcohol related too, so I will get to that. The bright side to all of this is that I work from home apart from one day a week, so even if I experience quite a lot of pain, at least I can make myself comfortable. (Bonus: I can work in my pyjamas.)

One of the things I have been struggling the most with lately is my mental health and realising that I am not the same person as I was a couple of years ago. I have had so much to celebrate with my friends lately and when you celebrate with friends, alcohol is more than likely going to be involved. So without even realising I have been acting as I normally would, drinking how I normally would and it has taken me a while to call myself out on it and realise that I have been the cause of my own pain a lot of the time. I first started noticing when I had been drinking quite heavily with friends one night, as usual not thinking of the horrendous hangover that was to come the next day and jeez did it hit me like a ton of bricks. Except hangovers are a little different for me now, because if my MS is active which it has been, then it is basically a recipe for disaster and a one way ticket to experiencing a lot of symptoms for the next couple of weeks. So now when I drink a lot, I make myself even worse and it has been a hard pill to swallow. I am only 25 and I thought that being in my twenties, being child free, having my own house would mean that I could do whatever I wanted and suddenly, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It took me to quite a dark place for a few weeks and I struggled to open up about it because I thought about how silly it sounded when I said it out loud: “oh you can’t party as much as you used to anymore, boobloodyhoo.” But it is more than that to me; it is now trying to find the willpower to not join in with my friends when they are doing something that is so natural to someone in their twenties, it is somehow feeling left out even though I will still be there, it is feeling like the ‘different’ one because things are different for me now. It has not been all bad though - as much as I do enjoy getting together with friends and having a good drink, it has also made me realise all of the other things that I would much rather do; go for walks, have a film night, play games, make some good food, go out for a meal and one of my favourite things to do is go to the beach or be by some water somewhere.

I am still awaiting treatment, but these next couple of months I will be starting it finally and that has been the most frightening thought for me; it is something completely unknown to me, something that will probably make me feel worse before it makes me feel good and it terrifies me. The good news is that I will only be getting it every six months, which is such a relief after spending the majority of last year in and out of hospital constantly. It has been such a rollercoaster this past year finding out I have MS, experiencing symptoms more or less every day, learning what it is as I go along and yet I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what is happening. It has taken me a while to write anything because truthfully, I kept ignoring it, pushing it to the back of my mind and hoping it would just go away somehow. But if the past few weeks has made me realise anything, it is that I need to stop fighting it and instead, learn to live with it, take care of myself and embrace it. After all, life would be boring if everything stayed the same.

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