Thinking of you …. the road to recovery

adventure back view bavaria clouds
Photo by Gabriela Palai on

Climbing the steep mountain of recovery is hard work,
But the view from the summit is spectacular,
Rewarding and worth every step.

But don’t forget to rest and reflect along the way,
Every vantage point offers its own wonderful sights
Not just on the horizon but in everything around you.

Keep going, enjoy every step of achievement,
Pain is a message to our body, listen to its limits,
Savour your accomplishment.

You are not alone,
Your family and friends, both in body and spirit, travel with you,
Lovingly holding your hand.

Don’t underestimate the smallest improvements,
Be mindful of the tiniest building blocks, so easily missed.
Look back along the route travelled and the progress becomes clearer.

The body is AMAZING, the brain POWERFUL,
YOU are amazing.
Trust and believe in your power within and ability to heal….


Slippery Slopes ……… or not?!


From the thrill of booking the ski trip I never thought would happen again (see my blog B+ isn’t just my blood group …), I went through silent tortures of wondering if I had done the right thing.  Would it be a return to a sport I had loved or would I spend days watching others? And if I had to watch, would I be able to keep to my promise that I would smile even if all I could do was watch the others?  Even worse, was I going to end up hurt and really going backwards…?  So for 8 months I fought my inner demons to keep positive, stick to exercise routines, maintain my energy levels with diet and supplements and above all remind myself the most important factor would be to stay mindful and listen to my body and be honest about my capabilities.  So for anyone who read “B+ ” and awaited the follow up, here it is …..

I am euphoric, amazed and yes, proud of myself!   Not because I hurtled down steep slopes at speed (no, not this time!) but I did ski for 3 hours every day.  I kept control of my speed and direction, didn’t harm myself or others, but most importantly, I listened to myself, mind and body and ignored the little demon that wanted me to get on that chair lift one more time, or come down faster, or take the steeper option.  I skied when I felt good and stopped when I knew I had used up my energy, happy to sit in the winter sunshine of the piste restaurant watching other skiers and enjoy a hot chocolate with a dash of Cointreau thrown in – bliss!

Anyone who doesn’t understand invisible, energy draining illnesses, that can flare up and then almost disappear, can probably not understand how good I feel.  Many who don’t and can’t understand the nature of this condition, look at me and say, “You, how did YOU go skiing?!” it’s back to the disbelief factor, I can feel the unsaid words they think I must be lying, I can’t really feel that bad.  But I have never given in to that and can’t afford to have people like that in my life.  No one should feel they shouldn’t do their hair and make-up in case some (well-meaning?!) person says, “Well, you LOOK well” – hmmm am I not allowed to?  It actually helps me to feel better if I can make myself look better.  Do I have to spiral into deeper depression just so someone else believes me when I don’t feel good?  No, I mean more to me than that.

I may have been out on that glorious mountain, enjoying the thrill of being on the slopes, but there is always the unseen that I do try and hide.  I had an amazing memory making holiday with loved ones, that I feel so incredibly grateful for.  No-one but those loved ones, saw me hobble into our apartment, depleted of all my energy for the day, and crawl into an exhausted sleep, hopeful I would get another great day, but never to expect it.  I live not just day to day, but more hour to hour.  I start each day with my sands of energy time, and some days it is gone in a flash.  But instead of hating my illness (like I did in the beginning and confess it still creeps in when I am down) I try and appreciate all the times I do have.  Maybe I am more appreciative of what I have now, my good hours are a true blessing.

Hidden, invisible, disabilities have difficulties that others cannot comprehend.  You lose friends.  You withdraw from social life when you feel bad, only wanting to be out when you can show your good side.  This increases the view from others that you always seem OK, so why do you cancel, how can you do something one day and not another?  I don’t understand myself and can’t explain, there are no answers, I wish there were.  But I have stopped beating myself up about what I can’t do.  I have to accept my limitations and truly make the most of those lovely energy bursts with pain reduced to bearable.  In those times I am more than happy, I am deliriously happy.  Those who love and care for me share my good times with me. When I can’t do something, I hate letting anyone else down, but I let myself down even more if I push beyond my capabilities as then I will suffer longer.  Those who love and care, they let me do that.  They let me choose how to spend my energy without criticism or reprimand.  Those people who are still in my life, I love them more than ever for believing me.

Maybe that’s why going skiing with those very special people is what made it so wonderful.  I know the temptation for them is to help me, ask if I am OK, am I sure I can do that ….but they didn’t, and I thank them.  I said I would be honest and would not do anything that was too much, would not push too far, and in return they had to treat me as normal.  We didn’t mention my illness the whole holiday.  The fact that I would get up of a morning and take two maybe three hours until I was ready to go out, was never a problem.  Gentle warm up stretches based on my yoga workout, lots of water, healthy breakfast and an energy conserving walk.  Time on the slopes and then creep back to rest.  Never once did I feel a spoil sport for needing an early supper, alcohol free or at altitude it would drain me further.  Then to bed early, but with a smile of my face and happy dreams.  Dreams really can come true if we don’t ask for them to be unrealistic.

I guess healthy avid skiers would see my week as horrendous, but for me it was more than I hoped for.  So much so, that the deposit is paid for next year, and I will continue to be positive.  Disabilities don’t mean we have to give up, we adjust, and getting the balance right is an accomplishment that brings depression busting success.  Not every day can be a good day, is it for anyone?  But when your hard work pays off and you get to enjoy experiences that seemed out of reach, the result is truly euphoric.  Unfortunately that feeling doesn’t last, so I just keep working at being true to me, and I know the next great day is on its way ……






Successful Failure ……

landscape nature africa boy
Photo by Julian Jagtenberg on

If we don’t try, we don’t know – fact.

I have tried so many things in my life, some I have even done well!  I was one of those people who aimed for perfection, so I always set myself up for failure as no one is perfect.

Importantly do everything for YOU!

  • Learn a new subject, if it’s of interest to you
  • Go on that holiday, if you want to go there
  • Spend time with people who you love to be with
  • Cook the food you want to eat.

Everything we do that is OUR choice, we will enjoy whatever the outcome.

  • I tried dressmaking, unwearable results – but I had fun trying
  • My paintings won’t sell – but I can lose myself in creative abandon
  • Dancing, no medals – but wow do I feel good
  • Singing – who doesn’t think they sound good in the shower!

When we do things for others, our failure is almost guaranteed!

  • My husband said I needed to lose weight, I put in on!
  • Joined a gym to keep a friend company – I HATE the gym, wasted the membership!
  • Took tennis lessons – I have weak wrists – lost every point, inevitable!
  • Decorated to “help” but I can’t climb ladders – half a wall and pain for a week!

So yes try things, but be ready for inevitable failures.  I can now accept my outcomes and I love I have tried.  We get one life, don’t let it be “I wonder if I could’ve done x, y or z, find out.  If it’s not a perfect result, don’t worry about, no one else will, not really.  You can always try something different.

I have a chronic pain illness, brain cyst and co-ordination problems, so things often don’t work out in reality the way I imagine.  I used to fret, fear not getting it right.  Lacked confidence in myself, worried I wouldn’t be as good as everyone else, it would stop me trying.  Life passes by and you lose the opportunities.  Grab them, reach out with both hands and just go for it.  Don’t leave it too late, I am glad I tried things years ago as now my health wouldn’t let me – my horse riding and motorbike track days are memories – but what memories!  I believe we all have at least one thing that will be ideal for us, and maybe something different in each new decade.  Now, I have my yoga, it’s perfect for me.  In this I can never fail as I acknowledge what is, and “what is” changes constantly.

Some days things go well, others they don’t – that’s life!    I have a few successes but probably more failures but, to keep it positive, I have decided I am a “Successful Failure” as I successfully tried didn’t I!










We can so easily go along to the class our friend wants us to go to with them.  But it’s their choice and they will enjoy far more and be more motivated.


I am, learning acceptance.  Acceptance of myself.


B+ isn’t just my blood group ….. from wheelchair to ski slope?

action adult adventure beautiful
Photo by Daniel Frank on

Be Positive is my life’s mantra.  Well it is now that I have turned 50 something and want to make the very utmost of all I can get from this life.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy, and no I am not some super woman who has a perfect life and all working out as planned.  In fact my life has been full of set backs and there will be more, of that I have no doubt.

I also contradict myself a lot, and this may not make any sense to anyone who doesn’t experience battles within, but to stay positive I daily fight my demons.  I can be excited and buoyed up one moment only to find myself depressed and subdued the next, so if I put my rose-tinted glasses on, forgive me, but this seems to be my way of finding my positivity.

So, if you are still reading, I would like to share a rather impulsive trip I have made and why….

One of the most exhilarating holidays I have ever taken was to go skiing.  It surprised me to be honest, as I was never one for exercise per se and loved nothing more than my two week holiday in the sun, with a daily swim being plenty enough for me!  But, fate being what it is, after many years of my dad not being part of my life, he appeared at my door one day totally out of the blue.  To make up for lost years, and in an effort to be reacquainted, he and his new wife wanted to treat my daughter and myself to a holiday – and that was to take us away to the beautiful ski resort of Montgenèvre.  The breath-taking beauty of the snow covered mountains together with the nervous-excitement of the sport was addictive.  It was also a perfect bonding experience for my dad and I to find we had something in common – we both loved this adrenaline sport.  I have been fortunate to have experienced 3 ski holidays but the last time was over 14 years ago now.

Life being what it is, skiing was removed from my agenda.

I met my husband 12 years ago who introduced me to another adrenaline sport – motorbikes!  I loved donning the leathers and riding pillion, going to British Superbikes and MotoGP – until that wasn’t enough and I did my CBT, passed my test and got my own R6 – yes, me at age 40 an adrenaline junkie!  Even did track days!

Skiing and motorbiking to me felt similar, not just in the nervous-excitement and adrenaline, but the feel of the air against you and the very movement itself.  We talked about going skiing but just never booked it.  It’s one of my regrets.  I would have loved to have shared this experience with him.

Then my whole life seemed to come to a halt as I suffered from unexplained chronic pain.  Finally diagnosed 6 years ago with a chronic pain disability I sunk into depression.  I grieved for all the activities I was no longer able to do – from a lay in the sun girl I had transformed into loving an active lifestyle, but never a gym bunny or workout person.  The pain became so bad I had to give up my job in the City and move from our house to a bungalow as I could barely crawl up the stairs!

Countless hospital appointments, MRI’s, pain management, mindfulness the list goes on, not to be discussed here, but I had a sudden mind change where I did not want to let pain dictate my life.  I didn’t want to keep grieving for what I couldn’t do anymore.  I always kept a diary, re-read my entries, and didn’t like hearing my pessimistic voice.  Researching my options, I finally came out of denial and accepted life had to change.  I joined a yoga class, gentle and relaxing and met some wonderful people none of whom had to feel sorry for me.

Amazingly, although I wasn’t looking for yoga to “make me better”, I was just looking for something that I was capable of, as the weeks went by I started to feel better.  Not just physically but mentally too.  I still have bad days but I appreciate the good days so much more.  I know as long as I listen to my body and don’t push it beyond it’s capabilities for any one day, I can do more than I ever thought possible.

So, back to the skiing.  Well, my daughter said she and her partner wanted to go skiing for her birthday next year.  They caught me on one of my rose-tinted glasses I can do anything kind of days.  So no surprise I said to my husband “shall we go too?”  I always regretted not sharing this experience with him and I am now so excited to be returning to the ski slopes.

I know I will ache, and I know I mustn’t over exert myself.  Maybe just an hour a day for me, maybe I will only manage an hour on the first day and be so creased up I won’t be able to do anymore.  Who knows?  But I am going to “B+” I will continue with my strengthening exercises, I will have some “snowdome” trips and even if my skiing is only an hour, I will love that hour, as it will be more than nothing.  I will love the atmosphere.  I will enjoy being with my family.  If need be I will smile and watch the others, and maybe just use my time to write in a beautiful inspiring setting.  Fool hardy or opportunity grasper, maybe I am a bit of both – as always, but I believe we only regret the chances we don’t take.  If you want to know the outcome, my adventure will be titled “Slippery Slopes ….”