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One of the hardest things about chronic illness is realising your limitations and accepting how you need to adapt your life around them. After living with Fibromyalgia and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome for the past five years you'd think I'd have got to grips with that by now. But unfortunately I haven't, because I'm a bit of a stubborn madam and have always refused to let my illnesses stop me from doing the things I want to. I know this can be quite a positive thing and I'm a strong believer that when you're dealing with chronic illness you shouldn't let it define you, but you also have to weigh up whether doing certain things will make your health worse in the long run and become unmanageable. Unfortunately this is what has happened to me and I've found myself in a right old pickle.

In September I started a Beauty Therapy course at my local college. I'd wanted to do it for as long as I could remember and I decided to just throw caution to the wind and finally go for it. My health was the best it had been since I was diagnosed so I thought I would be able to manage it as it's only a year long course. It's been hard from the outset, but for the past couple of months I've felt myself getting gradually worse, to the state where I've been left barely able to move at times. For the past few weeks I've been going round and round and round and round in circles in my head with what to do. The trouble is I don't want to leave, but I also know that I'm not well enough to continue with the course. I've constantly tried to convince myself that I can just push through it and complete the course, and since January that's what I've been trying to do...but on Friday I hit rock bottom. I've lived with these illnesses for long enough now to know when something isn't agreeing with me, and the physical nature of beauty therapy treatments alongside the stress/pressure that comes with studying is just too much for my body to cope with.

So I've admitted defeat.

Even though I love the course and I've come so far and it finishes in July and I've wanted to do it for so long and all of the things that everyone keeps telling me, I've had to make the very difficult decision to remove myself from a situation which is having a horrendous effect on my health. I'm now the worst I've ever been and I can't cope with it anymore, I just can't. And I'm not going to beat myself up over feeling like a failure or the money/time I've wasted trying to do this course, because you know shit happens and all that, and at least I gave it a go. Instead I'm going to be proud of myself for putting my health first for the first time in far too long, because at the end of the day your health and wellbeing is always the most important thing.

I'm going to start practicing self care again and get myself back to a happy place where my illnesses are manageable and don't define me.

I'm going to work part time in my retail job again, because you know what? I really bloody love it. I don't think I realised how much it meant to me before all of this, but my god I'm so grateful to have found a job which I can manage without becoming ridiculously poorly and working with a lovely group of women who show me endless support and love.

I'm going to get back into doing gentle yoga regularly because it helped me immensely last spring/summer and I desperately want to feel that good again.

I'm going to have as many Lush baths as I possibly can as they're just about the only thing which does help to relieve my pain just a little bit.

I'm going to put all of my passion and enthusiasm for the beauty industry into blogging and social media.

I'm going to improve my diet and search for recipes which I want to have a stab at making (when I'm feeling well enough) rather than having to just shove any old thing in the oven.

I'm going to spend lots more time resting and watching my favourite films/tv series and reading my favourite novels.

I'm going to save every penny that I can so that me and the Mr can go on holiday for the first time in four years.

And most importantly, I'm going to work on making my life happy again and reclaiming it from these nasty, awful illnesses. I've realised that I have to be a bit more sensible with how I spend my time now and bloody accept that I am disabled and I have to plan a life around it, rather than one which is going to leave me crippled and bed bound.

"Sometimes it's important to remember that putting yourself first isn't selfish, but necessary."

Love Holly xo
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  1. I admire your strength! I was diagnosed with Leukaemia when I was 18 and since over coming it, have found it hard to accept that there are certain things that I shouldn't do in terms of what is best for my health so I can totally relate in that sense! I agree that putting yourself first in situations like this isn't selfish. Just take it one step at a time and keep positive :)
    Leanne xx

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and supportive words Leanne <3 I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles, it is so hard to accept you can't do things when you really want to isn't it :( It means so much to me to chat to other people who understand where I'm coming from - it's stopped me from feeling so alone.
      Lots of love xxx

    2. You are more than welcome, thank you for your lovely comment on my blog too! :)
      Ah Exactly and it's so hard to accept that it may be a struggle to do things that you once found super easy to do! It's just always so frustrating but you are right that talking to others helps, especially when someone is able to relate :) Do you ever go through the "why me?" phases but realise there are so many others that are probably thinking the same thing? it happens to me all of the time haha!
      Leanne xxx

  2. Aww that's such a shame, but remember a few important things - you tried, you will always have the knowledge you've already learnt from the course since September and you're doing the right thing now, because as you said, health comes first. You'll soon feel stronger again and ready to tackle the world. Well done for going for it in the first place and don't feel you've failed, you're a winner for keeping going and for keep trying :-) Hugs from a fellow spoonie x

    1. Oh Dani I cannot begin to tell you how much that means to me, thank you so so much <3 Sending lots of hugs your way too my lovely xxx

    2. You're welcome and I hope you feel a lot better soon :-) DM me on twitter anytime if you fancy a chat @DaniJ72 xx

  3. You have made the best decision for you. I have had to make a similar decision several times in my life due to my mental health. It's heartbreaking but at the same time it kinda feels freeing doesn't it? That block that has been weighing you down and making you utterly miserable lifts and you feel like you're allowed to start being kind to yourself again. Make sure you are, by the way- kind to yourself. Take it from me, a pretend doctor. :D x