Basically this is me…

What doesn't kill you DEFINITELY makes you stronger

I’m not broken, I’m healing…

I’ve just got home from another half week at work and it’s been rough and a contentious phone call actually made me cry. 

I didn’t cry on the phone, thank god. But after I got off, I broke down. After spending about 10 minutes sobbing in the loo and calming myself down. I knew I had to speak to someone about how I felt. My manager is on Annual Leave so I went to the other manager. I broke down again and she took me into an office and talked to me for a good hour and calmed me down. 

I explained what had happened, which really doesn’t need to be discussed on here. I explained that before my illness and prolonged time off work I could of dealt with a call like that no problem. However since being so sick and coming back to work I feel broken, worthless and basically really crap at my job. She told me that I wasn’t broken, I was still healing. That they are lucky to have me and that I am doing a really good job. She said we are all human and all of us at some point have had moments that make us break. 

She also said that I should celebrate every week I am work and see it as a huge accomplishment. I am dealing with a chronic illness AND I’m still getting to work and doing my job.

Her words were like a hug I so desperately needed, she was so caring and wanted to make sure I left the office in a much better state then when I entered. she also made me think of everything I have achieved in the 5 months Since I’ve returned to work. It also reminded me of what my lovely twitter Jen spoke about in the week. She said she remembered speaking to me last year about how terrified I was about going back to work after almost 8 months off and how well I am doing now. She also called me super duper which I approve of 😍.

There are going to be hard days, but I have overcome so much and I will never give up. I just really need to stop being so hard on myself. I am my worse enemy and it needs to stop. I need to treat myself the way I would treat my friends!  I’m a fighter and I always will be, but I need to be a bit softer on myself and give myself the chance it needs to heal. My confidence will return and I will feel like me again.

I will always have this chronic illness and I will have to battle it everyday but it does not define me.           I am worth more than my illness. 

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16 in 16 – Update 

I am now 7 months into my 16 in 16 challenge, Link to original post 👉🏻 http://wp.me/pZ5bU-4N so I thought now would be a good time to do a slight catch up and let all you lovely people know how I have been getting on.

Unlike most of my New Years Resolutions, I have been actively working on completing theses challenges and I am happy to report that I have so far completed 6 of them, and by the end of this month I should have completed two more.

I am very proud of myself for setting these goals and not giving up. It has been a rough year and it would of been so easy for me to decide to not bother so I am very happy with myself that I haven’t.

Have a look below and see what I have completed and I will be doing a post for each goal I have been completed.

16 in 16
1. Pass my driving test
2. Get fitter- ✅ ongoing

3. Do a race for life
4. Cons, cons and more cons – ✅ Yes/Yes/Yes


5. Go to Downton Abbey
6. Do a photo shoot
7. Weekend in London and see West End show
8. Go to Edinburgh✅

9. Sing at an open mike night

10. Go to the Harry Potter experience and do a tweet up✅

11. Go to the Dr who Experience

12. Have a Spa weekend ✅

13. Buy a Designer Bag✅ – see post here- http://wp.me/pZ5bU-8u


(💞💞💞 so pretty 💞💞💞)

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

I will keep you updated with my progress and let you know how the next 5 months of my challenge go 😊

xVx

 

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A day with the butterflies 💞

Pictures taken from my recent visit to the Butterfly Farm in Stratford Upon Avon.

Was such a gorgeous day and I adore butterflies. I have been wanting to visit the butterfly farm for a while so I am so happy I finally got to go 😍



 



xVx

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June Favourites 


I am going to start this post with HOW IS IT THE END OF JUNE ALREADY!

This month has flown by! And as it is a very nice tradition I have started here are my June Favourites

I MET GILES!!!!!!!!!!! 

I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and this month I attended the Prophecy Convention in Birmingham which was ran by Rogue Events.

This convention had a bumpy start as some of the main guests dropped out just before but I would still say this was one of the best conventions I have ever been too, I got to geek out with my friends, meet some lovely guests and I finally got my Giles Hug 💞💞💞

For thoses who don’t know Anthony Stewart Head, who plays Rupert Giles in the show, hugs are legendary! And I have been very vocal about the fact that 1) I wanted to meet him and 2) I wanted a hug! And it finally happened 💞💞💞💞


You can tell by my face how happy I was and he was a delight to meet.

I have to admit the star of the con though was the lovely Marc Blucas who played Riley on the show. Most people would say ‘I hated Riley, but big fan of Marc’

By the end of the convention, Marc had everyone swooning over him. Such a warm, funny, down to earth chap. This was his first ever convention and I really hope he does more.

I got a photo with Marc. And as I was waiting my turn. I heard him ask a convention goer their name. Which in my experience is unheard of while having photos. So when it was my turn I went straight up to him and said hi, I’m vicki. To which he replied Hi I’m Marc. Made me giggle at the time as obviously we all knew who he was but it showed just how lovely he is.

 

Bill Bailey 


My husband and I over the last couple of years have been going to more comedy gigs and last year we bought tickets to see Bill Bailey.

I will be honest, this gig was more for Phil then me. But I had a brilliant time. The only issue I had was that I was in so much pain. It is safe to say that I can no longer do a full day at work, travel and then go to a gig! Definitely need time to rest inbetween. 

New Job Present 

Started my new job, with the new team so only seemed right to buy myself a well done present. 

AND WHAT A PRESENT!!!!!


Two of my favourite things Funko Pops and Harry Potter 💞💞💞

Instagram 

Basically This Is Me is now on Instagram! Makes sure to follow me to keep up to date with posts and pictures 📷📷📷📷📷📷

Race for Life 

OMG it is this weekend!!!!!!! 

It had gone so quick but I have come so far and I am determined to cross that finish line on the 10th July 💞💞💞

So June has been a bit of a blur and how are we already 7 months into 2016. 
This year has and continues to suck! So be kind to one another. 

                             xVx 

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March Favourites

I have a habit of being negative and even though March has been a rough month. It has also been a pretty awesome one.

So to celebrate this fact, at the end of every month I am going to write about my favourite things that have happened and stop being so miserable all the time!

blog

I restarted my blog!!! and I’ve loved ever minute of it. I am loving writing again and I have many posts planned in the future. I am also very grateful for all the responses and support I have received since I have started writing again.

 

16

I have been working on my 16 in 16 goals and I have PASSED MY THEORY TEST!!!! So happy that I passed and my driving instructor has told me that he is happy for me to book my practical test! It is all happening 🙂

friends

Spending Time with my Friends 

I have been lucky this month to have had lots of catch up with my friends. Earlier this month my uni friends came up to stay and we had a fabulous weekend.

Last weekend I was apart of a tweet up where we went to the harry potter experience in Watford and then for food afterwards. Was lovely meeting up with the girls who I have been speaking to on twitter and my lovely husband came with me to look after me and due to being in a lot of pain and not feeling great I ended up having to be push in a wheelchair around the experience. So grateful he was there for me.

harry

Didn’t matter how hard I pushed they wouldn’t let me into Hogwarts!

I went to the cinema on my own

A strange thing to put on my March favourite list but I really enjoyed doing this. I really wanted to see Allegiant but had no one to go with. I had been feeling really rough all week and cabin fever was setting in, so I decided to go on my own.

I have always thought it be weird to go on my own, but it was actually fun and I got to see the film and rebuild my confidence after my relapse.

The film unfortunately was a bit of a let down. I enjoyed it and the experience however it was a filler film. But I got out of the house and am looking forward to going on my own again.

film

Reading

I do like reading a book and after replacing my broken tablet with a Kindle Fire I was having a sort out and found an author called E.M Tippetts.

The first book is called Someone Else’s fairytale and it is free on Amazon Kindle.

The story is about a Student with a dark history called Chloe and a movie star called Jason. I read the first book in a day and ended up buying the other books in the series as I loved them so much.

books

 

The Happiness Planner

I am a big fan of Zoella, I can quite happily spend a morning watching her vlogs and last month she spoke about the happiness planner. I have been after something like this for a while, where I can actively be positive and see the goodness in my life. When I saw her review I knew I had to get one.

planner

If you are interested in having a look yourself, here is a link to their website  http://thehappinessplanner.uk/products/the-52-week-journal

I am hoping this will help me in my quest to become more positive and see the goodness in my life.

My last favourite experience of this month has got to be The Donkey Sanctuary in Sutton Park. When I met up with my Nan last week, I asked if she would like to come with me and we had great fun seeing all the Donkeys.

donkey

donkeys

So they have been my favourite things about March – What were yours???

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Making Hard Decisions

 

filofax

For over a year, my life has been wrecked by my body. As discussed in a previous post, I have been diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption. Due to how sick I have been I have had a lot of time off work.

I had 7.5 months off work last year and I have been off sick since the end of January after a nasty relapse. My return to work in November was a disaster and I struggled to do my work and manage my symptoms. Since being on long term sick again I had to really think about what my body could handle mentally and physically. After speaking to my husband I knew going back wouldn’t be an option unless I went part time.

While all this was happening, I received a letter from my manager and HR asking that I attend an absence management meeting. On the day of the meeting, my stomach decided to give me hell and I wasn’t able to go. When I called to rearrange the meeting I was informed that my work were going to start the process of retiring me due to ill health.

I was flabbergasted and as you could probably gather in a state of shock. I just kept thinking i’m 30, i’m 30!!! The meeting was rearranged and I spoke to my union rep at length. This was on a Friday and the meeting wouldn’t be until the next Wednesday. I was a wreck, however luckily I had plans to do a tweet up with some twitter friends at the Harry Potter Experience in Watford and then I was spending a couple of days back home with my friends and family so it gave me a very good distraction until my meeting.

I went to my meeting and it was decided very early on that my illness wasn’t severe enough for it to retire me. I was glad about this as I am not ready to give up yet.

It was agreed that I could work part time. I was hoping to do 3 days a week, however they could only give me 2 and a half days a week.

In terms of my job, I was given three choices.

  1. Stay in current role- I knew this wouldn’t be an option as it is too much stress and my body wouldn’t be able to cope.
  2. Go for redeployment- however if after 4/6 weeks if I couldn’t find a suitable position I would lose my job due to ill health.
  3. Take a demotion, paycut and take on another role.

I have spent the last week going through every possible option, pros and cons, working out how it will affect our finances.

After speaking to my husband, family and friends for advice and making many many lists, I have decided to take the demotion. I need to put my health first. This way I can recover, get use to working again and hopefully have less stress in my life.

I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and there is a reason that this has happened. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a short term solution for a long term problem and I am really grateful to my work for supporting me.

I start my new job tomorrow and hopefully I will continue to improve and be able to gradually get my life back together.

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16 in 16

As discussed in my recent blog, last year was awful! I was diagnosed with Bile Acid Malabsorption and it pretty much wrecked my health and my life.

I have spent the last year pretty much house bound, so when I began to get better and stronger at the end of last year I was determined to make this year count.

So in January, instead of creating new year’s revolutions. I created 16 goals

16 things to do in 2016

16

 

1. Pass my driving test

2. Get fitter

3. Do a race for life

4. Cons, cons and more cons

5. Go to Downton Abbey

6. Do a photo shoot

7. Weekend in London and see West End show

8. Go to Edinburgh

9. Sing at an open mike night

10. Go to the Harry Potter experience and do a tweet up

11. Go to the Dr who Experience

12. Have a Spa weekend

13. Buy a Designer Bag

14. Race a car

15. Do a photography course

16. Be happy

 

As it is now March I have already completed some of these.

I will be writing posts about my experiences and how they helped claim my life back.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy my journey back to my life.

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The Man in the Park

 

park

On Tuesday I had a review at my doctors. My doctors is based at the edge of Victoria Park which is located next to my old University, University of Leicester.

Like usual I was running late, not feeling very well and wanted to be anywhere but there.

Had my review, given more medication, was signed off and told to come back in two weeks time. I left feeling fed up, tired and really low about myself and my condition. I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on and was stressing about having to tell work that I am still signed off. Generally I was feeling really let down in myself.

I called my taxi and started walking towards the exit, this is when I noticed a man in a wheelchair, he wasn’t moving, he was looking around and looked so cold and confused. I also saw five other people walk right past him and pretend that he wasn’t there -Which I think is bloody appalling.

Once I got near to him, I asked him if he was OK. What I wasn’t expecting was how much his answer would affect me.

He told me he was fine and that he was on the way to the doctors for an appointment. However he had left his house early so he could enjoy being outside. He told me that he had been in hospital for 5 weeks and been discharged to temporary housing across the road from the park. He spoke to me about how beautiful the park was and how horrible winter had been and he was enjoying the sunshine.

I didn’t see it this way, I just decided that it was a miserable grey day and seeing the park through this man’s eyes completely changed my mind. This conversation made realise that I need to do the following more often.

stop look listen

I was so in my own head, I wasn’t living in the moment. With my illness, I am the first one to admit I go negative very quickly. However speaking to this gentlemen snapped me out of it and made me realise I really should appreciate the things I do have and not go negative straight away.

When I looked around the park, I saw how green it was, that even though the sky was grey there was sunshine shifting through. Without our conversation, I would of just thought how rubbish the day had been.

Unfortunately my taxi arrived so I had to leave. But this lovely man thanked me for speaking to him and shook my hand. I saw him leave to go to the doctors so I knew he was going to be OK.

Such a small thing to happen to me this week, however it has definitely stuck with me.

 

everyday

I have loved this saying for so long, I actually have it written on a piece of paper which I have put next to my bed to remind me. Need to pay more attention in the moment and stop worrying so much over the future.

 

 

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Coming to terms with the P word

POO!!!!!

I know a random way to start a blog post, but I will explain.

In the past year I have been diagnosised with a condition called Bile Acid Malabsorption

Bile Acid Malabsorption is defined “as a cause of chronic diarrhea, with the patient having their bowels open several times a day”

This lovely definition doesn’t add the pain, the exhaustion, the fatigue, the malnutrition, the fear and the hopelessness that comes with this illness.

It doesn’t add that it took 5 months for a diagnosis, the 3 months I worked without knowing what was going on, was scared to eat, wasn’t sleeping and was turning up to work 2 hours late as I couldn’t get of the toilet. The 3 months I was bed bound as I was so ill, the 7.5 months I had off work as this illness destroyed me or the recent 5 weeks I have had off work since January due to a severe relapse.

It doesn’t talk about the 20 plus tablets I have to take a day to try and control the illness. Which on most occasions doesn’t work.

meds.jpg

 

It doesn’t talk about how after a severe ‘episode’ my husband would have to meet me at the bathroom and pretty much carry me back to the bedroom as I was in so much pain I could barely walk.

The cancelled plans, the friends who think you are a bore or the effect it has on you psychologically.

This is an illness I will always have. The medication shown above, I will be on most of it for the rest of my life. I am now dairy free, gluten free (ish) and rarely drink alcohol. Sometimes I struggle to walk, struggle to leave the house and struggle to see the goodness in my life.

And the main thing that really annoys me, is after everything I’ve been through I still struggle to say POO!!! I go red, I get embarrassed. I have sat in front of my consultant, who deals with this EVERYDAY and said I still got to the toilet often! WTF!!! what is it about saying Poo or diarrhea that makes me want to curl up into a little ball and die!

I would like to say, I have got better with saying it and it is due to the lovely lady Sam Cleasby. If you don’t follow her blog you should! Sam has been diagnosed with IBD and even though we have different illnesses her strength, her courage and her openness with her illness have really helped me cope. When my health deteriorated so quickly last year, she had written a blog post about using a disabled toilet that went viral. She was the voice I needed to hear and I have followed her blog sobadass.me since. If you read this Sam- I just want to say Thank you so much. You have kept me sane the last year and you are awesome!

I was also lucky as I found a wonderful support group on Facebook. Anyone reading this who has been recently diagnosed with BAM – sign up now! www://facebook.com/groups/176952655839795

My experience has shown that doctors do not have enough knowledge of this illness and it is not well known. Finding this group has been wonderful as I can ask them all the random question I have running in my head, If I am scared, or low or confused, there is always someone online I can speak too.

So there you go, That is me.

I hope that this post will help anyone else who is ill, not just with my condition but any condition. Chronic Illness is horrendous and having an invisible illness makes you feel so alone. In the last year I have been discriminated against so many times as people do not understand what I am going though so if I can end this post with one thought it would be this- Be Kind Always.

be kind

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Hello… It’s me

My apologies to Adele but I had too!

 

Hello all, I’m back.

train

It has almost been a year since the last time I blogged. As some of you know I was (and still am) really ill and found it difficult to talk about. I have had a really rough year and it still something I am having to deal with now. However I feel stronger and I am ready to start talking again.

At the time, one of the other reasons I stopped blogging was twitter and the internet in general did not feel like a safe place to be a plus size blogger. It seemed like everyday bloggers were being attacked for being themselves and at that time I was not in a good place to join them.

People are dicks! this is what I have learnt, however that does not mean that they have the right to stop us living our life. And even though I decided to close my blog I continued working on myself, reading other PS bloggers and learning to love myself.

In the past year my confidence has greatly improved, I have started swimming again and don’t try to hide my body, I am loving fashion and am making more of an effort when choosing my outfits. My current obsession is Lindy Bop dresses! they are so pretty!!!!

dress

I am also a lot more comfortable having my picture taken and not hiding my body by taking close ups or angled shots. This is me world! deal with it.

The reason I am back now is that honestly I have missed writing. It was my escape and the way I coped in the world, and no one can take away my voice. I also feel like I have a lot to say and refuse to hide anymore.

But if I am going to restart my blog and talk about my life I need to be honest. I have kept quiet about my illness as I find it embarrassing however no more! As my blog title says Basically This Is Me and it is time I start respecting that.

I will talk about my illness in a future post, but for now I just want to say thank you to everyone who supported me last year and I hope you will rejoin this journey with me.

 

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