Thirty Minutes of Heaven….

That’s all it was, 30 minutes but how good it felt.

After an enforced two and a half months out of the saddle today I finally got back on. And how wonderful it was! The weather was not playing the game however, wind is not Finn’s friend. He hates it with a passion. It makes him flighty and sharp, spooking at the slightest thing.

I have to admit I was feeling anxious about riding him again. Being anxious is quite an alien feeling for me. I’ve always happily sat on anything and having had Finlay for nearly four years I have never felt unsafe or scared. But this morning I was definitely nervous. I hastily tacked up… think my speed was to just get it done and get on a soon as I could so I would stop feeling anxious. Finlay has been lunged for the past two weeks plus on the walker to try a build up a little fitness but he had stood in yesterday as I was working all day. Being aware of this added to my nervousness. I had put on a martingale too which I don’t normally ride with.

Anyway I lead him out the door and popped on. And relax…….

Well sort of! With the wind up his tail we has some nonsense but nothing too serious. The school was busy with some practising for tomorrows competition so we just calmly walked around doing some stretching. With a little trotting and a walk down the drive we were finished. Thirty minutes was enough after such a long time off… for both of us.

Tomorrow we will try again and knowing the yard will be quiet with the others away competing I will have space to potter around without horses jumping and flying past. Maybe even do some proper schooling! The IC seems calmer but this can change hour by hour. Riding today hasn’t totally lifted my spirits, the feelings of isolation and loneliness are strong but its a start and maybe one day soon I will find me again. How noticeable the change in confidence levels. I have felt this in my day to day life over the last few months but I wasn’t expecting to feel so unsure of myself this morning tacking up Finn. Maybe this recent IC flare has had a deeper effect than I first thought. Or maybe its simply the lack of my daily therapy in the saddle……. x

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That Dark Lonely Place…..

That’s where I have been recently…

It is a very lonely place when you are burdened with a chronic pain condition. For the last six years I have suffered mine. Anger, despair, isolation, desperation….. but also acceptance. During the latter half of 2013 until August 2014 I had a period of normal pain. Normal pain is there every day, every morning and every night but it is manageable. I can just about function, be a mum, be a friend, be employed and enjoy my passion for all things equestrian. Life is ok, I feel blessed for my two healthy children, supportive friends, my handsome four legged boy. I can actually enjoy life.

Then the flare comes… August this year, out of the blue, no warning. Just bam! Here I am!! A big flare and the aint nothing you can do about it Im going to wreck your life for as long as I please! And so it did.

Until four days ago, as quickly as it arrived, it left. Sunday afternoon.. nothing special happening… no change in my day, what I’ve eaten, what I’ve drank….  nothing different to the last two and a half months…. its just left. Oddly I was at my breaking point the evening before. The lowest of my lows, many tears and desperately lonely.

So, four days on and I am very much hoping my body has recovered, that the inflammation has calmed. IC is a silent predator, I still have it, its still lurking in there. I can feel it every day. I still use six catheters a day…. should I dare to hope? Should I make plans? It could come back at any minute. This is my plan…. enjoy everyday. x

Its Been A While….But I’m Back!

I haven’t written for quite some time but as 2013 comes to a close I cant help but look back at this year with some relief that is nearly over.

A year ago, on the 28th of December I underwent a procedure that was to relieve me of the daily pain I’d suffered for four years. In fact what was supposed to be a new pain free chapter in my life turned out to be quite the opposite and for the first six months of 2013 life stood still.

Life became almost unrecognisable, culminating in daily doses of Tramadol. I had become nearly two stone over weight and was struggling with depression. I had no money left from my savings and getting very little help from the government. I was broken. I looked in the mirror and did not know who that person was. Where did that happy confident girl go……

Well folks, she back!!! 

I may not be free of IC, I may not be slim although I have lost 22lbs so Im getting there, but my mind is back! My clear thinking is back, my control is back, my confidence is back!!! I AM BACK!  I find it hard to put into words how I feel. If I talked about all the shitty things that have happened over the last four years it would make for depressing reading, so Im not going to. In fact all of that is gone, let go, forgotten, forgiven.

Now is the time to grab life by the whatsits and enjoy! These last horrendous few years have taught me something very important. Maybe if I hadn’t been in that hell I would never have learned to appreciate the important things in life. Many of us a bit blinkered and go through life without my care or thought, well I was a bit like that. I was kind and generous to others, I was a good friend to many, I provided for my family as a single parent.. but… I didn’t understand what appreciating life was really all about! I’d never experienced long term chronic pain, never endured financial ruin. In fact I’d never really worried about money at all. But somehow I was never really happy deep down. Now I know why!

Life teaches us many great lessons, its up to us to listen, learn and take action!

I took action, I took responsibility. I came off tramadol, I lost weight and then I made the decision to go self employed. Every time I took one of those decisions I grew. I grew in confidence and I grew an understanding of what had been wrong in my life and that I had to get to rock bottom before I could learn and ultimately change my life for the better. 

So here we are nearing the end of 2013 and I thank god we are! I still have IC, I still have no money and I still have pain everyday. But!!? I feel happy, I feel alive and I feel ready to go on into the new year, 2014… here I come!

My name is Morag and I’m back x

Its Good To Talk

Its good to talk, so said a very old tv advert for a telecoms company. I agree, it is good to talk, especially during times of turmoil. So why do some men find it impossible to talk, ask for help or allow anyone in?

Is it that we are all a product of our upbringing, have we learned patterns of behaviour from our parents? Or is it based on gender?

I raised one son on my own and now 20 years later find myself in the same position. My eldest son who is approaching his 22nd birthday communicates well, he and I have always had a good relationship. From an early age I encouraged him to talk, talk about anything and everything and I now do the same with my five year old.

I think its vitally important that young children learn to talk, especially boys.

We are all a product of our upbringing to a certain extent but we can also learn! We can learn from our past mistakes. Isnt that the point of making mistakes? To learn from them?? I guess no one can be forced, one must be ready to talk and accept help but watching someone go through that process is heart breaking.

I went through a very tough couple of years after separating from my ex. I thought the stress and heart break would never end. But it did and I learned a few things about myself. I admitted to myself that I hadn’t treated others as well as I could have in the past. Id been very selfish and took many things and people for granted. That experience along with the chronic pain condition I have made me more humble, more appreciating of what really is important in life.

As I watch my friend suffer the demise of his marriage in a foreign country far from friends and family all I can do is offer a shoulder to lean on. I can see his turmoil. I can see alcohol controlling his emotions. I can see through his attempts at humour to ward off any sympathy or words of affection. His family reach out to him yet he rejects all offers of help. I talk about gaining some control again, I plead with him to stop drinking but then I think, is this what he has to go through to learn the lesson? To learn from past mistakes? To learn to talk?  

Its easy to shut oneself off from all emotion in the aftermath of a difficult relationship. I’m still wary of letting myself feel anything for a member of the opposite sex but it does get easier with time. As for my friend, I really don’t know if he will trust ever again. 

I hope he finds the strength be open and honest and more importantly talk. Exorcise those demons G x