[ reflections ]

Nearing the end of the first month into 2019...So much to look forward to! I’m finally getting a chance to catch my breath a bit and take stock before moving forward.

I don’t really like it, but when I reflect on 2018 as a whole, the only word that comes to mind is stressful.

I could have never imagined that stress can be that detrimental. Not only did 2018 leave my health in shambles, but it also made me lose a piece of own self along the way. People who’ve met me last year...They certainly haven’t met the same person I used to be, rather a mere shadow of my former self. If you still thought I had my own merits after meeting me for the first time last year, thank you. Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And those who didn’t turn their backs on me when I wasn’t in my best shape - words can’t express how grateful I am to your presence in my life.

I’m a strong believer in the “power of positive thinking”. I do believe that we can shape our reality with our thoughts. However, sometimes circumstances are too overbearing and positive thinking sounds a little cliché. No matter how positive is the mindset we adapt, it’ll not prevent disasters from happening, planes from crashing, people dying from hunger, our loved ones being diagnosed with cancer, etc.

And sometimes dealing with those overbearing circumstances costs a lot. Mentally, physically, financially...

It may be easier, perhaps, to avoid responsibilities, ignore the problems especially if you have such option. Yes, you are solely responsible for your own happiness, but is it really the ultimate goal in life? As much as I believe in positive thinking, I also believe that you should never turn your back on those you love. And sometimes your happiness is a price to pay, but your choices and sacrifices you’re willing to make determine what kind of human being you are. If you prioritize your own happiness over everything and everyone else in your life, you’re not a million miles away from living like an animal in the wilderness that only goes by self-preservation instincts.


But as humans, we have responsibilities. Family and friends who need us. And sometimes we just need to push ourselves. Maybe, sometimes a little too much. In my case, stress lead to pain. But there’s a price to pay for everything in life. What matters is what you’re purchasing.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change."

That being said, I am all about making positive changes this year.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, the primary focus for me in 2019 is regaining my health and my own former self.

Fibromyalgia had only recently been recognised as a legitimate syndrome by the medical profession. There’s no known cure; but I have a plan.

More than anything it actually involves slowing down and taking it easy. Saying no to more things. Still pushing myself as hard as I can but recognizing when my body needs a break and taking it.

I learned about triggers. Stress is a major one. Cold is another.

Last year I got to the point I could barely work, let alone perform the basic tasks of living. I couldn’t walk from my car to the grocery store. Excruciating pain would always accompany me. Walking up stairs would sometimes be so hard and painful that would leave me nearly tearing up. The pain in my limbs as I forced my body to try to do anything was so excruciating at times. Each month my aches and pains, insomnia, and the chronic fatigue only got worse.

Throughout my ordeal, I kept working, ironically six or eight-hour days on my feet, usually high heels, constantly moving around, changing clothes, posing and working out for the camera. Then couple hours more on my laptop when I’d get back home. My work absolutely exhausted me but at the same time I feel like it is what kept me sane and helped me get though the emotional stress. I love creative work, but chronic pain and sleepless nights soak up a lot of energy, leaving you very empty and emotionless. It makes your world very small and one dimensional. I would feel like I’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon The brain fog was the worst part.

“Was” - is the keyword. I’m learning to get a better handle on my health, and I do feel better now.

Some days are still better than others though. A good day or bad day is already prescribed for me before I’ve even rubbed the sleep from my eyes. I can wake up in a lot of pain, and I have very little control over it. On a good day, I just ache but on a bad day, I feel like every joint throbs with every movement. I have some days my pain would be so bad I can’t eat or sleep.

But I hope one day I will conquer my chronic pain and say goodbye to it forever. Meanwhile, I’ll keep practicing positive thinking cause there’s really so much to be grateful for. And if you also ever find yourself at the point where you feel you can no longer take it, remember you are secretly stronger than you realize. One day, you are going to be thankful that you kept hanging in there.