My Painiversary – 4 Years of Illness

Colour Of October Blog- I chat about my Painiversary and reflect upon the last four years I’ve spent battling chronic pain and illness.

Four years ago today I woke up, a young 13 year old, excited to turn 14 in a few short days, but suddenly, my life changed. Completely. 

It’s an emotional day for me. It was especially emotional when the first year passed. When I first got sick, I remember counting each month I was sick until the tally eventually went beyond the 18 month mark and I gave up. I guess that’s a true sign that you’re stuck with a chronic illness for the long haul. And by god was that a scary thing to let happen. Acceptance of chronic illness is a tough task, one that I battle with each day.chronic pain

The first year hurt, the second stung, the third was torturous, the fourth is a kick in the guts. LITERALLY. Let me explain… like usual, I’ve been writing this blog post for a little while in advance, even more in advance given how unwell I’ve been recently. Saying I’ve been “unwell” is the under statement of the century. I’m really sick. I feel terrible. I’m weak. I have no energy. I can’t keep food down. I’m deficient in nutrients. I’m a disaster zone basically.

But tomorrow,  I’m going to see a specialist who can hopefully help us figure out why my illness is so inflamed at the moment, and hopefully we can find a way to manage it. The hardest bit about how I’m feeling now is that I feel worse than I did 4 years ago to the day. I have more issues. More challenges. And that’s something that is hard to reflect upon when for the past four years all I HAVE done has been running (metaphorically of course ;P ) up a infinite slope, never giving up and putting so much effort in. And what do I get? Sicker. 

chronic pain painting

But I do have to think about the things I have accomplished over the last 4 years. If I had never got sick, I never would have had to deal with the pain and I’d already have finished school  but there are some really special things that has come out of this craziness. 

And that is you. The online following I have gathered, the group of over 40k people who enjoy what I do and want to support my endeavours- whether that be my silly jokes, art, photography, or my rambling on about my thoughts on dealing with chronic pain. 

YOU reading this, have played a part in allowing me and inspiring me to continue to create when I have felt like giving up and have given me opportunities doing the thing I love the most in the world I could have never imagined possible!

Having my art chilling on opposite sides of the planet! Getting messages from people all over the world, telling me that I have inspired them in some way is totally mind-blowing to me. Those messages I get from people who are struggling with similar things as I am, or asking for advice with how they can be more helpful to their loved ones with chronic illness. It’s honestly just so hard for me to put the feeling that gives me into words.

I can vividly remember the days before I got sick. I remember the night before, watching tv with mum before galloping off to bed in a fit of laughter. I was so blissfully unaware.  And when I think about it I don’t think I would have wanted to know anyway! 

I know so many people say this but it’s because it IS so relevant. You DO NOT know what is around the corner. Tomorrow is not guaranteed! As much as we might like to think that we are invincible, shitty things happen to everyone, so truly do live everyday to the fullest.

Use your legs. Run in the sun. Go for a swim. Feel the sand between your toes. Explore! Relish in the glory of being able to use your body. Relish in the beauty of being free. Don’t take what you have, any of it, no matter how big or small for granted. 

Much love as always,

Liz xx