Uncategorized

Who is Maddy?


Who am I really? What makes me me? What makes a person a person? What’s an identity? These are all questions I ask myself regularly when trying to find my way through this maze that is called life. I’ll start with what I do know.

I know I am 17, I am a leo, I was born in August, I am vegan, I have anxiety, I have depression, I have many health conditions, I am trying to finish year 10, I want to be a teacher when I’m older, I would like a puppy, I’m not very good at maths, I like to read, I like to bake, I like to eat, I love my mum very much, I like to watch TV, I like to sleep when I can, I’m a bit moody sometimes, I like to think of myself has an empathetic and nice person, I have long brown hair, I have dark brown eyes, I don’t like any sports except for tennis, I have a blog, I don’t have any friends, I don’t have a social life, cheesecake is one of my favourite things to eat on special occasions, I have a brother who died and another brother that I don’t get along with very well and an older sister who’s hard to have a relationship with, I can be a bit bitchy sometimes, I am spiritual, I have a good sense of humour I guess and I haven’t given up yet. But with all those things that I identify as myself who am I really? If we strip all that stuff away, what’s left?

Who am I?

A lot of people say it takes a long time to find your ‘true self’ and I wonder what that true self looks like.

I haven’t talked about my religious beliefs before but I think this post calls for it.
I respect everyone and their religious beliefs and I hope you can do the same with mine.
I am a spiritualist and I do believe that there is life after death but I don’t believe that there is a heaven and a hell that we may or may not go to. I believe that we all have a spirit/soul  and that when our physical body dies our spirit leaves and goes to the spirit world and I believe that there is such a thing as an ego and that most of the time our lives are just the lives of our egos and not the lives of our spirit/soul.  I also believe in reincarnation; I believe that your spirit/soul has lived many lives before as different people and that when that body your spirit is in dies it goes into another body, I believe this happens because you have life lessons to learn before you die and when you don’t complete those life lessons your reincarnate until you complete them. For example: My life lessons so far are forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance. I’m working on forgiveness and acceptance at the moment! And most important of all I think is that I belive in signs from my brother who has died and I believe that he is living his TRUE self as a spirit in the spirit world and that when I die, I will be able to be MY true self and be able to spend the rest of eternity with him. 

Keep safe,

Maddy xoxo 

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Chronic health condition, Depression, Grief, Guilt, Survivors guilt, Uncategorized

Guilt… I don’t like this emotion!

There are a couple of different types of guilt I feel on a day to day basis these include: survivors guilt, suicidal guilt and the guilt of being a bad daughter. I’m going to start with the survivors guilt I feel most days.

My brother died three and a half  years ago from brain cancer; the cancer killed him within twelve weeks of his diagnosis. The many thoughts running through my head when he died and still up to this day are ‘Why wasn’t it me?’, ‘Why did he have to die and not me?’, ‘I should’ve been the one to die instead of him’, ‘He was too young and I was older’ and ‘It would’ve been easier if I died instead of him’. These many dark and gloomy thoughts plague my mind constantly. I feel so guilty that I’m still living and he’s dead and that he will never experience becoming eighteen, moving out, friends, love, marriage, kids ect. He will forever be five years old and only a memory I have in my brain, but here I am wanting to kill myself! And that’s where my guilt for being suicidal comes in. I know all these things about my brother not getting older and experiencing life and yet I still can’t help but feel like I want to die sometimes and get this life over with. I also have guilt about wanting to kill myself because how could I do that to mum?! She is the only reason I’m still here and the fact that I might miss my chance to be with my brother and have to reincarnate (yes, I do believe in reincarnation if you haven’t completed all your life lessons before you die or if you kill yourself). The thought of dying and not seeing mum and my brother for god knows how many years or if ever really makes my stay on this earth. I love my mum more than anything and the thought of leaving her breaks my heart and makes me cry, so really there’s no chance of me killing myself if I think of all the reasons why I can’t. Mum has already lost her soulmate, why would I put her through having to bury another child? That would just be cruel and incredibly selfish of me. So don’t worry mum, you’ve got another forty years to put up with me! 😉 

Every birthday I have I can’t really enjoy anymore. I feel guilty if I get excited or happy because what kind of sister gets excited when her brother is dead and will never have another birthday? Every year I get older and every year it’s just another year of my brother being dead. I also haven’t been to the cemetery in such a long time and I feel guilty for that too; it’s just too hard for me to go there, but does that make me selfish for putting my feelings before my dead brothers grave? I don’t know, it’s just too confusing and complicated. 

Should we talk about my guilt of being a terrible daughter now? I think so! 
In my house it’s just mum and me, mum goes to work when she can (she has an auto-immune condition along with depression and anxiety) and I just stay at home all day trying to do some school work and chores when I can. I feel so guilty that she has to go to work to support both of us and I do nothing to contribute. I know I have health issues along with depression and anxiety but I just wish I could do more. Mum is always telling me not to worry and that she doesn’t think I’m a horrible daughter, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking and feeling like that. I wish I could get a part-time job and help out financially so all the pressure isn’t on her… I hate having my health conditions and not being able to get a job, it’s so frustrating! Will mum one day wake up and resent me or think of me as lazy because I don’t do much? I do the vacuuming once very week which is my job and I do the dishes and some washing but really, I’m not helping pay for the food or bills or anything. Mum gets so stressed about money and I feel so guilty and bad about myself because I can’t do anything to help. I’m hoping that when I let go of some more weight my health will improve and I can get a part-time nannying job to help out financially at home. Fingers crossed alllllll my health (physical and mental) problems go into remission and I can start to help out a bit more. 

That’s enough for today I think! I should probably listen to my own advice but, keep safe, keep going and things will get better. 

Maddy,
xoxo

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Body image, Chronic health condition, Depression, gluten free, Grief, Uncategorized, Vegan

A better me? No, just a vegan me.

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It’s 1:30 in the morning so you know what that means! Blog post time. Yay! I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this but all my posts are written in the wee hours of the morning when I can’t sleep because of my CFS. 

Now I’m not feeling very positive but I thought that I might write a positive post, who knows it might cheer me up? Yeah, I doubt that too.

My positive post today is about how I became vegan and gluten free and how it has affected me. I decided to become vegan and gluten free on the first of January this year as my mum has been vegan for about 2-3 years and has always been pushing me to give up everything that comes from an animal and I’ve got to say, it’s been a pretty good decision. 
I’m not gonna lie though, it wasn’t easy at first but now after watching many horrific videos of animals being tortured and slaughtered and going 10 months without animal products I am happy to say I am a fully committed vegan. 

I’m going to tell you the sad part of this blog post now and then get to the positive part.

After my brother died I gained a lot of weight and I mean a lot! Not all at once but gradually where it got to the point where I had put on at least 30kgs (yeah omg!!!) I truly believe that I put that weight on to protect myself from the trauma that came with watching my brother die and having my step-father be an a**hole. With the weight gain and the grief came the depression and with the depression came the over-eating and with the over-eating came a very fat and un-healthy Maddy. It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore so I tried Optislim for a couple of weeks and I did lose 5kgs but then I fell off the Optislim wagon and put double that back on. I was even unhappier than before and my health conditions even worse. So I pulled my crap together and went vegan and gluten free.  

Now comes the positive part! The first week of my new adventure I did a smoothie cleanse (god I was hungry!) after that I cut out all dairy and all gluten and started eating gluten free bread instead of that yummy, fluffy and  freshly baked Bakers Delight bread. I also started to walk as much as I could which wasn’t much considering I had ingrown toenails that needed to be surgically removed. I didn’t feel much different in the first few months health wise or so I thought, but looking back now I can definitely see that I’m much better than I was. I still have horrible flair ups like I do right now but things are different. I also started to loose weight, its been very slow because after 3 years of having no idea what was wrong with my digestive system I finally have a diagnosis of gastroparesis; this pretty much means that my stomach doesn’t empty as fast as it should and then makes the rest of my digestive system slow down. So as you can imagine, trying to lose weight with little to no metabolism ain’t easy!  I have lost 10kgs so far and I know its not that much considering I have so much to go but it’s a step in the right direction. Writing that is weird because I’m so harsh to myself all the time about not meeting my monthly weight goal so I never really stop and say, “You know what Maddy? You have a stomach that doesn’t empty, you’ve had two toe surgeries that are still messing up, you have chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety and you are pretty much in constant pain.” I’m definitely going to have to tell that to myself more often I think…

Since losing weight through vegansim and gluten freeism (<—made up words) and trying to walk as much as I can, my bloating has defiantly gone down which is such a relief. I no longer look 8 months pregnant, only 3-5 depending on how my bowel is feeling and how much I ate. 
I’m actually going soy free at the moment too to see if that can help at all since that’s the only thing I haven’t tried excluding. It’s been one week so far and I see no difference but we’ll see how I go after another week. 

I truly believe that becoming vegan and gluten free has helped me (it’s also helped all those animals which were being slaughtered so I could have some ice-cream). A lot of meat eaters think that all we eat is vegetables and salad, well that’s not true at all. We have so many delicious things to eat and sometimes it’s even tastier than what non-vegans eat! Trust me, I would know since I was a meat eater for 16 years. 

If any of you read this post and are over weight or battling and illness I strongly suggest becoming a vegan. What have you got to lose? 

Please feel free to comment any thoughts or questions you might have. 

Lots of love,
Maddy xoxo

 

 

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Body image, Chronic health condition, Depression

Living life in the slooooooow lane…

Chronic. This seems to be the word that is describing my whole life at the moment. I have a chronic medical condition, I have chronic depression, grief is chronic, my anxiety is chronic and the feeling that nothing is going to change is chronic.
We talk a lot about how teens suffer with mental illness and self-image problems and that’s great, but what about teens who suffer from chronic illnesses that can cause those mental health and self image problems? I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and a chronic gastrointestinal problem that we still don’t have many answers to (I’ll talk about that another time).

Before I talk about my experience with CFS, lets get down to the basics about it. CFS is the feeling of ALWAYS being fatigued, sore and the need to just keep laying down forever no matter how much sleep you get. There is a difference between feeling tired and feeling fatigued, just like there is a difference between feeling down once in a while and having depression. There is no cure for CFS, just many suggestions from doctors that can include eating healthily and trying to keep your body active (this is quite hard when you feel like every bone in your body is aching and every nerve in your body is on fire and you feel like you haven’t slept for 30 days straight) They say that CFS is most common among people in the age box 40-50 and most of them are women, but I don’t care about those statistics! I want to hear about all the young women who suffer from this ‘old persons disease’ (I’m not saying that 40 is old though! ;)) There are so many more symptoms than just feeling tired and having a sore body. These can include:

  • loss of memory or concentration
  • feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
  • chronic insomnia (and other sleep disorders)
  • muscle pain
  • frequent headaches
  • multijoint pain without redness or swelling
  • frequent sore throat
  • tender lymph nodes in your neck and armpits

You may also experience illness or extreme fatigue after physical or mental activities. This can last for more than 24 hours after the activity.

People are sometimes affected by CFS in cycles, with periods of feeling worse and then better again. Symptoms may sometimes even disappear completely (remission). However, it’s still possible for them to come back again later (relapse). The cycle of remission and relapse can make it difficult to manage your symptoms.

Thank you to  http://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome#Symptoms4  for this information. 

Now back to me. Every morning I get up and feel like I haven’t slept at all, my bones hurt, my toes feel like they’re being poked with hot pins and needles and I have to fight the feeling to fall back into my soft, warm and comfy bed and sleep forever.

The lack of motivation from feeling so fatigued all the time has negatively affected my life in a great way. I can’t concentrate on my school work, I can’t help around the house as much as I want to and it’s super hard to get the motivation to go somewhere nice with my mum when my anxiety is tolerable. And when I do pluck up that slither of motivation to do something, what ever I do with it uses it up in a heartbeat. It’s extremely annoying when you’re trying to sleep and your teacher from school rings asking you about your school work and you say “Well you know that when you have depression you get brain fog well, the same thing happens when you have CFS” and the she says “Yes I do, but if you keep pushing the fog clears”. That’s bulls**t! If you keep pushing the brain fog it comes back ten fold and then you just sleep because you’re exhausted from trying to push past the exhaustion and the brain fog!

Being a teenager is hard enough with out the added stress of having a chronic health condition or two and stressing about not passing school for the SECOND time round.
You know what is even harder than that though? No? Well let me give you a hint…
Try pushing yourself to go for a walk outside or go on the treadmill because you need to let go of all that extra weight that you put on because you’re so depressed and anxious and you have no metabolism so you don’t burn your food off, and how can you burn your food off when you’re so tired from a chronic fatigue problem? Yeah, that’s even harder!  I’m working on it though.

Dory off Finding Nemo had it right when she sang “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming” That’s what I’m trying to do every day, just keep swimming against the current that is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

My next post is going to be all about becoming vegan and gluten-free and if it’s helped or not. Stay tuned!

Keep safe and keep going, you’ll get there one day!

Maddy xoxo

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Body image, Depression, Friends

Always, always, always the fat friend!

Growing up I was always a chubby baby, looking back at baby photos I can’t believe how many fat rolls I had on my body! As a toddler I was also pretty chubby and then all through primary school and high school I was fat. I don’t know if fat is the right word to use, but I’m going to use it anyway. In my friendship groups I’ve felt as though I have always been the one who weighed the most. I’ve never seemed to have friends who are my size or bigger than me. All my friends were skinny and I was jealous of them. The main question I want an answer to though is that did my friends treat me different to their other fiends because I was fat? Or because they didn’t like me because I was fat? Or because they didn’t want to be associated with a fat person? I have thought of these questions a million times when I was with them and friends with them. But at the end of the day, did my weight have anything to do with why I ended up with no friends when I left school?
I truly wonder what my friends thought of me and my weight. Did they care that I was the fat one in their group or not? Did they ever feel sorry for me for being the fat one? Or did they honestly not give a s**t? I would love to ask them their thoughts on having a fat friends but I will never get the chance… And that’s ok, because I can speculate on my own and make up my own answers! I would always laugh when my friends (who were skinny btw) would complain about being ‘fat’ or say some ridiculous thing about their body. I understand that everyone has the right to complain about their body and have their opinion, but to me I felt that they were being stupid and insensitive. And then when I would complain about how I felt, they would just say ‘Stop being stupid’, or ‘you’re not fat!’, but then they would immediately go back to fat shaming themselves! When they said I wasn’t fat I get that they were trying to be nice, but all I felt was that they didn’t care how I felt and were just dismissing my feelings.

I never felt confident when I was at school, whether that be primary or high. I was bullied for my weight when I was in primary and high school. I was constantly being called fat and other horrible things that isn’t appropriate for my blog! 😉 I was also bullied for my weight by my horrible step-father, but that is a story for another day!
So as you can see, I’ve always had people pointing out my weight. I hate myself most of the time for how I look and how I feel. I’m trying to loose weight by having a vegan and gluten free diet and trying to go for a walk which is hard considering my health conditions…

Why is it that in todays society if you weigh more than what you ‘should’ you are fat shamed and frowned upon? There are a lot of different reasons as to why someone could be overweight. And yes, some people just eat and do incredibly unhealthy things with their bodies, but thats not my place to judge.
Do you think that if you’re a teenager and weigh more than what society thinks you should you get judged more?

I really wish my weight didn’t pay a massive part in how I feel and how I live my life and also make my depression worse.

Keep safe,

Maddy xoxo

 

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Grief

Christmas used to be fun, now I’m the Grinch who stole it!

Christmas. Last time I heard christmas is meant to be a time to celebrate love, family and joy. Those words don’t make me feel any love or joy, they just make me feel incredibly sad.

Christmas in my household used to be full of all those things I mentioned before. We would put up a christmas tree and decorate it and then on christmas eve we would all open up one present just to get our christmas spirit even higher that it already was! Christmas morning was filled with laughter and joy at opening up our presents that Santa brought us and then after we would open all our presents, mum would cook her famous pancakes and we would have a big christmas lunch with family or a big christmas dinner. But during the day we would play with our presents and admire them. My little brother Chase was in love with superheroes, so he would be off in his room or on the lounge room floor playing with his new Buzz Lightyear toy or the new Iron Man figurine.

Christmas is not like that at all any more. We don’t even have a tree up and that’s ok because honestly, I’m not ready to make a massive deal out of christmas and act like it’s the happiest day of my life.
This will only be our 3rd christmas without my dear baby brother. The thought of having a good time on christmas day is just foreign to me; it makes absolutely no sense. Other family members don’t feel that way like mum and I do. They are acting like there’s nothing wrong, they’re actually excited for christmas! I honestly don’t get it but each to their own I guess…

It seems to me that christmas exacerbates a lot of families grief, I sure do know that it makes mine and mums grief way worse. I think it’s because like I said before, christmas is a time for family to come together and celebrate. And we don’t have a family. All I have really is mum and a dead brother who was everything to me. Sure, I have other siblings, but they are so different to Chase. Chase and I clicked, we were extremely close and we are really the own two siblings that got along. I have a younger brother who is older then Chase, and he is horrible to me! Just like his father, my step-father was to me. He treats me exactly the same as Michael did and it’s horrible! I also have an older sister, Holly. Well, Holly and I don’t really get along at all! We are pretty much polar opposites, all I have in common with her is the same mum I feel. She wasn’t around for more than half of Chase’s life so no wonder she’s not grieving like mum and I are. She used to bully me all the time, and now she just won’t listen to what I have to say and acts like she’s so much better than me, when in fact, she really isn’t! She’s damaged just like we all are, but she won’t do anything to try to fix herself because she believes that there’s nothing wrong with her, it’s always our fault. She and Dusty got along because they’re quite similar and then Chase and I got along extremely well. I now feel as though I’m an only child and that I have no siblings. To me Dusty and Holly are just acquaintances, not even friends! I have no nice feelings to them because Chase was a real sibling, he treated me how brothers and sisters should treat each other and that’s not how Dusty and Holly treat me.

Mum and I don’t even call christmas christmas. We’re calling it J.C Day or December 25th. You can see how excited we are cant you?!
Dusty who lives with Michael is coming on J.C Day from 12pm to 5pm boxing day and Holly is coming over after work, so that will be fun… NOT!!! We’re having cold meats for sandwiches and salads which will be nice and easy for mum and I, as mum will NOT be having a fun day at all! I can not imagine what it must feel and be like to lose a child. I admire my mother so much for everything she’s had to go through. She was so extremely strong in the twelve weeks it took for Chase to die, she was with him nearly twenty-four seven. It was amazing to see the love my mum had for her little baby boy. My mum is my own superhero who I will be forever admiring her strength and determination. My thoughts and love is with her everyday.

My journey through grief hasn’t been fun, and I imagine it won’t be fun for a long time. Grief is not something you can explain. The definition of grief in the online dictionary is:
Intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.

Well, let me tell you, intense doesn’t even begin to explain it! I feel as though the definition should be:
No definition, it is your own personal hell that will destroy you in so many ways but will also make your stronger in many too.

I still can’t believe that it’s been two nearly three years since Chase died. Sometimes it feels like ten years ago, yesterday or like it never happened, but around Christmas time it feels like it happened an hour ago all day.
The word ‘Grief’ is so strong isn’t it? Just like bereavement or passed away, they all signify that same thing: DEATH. In the end we all will die. Now I don’t know if I will die tomorrow, a year away or in seventy years, but what I do know is that I will spend everyday I have missing and grieving my brother. No one can take that away from me because right now, grief is the only reminder I have that he was real, and christmas is making that extremely real. Chase loved christmas and I hope that wherever he is now he can have a good christmas.

I love you Chase. Xx

( P.S. I am aware that christmas is meant to have a capital ‘C’ as the first letter, but as I feel that christmas is not important it doesn’t deserve a capital letter! 😉 )

Merry christmas guys <—- See, its kinda an insincere Merry christmas because I didn’t put a capital c!

Love,
Maddy. xoxo

 

 

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Depression

Depression will probably be the death of me

I have suffered depression for about a year and a half now. It was manageable in the first six months, but then it started getting worse.
The feelings that I were experiencing were different from anything I have ever felt before and that scared me. It overwhelmed me. I wish I could say that with all the counselling I got and my one supportive parent that I had, I have gotten on top of it a year later, but no, I am still drowning in the black hole that is depression. It’s true what they say, it honestly does feel like there is a little black dog following you around all the time ruining what little happiness you may experience. It is hard work getting rid of this dog, I am still working profusely to get rid of it. This dog seems to posses magic powers though, the power of making me want to kill myself. It’s not easy fighting off those thoughts of “You’re nothing” ,”You’re worthless and no one will ever end up loving you”, “You’re stupid and fat and no one is going to want to be around you” my favourite one though is “Just kill yourself already and end it all, because honestly what is the point of living? You have nothing to live for”. That last thought is the main thought I have to battle with. It crawls into my mind nearly everyday, just egging me on to give up and leave the one person who is there for me through thick and thin; my beautiful and amazing mother. I could never leave my mum. She is my rock and I hers, but a lot of the time it feels like her rock is getting smaller and it’s not big enough for me to hold on to anymore. Suicide is not fun. It makes me feel weak and like a failure. I do not like feeling like that Sam I am. I want to feel powerful and strong, but that damn dog just loves to bite me and remind me of all the reasons why I can’t be powerful and strong apparently. I try and not listen to those unhelpful and mean thoughts, but it’s easier said than done.

It seems that I am still ‘here’  though, wherever that is. I must admit that I have had a helping hand from the psychiatric hospital once or twice… and BTW, the psych ward is NO trip to Luna Park! It is cold, lonely, boring and depressing as hell!

I have worked for a long time with my psychologist to help ‘kill’ my little puppy that seems intent on hanging around with me and my bros (Ha! Just kidding! I have no friends, but that’s another story for another day. 🙂 ) I have tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), altering my negative thoughts to positive thoughts, medication, the psych ward and what else? Oh thats right! A little bit of exercise just to spice things up a bit…. But in my defence that was really hard to do because my toes had to have surgery on them which I got done last week, so once they heal up 100% I can start to go for walkies every day! Yay!!! 😉

At the end of the exhausting day my aim is to wake up one day and not see the black canine wagging its tale ready for what feels like round one billionth in the never ending ball game of ‘Lets see what can wear Maddy down the most to see her break and try to stab herself or overdose!” Sounds like a fun game huh? Do you wanna join in?

I guess at the end of the day though, the only person who can help me is myself. And I am trying to work on myself as much as I can.

Keep safe peeps,
Maddy xoxo

 

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