Misery continues..

19th April 2015: Sydney, Australia

The tide is yet to turn, and I am still stuck in a position of curiosity, wondering about the reason for the longevity of this illness. Stupidly, one of the underlying factors driving this unshifting state of mind is the inability to complete my exercises or surf. Fortunately, common sense prevailed this morning when an idea of heading to exercise came to mind. I guess a thought of “fuck it, what else can happen” flicked through my mind, and luckily my senses prevented me from pursuing the idea. The initial thought process reflects the degree of loss again experienced in my life. I acknowledge touching upon the area within my writing, however, it has not really been explored in depth. Admittedly, I am not in a position to give such details, however, a taste of how loss can be experienced was demonstrated whilst going for a brief walk today. As noted, my sense prevailed in stopping me from exercising, however, the idea of surrounding myself with nature whilst integrating some gentle movement into my life appeared a possible avenue to help alleviate some of the mixed emotions felt. Consequently, the total opposite effect was had. The walk only seemed to elicit a feeling of loss. It didn’t matter where I looked, almost every observation resulted in a wish for my normal life, the life lived two years ago to recommence. Honestly, the list could be endless, I could have viewed a guy spread out relaxing in the sun, someone about to surf, a couple, a young family or just a group of young people hanging about. To conclude, I am simply done with these feelings.

Why do I get night terrors like a little boy?

17th March 2015: Sydney Australia

The relief felt this morning was something to cherish, and I instinctively knew the exact moment my eyes opened that the terrors of the night had finished. The night of discomfort commenced as usual once my head hit the pillow with the lights off. Of course, I was thinking in overdrive, with an unproductive and unrealistic thought process circulating throughout my mind. A typical stream of thoughts followed, starting with a period of unease and restlessness till I awoke from a semi-conscious state at approximately 3am to a bout of nausea not experienced in many months. It was at this point, a longing to just be normal again was so present within my thinking. Instead of opting for some medication to ease the discomfort, I simply had a glass of water before miraculously finally falling into a deep sleep. Admittedly, the pain in my tooth was still present when waking up, yet, such a feeling of bliss was experienced at knowing the night and nausea were over, and replaced by the rays of the sun shining light into my room.

I can draw a sense of victory from maintaining a reluctance to just take pain-relief to temporary ease the situation. It seems ridiculous, overdramatic or just a case of using my imagination, however, I see similarities to a scene from a movie whereby a ravished crew awake to a flat ocean and bright shining sun after a night of fierce storms. The lesson learned is that hard times are to be endured, and the easiest option is not necessarily the best option.

Why is my writing so saturated in negativity?

29th January 2014: Sydney Australia

From the very beginning of this entry, an underlying theme of positivity should be splattered for all to see. The reasoning stems from the confirmation received reinforcing the belief already held about my health and well-being. In addition, I was advised my doctor could not see my overall prognosis in a situation better than my current presentation, especially when a year ago I was sitting in the very same seat with any number of negative outcomes very probable. Therefore, one would expect an overwhelming sense of relief to be almost bleeding from the entry. Instead, I write with a scorn and grimace plastered across my face.

Firstly, I had a very poor start to the morning resulting from a terrible night sleep. Secondly, the weather has been awful, another driving factor wanting me to get out of here once the temperature drops on a permanent basis. Thirdly, an argument over messages was had with my girlfriend. An event I must add is seemingly occurring too frequently, and finally, I am currently writing with my knee resting in an elevated position wrapped in ice. Above any of the previously mentioned, the latter point is the root cause of the horrid mood pulsating throughout my body. I am hoping nothing serious has occurred, and do believe I am placing over emphasis on the matter, however, the reality of the an outcome should I have damaged my knee is currently unbearable. Tears almost started draining from my eyes as I was washing around the water after my knee gave way whilst riding a wave this morning. A massive crack caused alarm bells to ring in my mind, and immediately, I became worried. I started repeating positive affirmations to settle my thoughts, and once arrived on the shore was able to do complete some simple exercises so am simply using the ice as a precaution. I did have a battle in my mind for a moment about fitting in some yoga, however, reason prevailed, and I will be resting for the day. In all honesty, I am tempted to take some pain medication to just switch off from everything for a while, however, my mind has returned to the topic previously discussed about isolation versus solitude, and in this case it would be a clear example of isolating myself. Therefore, reason has once more prevailed, and I am able to identify the thinking pattern is destructive, leading me stay away from self medicating and instead opt to read, complete some meditation and sleep naturally.

Rest

7th October 2014: Sydney, Australia

The MRI is scheduled for tomorrow! A few more days of waiting then I will be getting the next all clear from the doctor. The results will be both a relief plus a reassurance that all is progressing to plan, i.e. I will survive. Importantly, as previously mentioned, I will be able to approach future periods like the one just passed with a sense of normality. Hopefully when experiencing a sore throat, aches or sinus I will be able to just associate it with the flu.

Interestingly, today is the best I have felt since returning home, with plans established for the day including a reintroduction of physical exercise and some light yoga. I did manage to go for a surf, and again slight feelings of nausea surfaced. I attempted some meditation, but instead drifted into a deep sleep. Upon rising blurry eyed, knowing I had missed the chance to do some movement, planning shifted for at least completing a light session of yoga. The very thought process is reflective of my incapacity to value rest. Fortunately, in this instance, I was able to reason with myself, drawing on principles from the designed framework to simply rest.

The matter of resting is pivotal for all of us, and is almost seen as a weakness in the fast paced dominant cultures within both Australia and United Kingdom. Attitudes are influenced by a technological crazed population (I say this whilst typing on my tablet), and my experience of employment consisted of long-hours and weekend work viewed as badges of honour. Admittedly, I was a participating member of this fast paced way of life with limited rest planned into my weekends and the complacency adopted to working over and above requested hours. Obviously, my mind-state still requires attention in rewiring the outlook in relation to the importance of rest and the need to switch off from the internet or my phone. I do believe progress is being made, and responding appropriately to the two hours sleep today is evidence of a shift in mind-state. Obviously rest was needed, and to force myself through this would be putting stress onto my body, a factor completely undesired. and a key focus of my life I am trying to eliminate.

Injured..

16th September 2015: London, United Kingdom

Rest! At certain points, my body orders a day of complete rest, and today would be placed into this category. I awoke to my alarm sending gentle sounds of chirping birds into my consciousness. Just to note, never again will I return to intense alarm, startling me out of a deep sleep. I can’t think of a worse way to start my day. Preferably, I would be rising with the sun, however, this has been a point of dispute with my girlfriend so I will wait till my return to Australia for the sun to be the source of my daily awakening. The alarm was set as it was a work day, meaning I now had to put aside the voice inside my mind telling me to sleep for a little bit longer, and not bother with exercise planned for the morning. I got out of bed in a typical manner to switch off the alarm when I noticed my left arm did not feel right. Immediately, I attempted to diagonally move my arm in front of my body, grimacing at the movement and realising that I would not be able to do chin-ups, push-up or even yoga for the day. My thought process switched, ‘No not an injury, I need to do exercise, my exercise is essential to keeping me healthy’. The day had not started well.

Since returning to London my routine in regards to physical exercise has consisted of yoga everyday accompanied by two callisthenics workout sessions in the park. The yoga will differ pending on energy levels, however, the outdoor sessions remain fairy consistent with a planned changed when returning to Australia. The reason for a change is in accordance with plans to modify my training every three months, thus, not allowing my body to become accustomed with the same exercises whilst also continually keeping interest and motivation. Also, movement is one of my key principles to survival. My mentally is based on the belief that I will improve in all areas of my life, including overall mental, intellectual, spiritual and physical gains. As you can guess, a sore shoulder in no way fits into my planning.

I briefly toyed with the idea of going for a cycle or just doing some stretches that don’t involve my shoulders. I say briefly as common sense prevailed, and I was also able to consider two of my other key principles to survival, rest and the need to listen to your body. Obviously, I was not impressed with the state of my shoulder, however, could this not be a way of my body telling me to rest for the day? Also, if I was to reject the signals sent by my body then I would be possibly risking longer term damage and further time whereby I would not be able to follow my exercise plans. It’s interesting how once I resigned to the fact of my body needing rest, other parts of my body also felt tired and needing a rest, i.e. a reduced motivation to work and a recognition of a tiredness within my entire body.

Thoughts about my shoulder soon starting sliding into a longing for being home, and I think the dark, imposing grey clouds looming outside my window didn’t help the situation. I stayed fixed in this mindset for almost three hours, not entirely stuck in a cloud of negativity, just fleeting thoughts about my disappointment and frustration. Similar to previous occasions, I was able to reshape my thinking, ultimately leading to a change in mood and outlook. I recognised my focus on the feelings associated with my shoulder and had an understanding that this was not going to be helpful. Therefore, once again, a reframe was applied to see the day as a well deserved rest day. A far better prospect opposed to a frustrated day thinking about my shoulder. I realise this is a minor complaint compared to what others experience, regardless of whether they have Cancer, however, it reinforces the continual deployment of a mental strategy needed in all aspects of life, and can also be seen as a testing ground in building my capacity at dealing with other more severe issues when they arise.