SEA by My Friend Jen

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It’s ok not to be ok

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been gone for longer than a minute. No posts, no Spotlight Sundays, NOTHING!

Aside from me being in my feelings for a few weeks about my laptop crashing and loosing a few interviews I did for Spotlight Sunday, there’s also the most obvious explanation which is that I’ve been unwell. Finding a balance between living life, looking after my health and all the bits that come in between can sometimes be challenging. As positive and tenacious as I am, I went through a period recently where I felt like I just could not be bothered to BE or DO.

Before I go any further I need to make it clear to everyone reading that this is not a cry for help, nor is it me about to make a heart felt confession that I suffer from depression or anything of the sort. This is literally just an honest post about where I’ve been and what I’ve been going through; and if you have sickle cell or any other chronic condition I’m sure you will be able to relate.

So anyway, back to me not wanting to be or do. I sometimes feel like there is an expectation of me to just ‘be ok’ no matter what I am going through. I may have possibly brought this on myself because being ok is mostly who I am and what I show; and even when I’m not ok, I will say that I am if you ask me. As a matter of fact, I even tell myself I’m ok or going to be ok when I’m not; its just what I do to get thorough. Usually this positive self talk works for me because I always end up being ok soon enough — recently however, I just haven’t been able to catch a break.

The thing with sickle cell is I can do my best to manage the obvious effects of the condition but there are some elements of it that are just out of my control. The past several months I have been dealing with repeated blood clots, lung infarction, infections and liver complications, along with trying out different treatments and medications to manage these issues. I have been discharged from hospital feeling like I was on the road to recovery, only to then be re-admitted feeling worse than I did originally. This was literally a continuous cycle for weeks and no amount of positive self talk was changing that fact. Giving myself ‘realistic’ time frames to recover and be ok became unrealistic and near enough impossible to do, to the point where I felt like I was just lying to myself; there’s only so many times you can reschedule something before it just becomes tedious and pointless. I HAD TO STOP!

It’s ok not to be ok, it’s just not ok to stay there.

I was forcing being ‘ok’ and ‘well’ upon myself and it was driving me crazy. In fact, looking back now, I believe it was actually making me worse. I had to stop everything. I had to stop planning to write, stop planning to meet people, stop planning to post on social media; basically stop planning to BE anywhere or DO anything that wasn’t in that present moment. I couldn’t be bothered to lie to myself and everyone around me any more. I completely accepted that where I was, is exactly where I was meant to be and it instantly felt like a weight had been lifted. I told myself that it was ok not to be ok, and I was fine with that because I knew I wasn’t going to stay there but in that moment that was where I needed to be. I stopped being Jenica Leah to the world and just enjoyed being Jenica Leah the girl who done absolutely nothing but chill on the sofa resting, eating snacks, watching TV, occasionally crying and taking as much time as she needed to recover from this period of sickle cell complications.

I can honestly say that after giving in to the constant feeling of needing to be ok, this period of time eventually became one of the most satisfying recoveries i’ve been through. I should also add that after that fact, it was only a week before I naturally began to start feeling like my usual self again and was honestly and truly back to being ok.

This time (although it was as a result of me being very unwell), has definitely taught me that it is important to step away and take time out from our own lives sometimes. We can get so caught up in being and doing everything that we don’t realise the amount of unnecessary pressure we put on ourselves and the damage it could be doing.

Anyway, I hope you’ll all be glad to know that the comeback is real and it shall be back to business (blogging) as usual. I’m greatful to you all for your patience xx

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