I think it is important to be something beyond the illness and the pain. And to celebrate who we are. To that end, this is a post about the ‘me’ behind the illness.
- Hypermobility syndrome
- Chronic migraine
- Peripheral Neuropathy
You ever do that exercise with a psychologist where you describe positive traits about yourself? Yeah, I sucked at that. Nevertheless, I will aim to describe myself. If you are familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality test I’m an INTP and Enneagram type 5. I like personality tests, and I am introspective enough that I feel they are accurate in my case. And for example, the Enneagram type 5 says “essentially fear that they don’t have enough inner strength to face life, so they tend to withdraw, to retreat into the safety and security of the mind where they can mentally prepare for their emergence into the world.” And you know, at its core, that is true. I’m reserved and introverted. A very abstract thinker, but exceptionally open-minded. A little too much ‘in my head’. I’m actually a pretty private person, but I’m very honest and that is reflected a great deal in my writing, where I’ll be quite honest about my life. But you won’t hear it in person. I self-isolate a lot when I am down. And withdrawal to my safe zone. A good book or my writing. And that is me in a nutshell.
This is as neat as this office gets. This is where I write novels, blog, do content creation. I have a laptop, but it isn’t fast enough for me. And something about the isolation of my office works for me. I can play tunes and just get into what I am doing. Lately, the dizzy spells have impaired me and I have to time when I can actually do things. And I have to rest for about 3 hours a day, laying down, and napping to function really much at all. But what can you do? You have to compromise with your body. I function well in a messy office environment.
I love blogging and have been running this blog since 2007. It gives me a sense of community to connect with people and other bloggers. I like to research new information and post about it. I learn a great deal this way about many things. With it, I do a lot of social media. On my Facebook page, I create a lot of my own content and that is a sort of creative outlet for me. It is a great pain distraction and I have a real passion for it.
I do freelance but writing haven’t since the vertigo has been a problem for me. I’m too cognitively impaired to be able to actually meet any sort of actual deadline. My brain shuts down with the daily dizzy spells. And so can’t function during that whole portion of the day.
I also write fantasy fiction novels and self-publish them. I write fantasy fiction and it has been a long-standing hobby and passion of mine. I write under the pen name Lil (Lily) Hamilton. (Lily because I love the name, it’s our neighbour’s cats name, and Hamilton because it is my Grandmother’s maiden name). This is another great pain distraction for me. I just dive into my own little world. Here is my writing blog The Hermit
Here are my published works
I’m an avid reader as well. I love fantasy fiction and some non-fiction. I have a stack of books on the go and always do, but the dizzy spells really fog me cognitively so I have not been able to read these last few months. I think I might be able to start reading in the early morning before it all goes downhill. I hope so. This isn’t something I want to give up.
The work life
I used to be a banker, but I had to let that go because I couldn’t sustain full-time work. I went down to a part-time teller 3 days a week. It was difficult losing a career to go down to a job. But I hoped to sustain that. But then I went on this recent leave for vestibular symptoms. So currently not working until this settles down.
My first work compromise was when I finished my Masters in philosophy and chose not to go for the Ph.D. until I got treatment for the migraines. Treatment that never came. So it was hard to let go of the career I found to replace this academic one. I shouldn’t have struggled so long as a banker when it was clear I couldn’t sustain it.
My ideal work, though, would be a work from home job that makes enough money to sustain me. That is my ideal at this point in time.
Last Vacation I took
Was a short trip to Banff (post of that here), still here in Alberta, just to get away for a bit. We tracked around sightseeing and I overdid it a bit, but it was a blast. There were migraines. There was an FM flare. Sort of bring that with you, since you do things on holidays and pain rather doesn’t like that. I prefer Jasper National Park though, but we had never been to Banff, so we went to check it out.
My at home family consists of my common-law spouse of 20 years, 21 come April, and my three cats, Charlie, Franky, and Bobby. My spouse is really supportive, hardworking, and always there for me. You can tell in the one picture we have a ‘slight’ height difference. My cat Franky, in the first pick, is 16 years old and is pretty elderly now. We don’t know how much longer he will go on for, but we are trying to make his senior years as comfortable as possible. Bobby, our gray, is also a senior at 13. Charlie, our tubby tabby, is the baby.
Things we like to do when I am not hermiting:
I’m not getting out and about much right now because of all the dizziness. But at least when it is summer I will be able to hang out by the fire.
- Play cards with friends (been a bit for this)
- Hang with the neighbours
- BBQ with the neighbours
- Chill and relax with a fire in the backyard with friends and neighbours
- Go to karaoke with our friends (neither of us sings, but we go for moral support and fun)
- My spouse is more active than I and will go quading and skidooing with our neighbours. I can’t quite manage all that, but he has a blast.
I admit I am more of an ‘inside’ by myself hobby sort of person. But socializing is vital for mental health so I do get out and about once in a few months here and there. Mostly I am more comfortable hanging around the house with a few people around the fire. With the dizziness getting so much worse in the evening it is really hard to get me to go out. It is too limiting.
And that is the Brainless Blogger!