Happiness is hard sometimes

I wasn’t entirely correct when I said I’m not following any blogs. My cousin, Carly, is documenting her journey with Cancer and I found her blog to be really good and gave me a lot of insight as to what that journey is like. I have found some new blogs to follow on being positive and how to ensure a happy life. I found a good post about finding your passion too. I’d also highly recommend following Project Happiness on Facebook, giving regular updates and positive messages.

Gretchen Rubin has been a big inspiration to me. Seeing other people want to grow and improve themselves is so inspiring for me. But it’s clear that not everyone is at the same point in evolving as a person. Some have elected not to evolve at all and I find that to be tragic. I have always had this expectation that the older people get, the wiser they should be. This is most definitely not true. I had neighbour in a complex I used to live in before I got married. She was in her fifties at the time and would constantly lose her temper with neighbours, would lash out racist remarks and be generally critical of everyone. I remember wondering how she had not mastered herself at her age. She’s not open to growth sadly, relationships, being a key ingredient to a happy life, are a constant source of pain for her. Not everyone wants to be a better sister, friend, parent, wife, father in the next five years than they are now. Weird.

I’ve noticed lately that some close family members are not comfortable with the changes I’m making. I’ve been accused of being ‘a bit mad’, ‘ruthless’ and I’m sure a lot of other things. I say it’s a good sign. I say that they’re seeing I’m changing and it’s shaking up their world. Gone is the compliant peace-making mediator of this family. It’s all OK and life will continue, somewhat differently. I now see the world a lot clearer since I’ve taken a step back. I’m now protecting myself and my family from harm. I’m taking action to ensure those around me are supporting me, not hurting me. Sadly sometimes it’s those who you expect the most support from who provide the least.

Just like Taylor Swift, I’m going to ‘Shake it Off’ and continue on my journey to recovery. I haven’t meant to be cryptic about my condition so I’ll just spell it out if anyone’s interested. I have developed Graves’ disease (bad name I know). It is an auto-immune attack on the thyroid, induced by stress. Wikipedia says there is no scientific evidence of environmental factors causing it but in my case it is not hereditary and I’ve been under a great deal of stress for about five years now. The thyroid is indeed the unsung hero of the body. If it’s working properly no-one gives it a second thought. But if it breaks, the proverbial hits the fan.

My symptoms have been headaches (probably from stress), tremors, irregular heartbeat, sleep disturbance and most notably fatigue. This is the reason I’m not able to work a full day as I get too exhausted. Unfortunately I don’t look sick and many people are under the impression that I’m perfectly fine. That might make me have to fight a bit harder for my recovery than if I had red spots or no hair.

So I need to surround myself in a cozy little cocoon of my immediate family and those friends who love and support me. I’ll be doing very little socialising over the next few months but do have a few important commitments to keep and will do so gladly, for the sake of the relationships that count.

You certainly have to work for your own happiness. Even if it means putting up boundaries and rules to secure your place, research and testing out techniques. I’m making a concerted effort to get it right and sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s wonderful. The end state is what counts really.
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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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