Hello, dear reader.
Wow, the last time I wrote in my diary in the sky was in February this year. And we SO MUCH to catch up on.
In February I was in the middle of one of the most tumultuous periods of my life so far. I won't go into the details but 5 months of something before Christmas (subsequently ruining it) really tested my health and my sanity on countless occasions. On top of that, buying a house and planning a wedding, with a chronic illness, really pushed me to my limits. Chronic illness in my case gets worse when you can't sleep because of stress - stress doesn't trigger a migraine but it will affect you physically (insomnia in my case) ...and you know what?
I am glad.
I am not glad for what happened - noooo, that was heinous - but I am glad for what came out of it. Strength of mind, self-belief, responsibility for my own outlook, infinite positivity and a renewed faith in the good (and bad, sadly) of others.
It's been a fair old journey this migraine stuff and for a while I let it define me, negatively, it controlled me, how I felt, and the limits I imposed on myself. Some lifestyle changes and well, it's still here (and I'm still on yet another NHS waiting list). I've finally found a way to make chronic migraine work for me.
And I can see the effects of my renewed happiness reflected around me daily. I am warmer, I am patient, I feel fun again as I've seeped back into a social life, after almost 2 years of battling chronic migraine - in my case several migraines a week. I make new friends at the drop of a hat instead of subconsciously pushing anyone in my social periphery away.
It's nothing like my previous social life - but it's mine and I'm in control. And control is huge for chronically ill people. Our conditions pop up at the most unsociable of times (like today, just before a gig soundcheck and a client meet) so having some ownership of our lives is a big deal. I carry medicine and injections everywhere I go but really try to not use them - some not-so-hot side effects going on there.
I'm not embarrassed by chronic migraine anymore and that, I really believe, helps others understand and accept it - whether its down to body language, or the positivity when I shake it off, I don't know. I still hate asking people to move when smoking, or to not wear perfume (like to my wedding), but it's just stuff I've learned to live with. I can't get angry with people for doing things when they live their life.
I do know when to go home (apart from a slight getting-stranded-at-1am-in-suburbia-with-a-dead-phone on Friday night), I know when to say 'no' and turn down an invite, I know it's okay to cancel because this situation isn't my fault, I know when I need to take an evening away from the laptop (I work long hours and yes I LOVE my job so much is doesn't feel like one, and I refuse to reduce my workload). I know it's okay to work in my pyjamas almost all of the time, and have a lie-in (thanks, music industry!), and I know I need more than one proper day off a month *slaps own wrist* I do little things like squeeze meetings into one part of the week, I can actually bore you with this another time!
I am happy not leaving the house for a few days so I can conserve my energy for running my business, I am happy in my own company. I encourage positive stress but don't worry about my health, because that will only worsen a migraine - instead I work through it in my dark grey office (my office is designed around my chronic migraine) and use that bloody-mindedness to carry on.
There is no cure for chronic migraine and only one licensed treatment (botox), so it's here to stay. I may as well learn to live with it in as much harmony as possible because fighting it is a waste of both my energy and my mood.
We are in control of our own mental energy and it's this (and my fab chap Mark) that's helped me revolutionise my 2015. And where does this leave me?
I'm still trying to work out a use for this blog, apart from migraine awareness. 'Prelovedreloved' has no relevance to what it has become (originally a fundraising challenge site that evolved to raise migraine awareness and host my rants. And now what?
I have no idea.
Maybe for now I'll share some past stories to tie in with the USA's Migraine Awareness Month to support the friends I've made across the pond.
And maybe an online diary would be a good resource for anyone wanting to shoe themselves into the music industry, self-employment and entrepreneurship, especially if they're disabled like me. And for pictures of guinea pigs. But then what? It seems a shame for the site to die, and I need something to do apart from 15-hour days in music!
I'd love your opinion!
Much love, Kim x