Tag: Crohns

Crohns update – 9 months Post-Op

Processed with VSCO with c7 presetYou’ll have to excuse the completely unrelated photo, inbetween looking like a homeless woman and having the baby kicking around like they are stuck in some sort of prison, I didn’t manage to get a good photo showcasing my 9 months post op stomach.

I don’t quite know where to start, because the outcome is fairly obvious – I’m pregnant, therefore the surgery was a great success.

Processed with VSCO with c8 presetThe intial first weeks following surgery, as you know, were extremely difficult. I was unable to walk properly for at least a month and was relying on people to take care of me. I lived in my pjs (so nothing has changed really) and just kept hoping that each day id wake up and be able to do a little bit more.

A lot of people have wondered the most obvious question, what was your first shit like after surgery? I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it was how I imagine child birth will be like and I still have Vietnam flashbacks of the trauma. But despite the gas masks needed and watching the cleaners go in like the monsters in monsters inc when they bring back a childs item and have to be quarantined, things only got better.

6 weeks after surgery me and john travelled to crete. I was extremely nervous flying because all previous flights have been a nightmare fuelled with anxiety and holding in a fart that may or may not be a shit alongside my vomiting. But both flights there and back were relaxing and amazingly non eventful, there was no sickness and no anxiety in spite of the fact I thought I was gonna have a blood clot and die before I made it to sunny Greece (6 weeks is the minimum you are able to travel after major surgery *unless it is avoidable* because of risks of blood clots due to the pressure).

September came around and from what I can recall I don’t think I even thought about my surgery or my crohns. I was still struggling after a large meal however, needing to rush for diarrhoea exactly 30 minutes from ingestion (like clockwork) and had a mediocre pain. But instead of an on going flare up, it would be 5 minutes of intense flaring and then gone for the rest of the day/night. I got back into a normal routine, and Processed with VSCO with c7 presetwe were now officially settled into our new home to start the rest of our lives.

With the positive changes of my body, being able to get through days/weeks/months without vomiting and being able to eat without any consequences, my anxiety had completely disappeared and my mind was so positive, enjoying every minute of health. A lot of changes were made because of how one surgery gave me the opportunity to live a life without crippling fatigue, daily naps and morning sickness.

Nights were fuelled with alcohol, good food and the friends that have stuck by me throughout all my life changes. It’s a difficult thing going from an ‘ill person’ to a ‘healthy person’ because its not just your body that changes, your mind and your outlook changes aswell. What I’ve found has come from that, is friends that were there when you were ill seem to be non existent now you have a life of your own, now you are independent and are able to look back at your choices and decisions and see what is really the right thing for you to do in life, seem to put out others.

A little like Munchausen syndrome, you come to realise that without even knowing it people around you influence your illness in multiple ways and only when you escape the cloud of ‘being ill’ or being the friend ‘with a disease’ you find the friends that are willing to carry you on in your ‘new life.’ Some people won’t understand the changes you make in your life and why you make them, they don’t understand how something that seemed so comfortable and secure, something that seemed like a great environment and relationship can suddenly…not be.

They’ve known you having fun in a world where you are ill, where your life is built around being ill and the consequences that that illness carries. When you suddenly become healthy and your mindset is completely different you start to completely change, you change the way you enjoy your life, because it’s suddenly so healthy, long and Processed with VSCO with c9 presetfulfilled and things that once made you happy when life didn’t seem so full, now become burdens, they are reminders of your ‘old life.’ The things that once seemed good for you, in hindsight, only unknowingly influenced your illness. Whether that be mental or physical.

That is the part of following the light at the end of the tunnel that you don’t know. You’ve always seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but what about when you get there and you are ‘on the other side?’ It really is a whole new world, a whole new you.

New body.

New mind.

New outlook.

New values.

New opinions.

The hard part is accepting some people and some things aren’t meant to be in your new life, not out of anger, hatred, spite or anything negative but purely because they don’t understand the complete transformation your life has taken. The same as you find new things, make new friendships and find completely new joys in life.

November comes around and surgery legit is a distant memory, I have no symptoms of my Crohns and I have no reason to even think about it. I’m enjoying everything.

However, towards the end of November I began to get very ill, I was being sick every morning again and was tired 24/7. My health was short lived, I thought. Untill I decided id tempt fate and piss on a little stick, yknow for the fun of it. Three tests later, three positives later and 6 lines later, it wasn’t my Crohns returning with a vengeance, it was a new living being sucking the life out of me.

I had surgery to give my body the chance to carry a child, with a limited time for fertility Processed with VSCO with c8 presetit was dire to go ahead with having my bowel resection if I was going to be able to get past that dreaded first trimester. The doctors had determined my Crohns was the reason for my miscarriages and so when the first trimester came and went, that was the ultimate acknowledgment that told me everything I have endured, was worth it, it worked.

Surgery was the best decision I have ever made.

Anyone who thinks surgery is a scary thing, is the last resort and the worst outcome possible, it was the BEST decision I ever made. (Although perhaps second to dumping some ugly drug addict when I was 19, haha)

I am now 22 weeks pregnant, entering my third trimester and I was warned my crohns will most likely make an appearance, and it has. From 18 weeks till now my crohns has reared its ugly head, but unlike anything pre-surgery it is manageable and non-threatening. The flares come and go, and although I have a few accidents here and there it is nothing compared to pre-surgery days.

Crohns is incurable, it will always be in my body, inbedded in my DNA and therefore it is expected to have some good and some bad days. It is expected to have flare ups and suffer still even though the severely diseased bowel has gone. But for now, I am having a baby and that is all I want. I may be ill again once she is born, but that’s okay because she’s here and my body allowed me to grow her.

Life is great, my health is great (most of the time) and for 9 months post op, I’d say there’s nothing I could possibly say, nothing that could possibly happen, that would make me think that having surgery was a bad decision. (Even though I went bat shit crazy during).

 

xoxo

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It’s a Girl!

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We’re having a baby girl!

A full blog post to come soon but i was too impatient and wanted to share the gender with you all first!

But here are some outtakes featuring a very awkward Jaiden:

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Introducing…Trust Your Gut


My name is Billie Anderson, I’m 21 and I’m a history student down on the sunny English coast! If we are talking hobbies in conjunction with student life, it mainly surrounds how much alcohol you can consume without hospitalising yourself. And also knowing where the cheapest pizza is to soak up all that booze!
The other things I enjoy in life (along with wine and pizza) aren’t exactly mainstream: I owned two very naughty ponies who loved to see how quickly they could throw me into the mud! As a kid I’d spend my pocket money on a new bridle or rugs for the horses rather than makeup and clothes like my friends!
I’m also an avid petrol head – an interest that was spurred by my grandad when he took me for a drive in his classic Porsche 924 when I was 7. I almost drowned when the passenger-side foot well flooded with water! There is so much character to a classic car – the smell of pure petrol mixed with 50-year-old cigarette smoke that is ingrained into the upholstery of a 1971 mk1 Ford Capri is so much more exciting than a Prius! Ive always preferred scrolling through classic car magazines looking at engines and the restoration of some beaten up old Beetle, than the ‘top ten reasons why your crush is ignoring you’ section of Hello!
Im also a super nerd! With the end of university growing ever closer, it’s a time that every student dreads… Dissertations! Along with my not-so-conventional hobbies, the area of study I specialise in is the history of piracy. So it’s 10,000 words about the life of Jack Sparrow and ‘research’ includes watching my way through every single Pirates of The Caribbean film! Not a bad way to spend the year if you ask me!
Now I’ve tried to make myself sound slightly interesting, onto the blog I run! Around 9 months ago I created Trust Your Gut. I started this project after being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis – one of the ugly sisters of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – the other being Crohn’s disease. I decided to write about my illness due to how isolating it can be; I felt so alone in my fight against Colitis, not knowing anyone who had experienced it, and I didn’t want anyone to go through the same thing I did.
I found myself spending more time in hospital, talking to doctors, rather than going to uni and partying with my mates, so Trust Your Gut became a place where I felt other people could get a more human response to the illness rather than just the clinical talk you get from doctors and nurses.
As my illness progressed however, it became clear that my UC was very serious and the drug therapy I was placed on wasn’t making me any better. So in January 2018, one year after my diagnosis, I underwent major abdominal surgery to remove my very angry, ulcerated colon and given an ileostomy (so I haven’t got a large intestine and my small intestine pokes about an inch out of my stomach into a bag). Due to my surgery, Trust Your Gut went from being all about my life with a chronic illness and spreading awareness for IBD, to stoma awareness.
It is now all about how my little stoma bag saved my life!
From my point of view there isn’t enough awareness about IBD or stomas – particularly for younger people – and I hope that Trust Your Gut can be a platform to spread the word! This is a blog that has been a little refuge for me and hopefully other people (those who are diagnosed, have a connection to the disease through someone else or even those who just want to find out more) in raising awareness for an illness that isn’t talked about enough!
Along the way I’ve been inspired by so many other bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers who all do so much to raise awareness for IBD and stoma life. The little Instagram family that I’ve built up over the last few months has been a lifeline of support and love in the fight against such a difficult disease!
Trust Your Gut has been something that I’ve found I truly love – a little project that hopefully helps raise awareness for those who don’t know about IBD and also a place where those who do know about it can find some comfort in knowing they aren’t going it alone! I love divulging all my secrets and probably boring the pants off everyone on there! In amongst the non-conventional hobbies I have, I now have a very non-conventional blog to go with a non-conventional stomach, all in the hope of spreading a little love!
You can find out all my secrets about bag-life here (https://trustyourgut.blog) and on Instagram too (@billieandersonx)!
Here’s to making the very non-conventional stomach I have conventional!

Billie’s Instagram:

Billie’s Blog:

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*Written by Billie Anderson, Trust Your Gut | Edited by Dawsonxo | Photo credit by Billie Anderson, Trust your Gut | Subject to Copyright*

A Letter to my Mum…

me and mom 2

I know you shouldn’t only appreciate people on a certain day, but I have a cold hearted and emotionally reserved persona to up keep in regards to my family. So for this mothers day only (and you’re only getting this once mom so I dunno, copy and paste it, print it out and frame it if you have to) I will give you the gift of cringiness and honesty. All those face mushes and ‘why don’t you show me affection. I LOOOOVE YOUUU’ whines when you’ve had one too many glasses of prosecco have come down to this post. And only on this post can I express my love and gratitude because quite frankly I have at least 24 hours before I have to face you with embarrassment.On Friday the 13th October you had a visit from the dreaded midwife who continues to call me ‘scrawny’ and together you joked that because it was the day of the devil, on week 34 out of 40 in your pregnancy, ‘wouldn’t it be funny if she came today.’

Well, the day of the devil it was.

You stepped out of the car into the carpark to go to your antenatal appointment, like I

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have since done in that very place, when your placenta separated completely from your uterus. This is called a placenta abruption and can be life threatening to both mother and baby.

Although you woke up days later, being bathed by some old fuddy nurses after blood transfusions and life saving treatments, you was now baby-less. But like a bad scent ever since, I was merely lying in an incubator with cotton wool on my knees making all the midwives wish theyd never met the emergency premature 666 child you had traumatically and unconsciously brought into the world.

We were never a well off family and I didn’t mind, you would spend days making angel delight or jelly with me as if it was some gourmet baking when realistically Luna could probably do it if it weren’t for the fact she doesn’t have opposable thumbs. And mom, sorry but you’re cooking hasn’t improved since, you’re the only person who manages to burn super noodles, but I love it. I love that you served my previous boyfriends raw vegetables so they had to eat it politely and I love that you are so in denial to cooking

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instructions because ‘you know best’ because it is what makes you, you. I can’t wait for my child to say ‘I hope grandad cooks because nanny’s food is horrible’ like every grandchild is supposed to say.

One Christmas, dad had lost his job and you had been ill all year, I didn’t understand what mental health was, I didn’t understand how a person can struggle because you didn’t let me see the hardships. I thought you were feeding me frozen sausages and frozen sweetcorn because you just wanted me to never develop a palette, when all my friends got green giant sweetcorn with its sugary canned taste or butchers special sausages. I didn’t know that a person could be unhappy because you always laughed when I said 1051 was

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my favourite number (I still don’t get why that’s funny) or I (very out of tune) composed a rendition of the cuckoo clock song in the sound of music, because I didn’t know that one could smile but be in so much pain then. On that Christmas you had warned us we had no money and not to be disappointed, (I knew santa wasn’t real obvs ,but alex still believed) we made m&m cupcakes for ‘santa’ because I was a fussy eater and despite the fact you wanted mince pies, you let me have my way, and we watched shrek lying on our first ever brand new sofa (that alex immediately dropped cake icing down), until alex went to bed and you let me eat all the m&m cakes. But that morning, you still handed us mountain after mountain of presents, I got exactly what I wanted that year and more, despite the fact I now know we couldn’t afford it and you had to go without so much for yourself.

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When we got a little older, you were still really ill and getting worse, I was starting to understand a little that there was this thing called depression, but I was ignorant and I didn’t understand. I thought you were just crazy and moaning all the time, enjoying arguments. I remember we went on a family trip to Ikea and the whole journey we were rowing, you and dad, you and me, we were screaming louder than we did when skindred came on and youd hide down whilst me, dad and alex blew whistles out the window on the motorway to the song in embarrassment. When we finally got out the car after you had stopped screaming you immediately fell over the curb and face planted the floor. I found it hilarious and im ngl im laughing thinking about it now but you got back up and strutted off not letting it phase you and you were a boss.

I remember when I came home from pontins and I was moody with you because you

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explained you were ill because of stress and I thought it was fake. Stress? Whats stress?

When I was 16 you sat with me in a box room covered in white walls and listened as I explained I wanted to take my own life by swallowing lots of pills to some random woman. I knew then what you had suffered all those years and what I had ignorantly begrudged you of in those hard times. I had begrudged you a you. I hadn’t sat in the room letting you explain how you feel without judgement, I hadn’t held you when you were sad and I hadn’t said it was because you were ill you were acting out of character and then helped you get better, I hadn’t been there for you like you were for me. You let me sleep in your bed every night so I didn’t panic, even though it was the only real time you got to be with dad and you gave up all your days to look after me and make sure I was okay, watching repeats of shitty channel 5 films.

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You come with me to every hospital appointment even when I don’t want you to come, youre just so stubborn and even when I don’t know I’m ill you always do and you help, even when I push you away.

I was a child and couldn’t give that to you but I want to say that if I could go back, I would, and maybe we wouldn’t have lost so many years to the illness we both struggled with.

When I was 18 and I had gotten involved in drugs and alcohol we hated each other, we couldn’t live under the same roof because I didn’t understand what the problem was. I’m 18 I can come home at whatever time I want, in whatever state I want and with whoever I want. And I can categorically say that my child aint ever touching alcohol. And sex? Nope, they are gonna be virgins for life if I have anything to do with it. So in hindsight, I know I was troublesome and you weren’t really an evil bitch, you were just a mother. My mother.

Despite the fact we didn’t get on you still let me cry on your shoulder and ordered me a

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dominoes when I split up with my boyfriend. You let me make my own decision to go back to him even though you knew he was bad because it was what I wanted and when he hurt me again you didn’t say I told you so, instead you encouraged me to get back out there. You even suggested I went on tinder and would be my back up on a date, which back then I would’ve rather died than take my mom as a back up.

Since then I grew up.

Since then, even though you embarrass me when I come home to find the front door open and you passed out drunk on the floor, when you feed my fat dog human food against my will or when you put your feet up on my sofa with your dirty boots still on I wouldn’t change it.

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Since then you have become my bestest friend. I can talk to you about anything and you make me laugh, I don’t understand how we ever disliked each other because right now you are my favourite person in the world. You lost your mum young but you still became the perfect mother without any guidance and my life would never be the same if it weren’t for the things you did for me or the way you brought me up. So because of you I am able to be an amazing mom to my child.

I hope my child doesn’t end up hiding in the car when I face plant the pavement on boldmere highstreet and let strangers help me up whilst they duck down as if to say ‘that ain’t my mom’ or tell me the rapids aren’t fast and then laugh at me as I nearly drown.

But I hope that my child has a mom like you.

We never saw eye to eye but you are my best friend and I cannot wait for you to be a grandparent and keep saying ‘god you’re just like me’ or telling me off for disciplining my child. I can definitely wait for all those ‘I told you so’s’ and karma coming back to hit me as my child puts me through all the things i put you through.

So happy mothers day momma, I love you lots. You are my hero, my best friend and my mom.

P.s. We don’t ever speak of this post again.

xxxx

me and mom

Ngl, Pregnancy kinda sucks!?

I know its been quite the while since I last posted and promised to be more attentive with the blog but I’ve been fairly busy with my head in a sick bowl.

Whoever said pregnancy is supposed to be the loveliest 9 months of your life was clearly a joker and my previous two pregnancies had me fooled. Now i know the whole concept of pregnancy is so wonderful, a life is growing (extremely slowly and painfully) inside you and your life and body is changing for the better and all that bullshit but to be quite honest, its actually pretty shit isn’t it?

For starters, my handbag has now been emptied of expensive perfume, light coverage makeup for touch ups and all things girly that are assumed to be hiding around in there. Instead I have jars of vitamins, some granny looking headache stick so I don’t go blind from these ‘pregnancy migraines’, foundation thick enough to disguise my appearance completely, and copious amounts of ugly panty liners, cause someones gotta say it, girls the amount of random shit that’s coming out of your vagina is not pre-warned or talked about! Okay you don’t get a period, but you piss yourself every day for  6 months straight if someone makes a joke and lets not discuss the latter. All i’m saying is no period for 9 months is no cause for the sexy thongs, you want those granny pants more than ever!

Every week I get a notification saying what week in my pregnancy I am in and how big the baby is now, which okay is cute, but instead of telling me my baby is now the size of some exotic vegetable ill never eat, how about telling me that at this week my boobs are gonna explode into mismatched bag of potatoes and ill be freeing the nipple for the next 4 months because no bras fit?

You’ll be blooming soon everyone keeps saying, but im struggling to understand how one can bloom without starting the day with a strong coffee or being allowed to devour a whole camembert for lunch?

‘Your skin may start changing now’ the midwife told me at our last appointment to which I was eagerly awaiting the morning I looked in the mirror to discover I was no longer a reincarnated Michael Jackson and my skin was glowing and full of colour. What I seem to have developed instead, is a reptilian trait of shedding my skin every day, my face is literally peeling faster than the snakes that live in the corner of my dressing room. Also, to add to the long list of nice things us pregnant women can’t have, we add hair dye. I was quite happily continuing my façade of being a natural light blonde and ignoring the fact that my hair had turned into a grey brownish colour by keeping up with my roots every few months. The confusion when people tried to work out whether it was my hair or my eyebrows that were the real deal was a much preferred first world problem (both are fake incase you hadn’t worked that out) because now im walking around with proper ‘council house’ hair, it’s a good job its winter because im living in hats so no one knows my true identity. The best thing about us moving to burton is the fact that I am 95% anonymous and I don’t have to bump into anyone I know for them to offer me some change and directions to the nearest St Basils.

We are nearing the midway point of my pregnancy and with that comes the gender reveal, probably the most exciting milestone in the pregnancy and everyone keeps asking me whether I will be finding out. To which the answer is of course I am, I’m not a philistine. I will be spending the rest of my pregnancy hoarding every single gender related item I can, so yes, I will be finding out the sex, (If the second child is a different gender they’ll just have to lump it cause everyone knows you go all out for the first and the second gets the leftovers). However, finding out the gender isn’t all that simple either, especially when your baby thinks your womb is some sort of Guantanamo bay and must escape any detection. It’s hard to tell whether I am feeling them moving, despite the fact the midwife informs me they are constantly wriggling away when she tries to use the doppler, because im not too sure what im expecting to feel? Having Crohns, I have a load of weird feelings inside my body like a Chest-Burster is gonna be born any day (Dropping in Alien references so John shuts the F*&k up) and so its hard to tell what is the baby moving and was is just a fart building up. We have tried many different techniques to try to get the baby to do a 180 just so we can tell the difference between constipation and a baby kick. At around 16 weeks your baby can detect light and will turn away from it, so we have been using our phone torches as some sort of siege to terrorise our child to ‘come out with its hands up.’ (Not literally come out I mean like show yourself, im already having a heart attack thinking about childbirth and ive still got 4 months left).

Finally, its not a secret that with pregnancy comes a whirlwind of hormones, whether it changes physical attributes or your mental state it is important to report any changes to your dr or midwife. But im not sure my midwife was expecting to have such a paranoid pregnant woman on her, when she said you can text me at any time I don’t think she was expecting me to be like a bad smell and be texting her like ‘I’ve had diarrhoea and three farts in one go, is this normal? Is the baby still alive!? Have i gassed them!?’ ‘I’ve got hair growing in weird places, is this normal!?’ ‘I can’t stop eating olives, does this mean my baby will have good skin?’ ‘I rolled onto my back for like 10 seconds, have I killed my child!?” “Can you tell me if it’s a boy or a girl based on my symptoms? Go on! Just give me a guess?!’ Needless to say I bet she is looking forward to me having this baby more than I am. John has gone into a vegetative state of nodding with glazed eyes and saying ‘Yes, everything’s fine, here have some Mcnuggets” (HINT HINT. MCDONALDS SPONSER MY POSTS!)  to shut me up when I’m having a 2007 Britney meltdown.

As usual, I will end the post with a little positive disclaimer, because if you hadn’t already gathered I have a dry sense of humour but some people still seem to think im deadly serious in my posts. Obviously, there are negatives and positives to all pregnancies and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of becoming a mother and can’t wait for the baby to come despite any nasty symptoms. There are also a hundred different things going on and I cant fit them all into a readable blog post.

*Featured photo designed and shot by Hayley Leaver Photography, click here to see more of her stuff.

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What I Actually Do – Day in the life of a Crohnie

Last week when I was having my 10am trip to the sick bowl, I was watching an interview, or rather a ‘debate’ on This Morning involving two women. One woman was a full time stay at home mom and the other a 9 – 5 working mother, and as much as I applaud the efforts of the working mom she caused a lot of uproar with branding the other as ‘lazy’ and questioning what exactly stay at home mom’s do.
This is a close debate to me because very often some ignorant person slides into my dm’s to ask me exactly ‘what I do?’ and yes I am a self proclaimed lazy arse, but I also work hard and do not do “nothing.” After talking to a lot of other Crohn’s sufferers I find myself telling them to not feel guilty about doing nothing or achieving nothing more than a 6 hour nap on a day they aren’t feeling great and yet I feel myself having to justify what exactly I do still.


So first off I’m going to state that I don’t feel I have to justify myself but there are a lot of you who are non-maliciously, genuinely interested in what a week is like for myself as a Crohn’s sufferer, work from home, M.E diagnosed, pregnant, student.
Already, my illnesses are a type of job, they are something I live with everyday and they can determine the path I go down in my life. A year and a half ago I gave up work to focus on my health and have not returned to a career since, and I do not regret that, nor do I feel like I am lazy or a ‘doll scrounger’ because of my choice to focus on being mentally and physically well over the 9-5 grind. I work hard to do normal tasks some days, sometimes getting dressed is an exhausting task or even a walk with Luna (despite the fact she’s pop-eye on a leash) can tire me out for the entire day and with the build up of my exhaustion comes a flare up, with a flare up comes a debilitating change in life, days in hospital and watching loved ones suffer the thought of what will happen to me this time. So when I say I do not work full time or have a ‘proper career’ I am not ashamed or feel guilty for being a stay at home person and any other chronic illness sufferer should not feel guilty that they too cannot work or cannot pay into the state like many other people in society can and do.
With that said this is what an AVERAGE day (there are obviously days I lie around in a vegetative state with one arm round my sick bowl and the other in a pic n mix tub watching Netflix) looks like for me.0001
I wake up when my natural body clock wakes me up, because if I don’t, boy do I know about it. On the days I have to set an alarm I fight a battle of morning sickness and body fatigue as my digestive system hasn’t clocked in yet, my body has awoken before my functions have and so they work at dysfunctional time differences. So majority of the time I let myself wake up naturally to avoid any premature trips to the toilet and alleviate the chances of a midday nap. I go down to luna, who has already attempted her prison breaks and escapology routines in which she somehow manages to escape her cage even with cable ties and a padlock on (I don’t even know how she does it but I can earn big bucks from her skills, Houdini is shaking in his grave). Feed her some goop whilst trying not to gag and then have a cup of tea, or on a bad sickness day, a cup of boiled water (wild, I know) and then run to the toilet and sick it all back up again…
“Welcome to the second trimester” they said… “Morning sickness will be going now” they said…
Well my stomach and my toilet disagree. So once ive gotten my vomiting out the way I go get dressed, which I think is the actual hardest part of the day. It’s the part where you mentally make the decision that your day is beginning and you mean business, despite feeling like its time to go back to bed already.
0003If it’s a work from home kinda day, then ill be lucky to be arsed to do my makeup cause that is commitment usually only saved for leaving the house. Joggers on, messy bun (that looks more like a sparse turd on my head because my hair is too thin to do a proper messy bun) and eyebrow-less. Our post lady (despite being half blind and unable to tell what number our house actually is) delivers my ‘blogger mail’ (again this is NOT something that happens EVERYDAY) with the same astonished expression that Michael Jackson really hasn’t died and is living at number 11 in her home town when I greet her. I spend a couple hours doing the house work and talking to the dog like a mad woman who has had no human contact in years whilst debuting my new album at top volume and a well-choreographed cordless vacuum dance to accompany it. Then by lunch time I have finished boring mundane chores and sit down to go through my emails. I argue with a few collaborators about how I deserve to be paid for advertising their brand or products and write up briefs or ‘pitches’ to them with my set fee in the hope they accept and delete all the spam about how I need a penis enlargement for my non-existent dick. Then if I have Instagram or blogging jobs to do I try to do them whilst its still light outside, setting up the brands product in some shitty layout and blab on about what I think of them in painstakingly unnecessary detail that the company are happy with. Although this proves to be a lot harder than anticipated because there are only so many flat lays or backgrounds I can use for variety within the four walls of my house (and yknow, eyebrows off means I ain’t leaving the house unless for emergencies).
If I don’t have any blogging or insta jobs to complete then I log onto my student account and do some of my uni work, or rather, I pretend im doing uni work but actually got side tracked by the latest serial killer documentary that I have on in the background and then come deadline day I cry into my laptop until ive finished and then repeat the whole cycle again come next assignment. The great thing about Open uni is its so flexible, if im having an ‘ill’ day, where I don’t get anything done, I’m not reprimanded or lectured, instead offered extra support should I want it. You get out exactly what you put in, and there’s no in-between. If I only do an hour a week of uni then I’m not in trouble for missing online lectures or activities, I just notice a decrease on my own ability come the next marked assignment. You are given your assignment due dates for the whole year when you start so there isn’t really any excuse as to why I could miss my August 2018 deadline because I knew it was coming from October 2017. Still, im a pro at leaving it to the last minute.
When I’ve finished work there is usually only an hour or so before john gets back from 0004work so I usually just chill, watch some shitty American tv show and sleep because by now im exhausted. Im exhausted every hour of the day thanks to Crohn’s but when my tasks are done that’s when I reward myself with a nap (it’s the best part of everyday). When john gets home and ive awoken like someone having a nightmare in a horror film, wondering what year it is and where ive been for the last decade, we take luna out for a run. She has developed a keen talent of finding any way possible to get into the River Trent and swims around for a little bit providing the current isn’t strong. If the current is strong, I turn into a crazed mother running after her screaming like she’s the kittens in the ‘Aristocats’ about to be swept away but she never is because y’know, shes a dog, shes a good swimmer. When ive finished having heart palpitations and accusing john of not caring or getting in the river after her, we head home and argue about what we want for tea. The system is fairly simple, ‘Did we have pasta yesterday?’ ‘No?’ ‘Pasta it is’. If the answer is yes its, ‘Okay think of something today and we’ll have pasta tomorrow’. I cook tea and we watch some shit tv before retiring like an old age pensioner to bed at like 10pm where I kid myself into thinking im going to finish my book tonight but instead end up falling asleep to family guy.
Like I said previously, days differ, sometimes I meet up with friends for a drink, sometimes I have to go to venues for various things, sometimes I am at doctors or hospital appointments or tests, some days I check up on the Etsy shop (full feature coming soon) and some days I do absolutely nothing.
So yeah, I do do ‘nothing’ but I don’t do ‘nothing’ at the same time and I’m not ashamed to not have a full time proper job. Of course on a bad day I think badly of myself, chastise myself for not being stronger or having the motivation to push through and get a 9-5 job and feel guilty that some people don’t have the choice but to work. But everybody has their own guilt battles, mom guilt, breaking a diet guilt, work guilt, not going to the gym guilt, spending money on irrelevant things guilt. It’s a natural part of mental health to feel guilty for things we have or do that we know others may not be as fortunate, but it doesn’t mean we are in the wrong. If you have a chronic illness and cannot work, if you are mentally effected by work or if ‘work’ is deteriorating your own health, there is no shame and nothing wrong with taking the back step. It doesn’t make you ‘lazy’ or a ‘doll scrounger’ or a ‘freeloader.’
In July I will be adding to my list of jobs, I will be a full time stay-at-home mom, and I have no shame in being just that. My life aspiration was to be a mother. So I am proud to be able to achieve that and focus all my energy into being the best full time mom.

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*As you may have noticed some of the photography is 100% better than any of my own, including the main header photo. These photos were taken and are owned by HND Photography student, Hayley Leaver. Click on any of her photos (Watermarked) to check out more of her work and show support. More of her images will be featured in upcoming posts.

xx

 

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‘Not Social Media Perfect’

I’ve been trying to start a post for about a week now but I’m so easily distracted by the stupidest things I’ve somehow found hours past and yet no post written. I didn’t want ‘blogging’ to be a chore but as my Instagram and blog have progressed, it has become more of a business/money opportunity (which I am grateful for don’t get me wrong) and thus the hobby has turned into more of a job and well, we all know how shit I am at actually sticking at jobs…

However, 2017 offered me the amazing opportunity to turn my Instagram and blog into a small business and with that I have learned just how difficult it is to live in this ‘blogosphere, perfect lifestyle.’ I am pleased to have developed into the place I am now and hope I can continue to do what I enjoy doing, but I have to acknowledge and take my hat off to every other ‘blogger’ out there. Keeping up the ‘perfect social media life’ is more of a job than you expect it to be. You think it all sunshine and happiness, waking up to the perfect latte with an aesthetically pleasing pattern on the top and a bunch of flowers to place beside for a ‘just woke up’ Instagram shot. Followed by a brand-new delivery of clothing to wear for your ‘ootd’ and then a trip around the town snapping various locations and overpriced meals before you settle back down in some fluffy bed socks to post all about your amazing day on your brand new apple mac.  

Well in reality, it’s winter in England, and you know what that means? It means a disturbing lack of natural light followed by rain, rain, horrific wind and more rain. Any chance of a vibrant picture is a lot harder to recreate when you’re an amateur and mother nature doesn’t want you to go outside. As for the coffee, if I want it, I gotta make it myself so any attempt at a delicate latte art ends up looking like a mushed up version of luna’s turds, not to mention coffee gives me the shits anyway. And receiving promo products everyday? Nope, if you want something you gotta wait for days until you’re lucky enough to be noticed and then you have to spend a further week negotiating with them how you deserve more than a 10ml tester in return for a whole advertising package. The perfect social media life doesn’t exist, I for one wouldn’t class myself as a serious blogger, i don’t own an expensive DSLR, nor do I go location searching in a party outfit to get a good fashion shot and then spend another 5 hours editing it on photoshop because I cant deal with the bags under my eyes. But a lot of your favourite bloggers do. Turning a blog or an Instagram into a business is hard work, the whole con of making money on social media is the concept of illusion. Trying to make your life look amazing is the hardest job of all because nobody is perfect. I for one, am one of the laziest people I know, it is my biggest downfall and do you know how hard it is to complete a job when you’re lazy af? No, but seriously, if you like someone’s Instagram, or their blog post, whether they are a high flying social media star or they post every month as part of a hobby, let them know you like it, let them know you support their work because it is just like any other job, it takes hard work and a lot of effort to achieve the final ‘product’ that you see.

This all sounds like im complaining about it, which I’m not trying to do because I love where I am right now. I love that I am able to pick and chose my work and still have time to binge watch Netflix or that I can work as hard or as little as I like in-between napping like a god. But the first part of wanting to be a ‘blogger’ is stepping back and accepting that it is all an illusion, it is all fake and at the end of the day it is just work and work most commonly turns boring in the end.

So with that said, I intend to start a whole new series, thanks to a fellow blogger, Maddie, who writes and owns Mind A Moment Blog, she encouraged me when I was feeling like I didn’t have much more to give because my life isn’t social media perfect. This series is going to be ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ because I make good content when i’m not massively faking it, when I’m being my lazy self and living a great but ridiculously normal lifestyle. Maddie reminded me to focus on the things I have actually achieved at 22 and how I should be proud to share them with you, not the perfect make up deals or the incredibly fake advertisements which you mainly see on my Instagram because that is my job. Is anybody actually their job? Your job is only one persona and in this new series ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ I will be sharing (when I want to – not forcing anything) tips for real life, share my stories of my boring normalities and take you on a (probably dull) journey from Chloe Dawson, teenager, who started social media in her box room at her parents, to Chloe Dawson, adult, who now earns money on social media, has a mortgage and is starting a family but in the most unglamorous truthful way it is, in its entirety.