Unlocking #Happiness….

christmas cold friends frosty
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Happiness is a bit like searching for a key. The skill is in selecting the correct key and unlocking it. 

So, What would it feel like?

Could you imagine yourself being really happy?

Is there a way of finding happiness and achieving it throughout life?

There seems to be immense pressure on us to be happy. Particularly coming up to Christmas. It’s perceived that unless we can find happiness, perhaps we are not achieving all our goals in life.

It’s ingrained in us from a early age.

As a small child, I remember singing the song,

‘I am H-A-P-P-Y,  I am H-A-P-P-Y,

I know I am,  I’m sure I am,

I am H-A-P-P-Y’

and then thinking to myself,

I’m really tired, cold and it’s too early in the morning for singing; this is stupid! …There’s nothing to feel happy about at this moment in time.’

Being happy is an important factor to take on board with a invisible illness like fibromyalgia. Living with pain and illness is exhausting and difficult.

If we can find a way to seek out happiness every day; it could make a difference to our lives.

So what is happiness anyway?

It’s different for everyone but it’s not the unobtainable, some perceive.

Maybe for us with long term health conditions it’s not something we can feel every moment but we should be able to find some moments that can be happy in a small way.

How do we find it?

By focusing on the senses sight, sound, smell, feel.

These are some of mine:

Sight

Looking at nature; seeing Autumn leaves on trees changing day by day into more beautiful, rich colours.

Sound

Listening to the sound of birds singing in the morning, or the sound of rain drops falling gently onto a window ledge.

Smell

Holding a freshly baked roll in your hand and feeling it’s warmth and smell.

Opening up a jar of coffee and letting the aroma fill the room.

Feel

Walking in the snow and catching a snowflake on your face.

Sitting by a log fire and feeling it’s warmth surround you.

None of these are difficult or complicated to experience and can bring a sense of happiness to a monotonous day.

However you choose to look for happiness; I hope your able to achieve happiness, even if it’s only in just a small way with some of my suggestions.

Does it really matter what I eat?

sliced fruits on tray
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Could it have an impact on my health?

Why should I be aware of my cholesterol level?

I can see you thinking how does this link to Fibromyalgia?

Or even, why should I be interested; I’m not changing what I eat. I don’t want to eat a boring diet for the rest of my life. Living with pain I need some treats.

Well, maybe that isn’t necessarily what you would have to do.

What could happen if I ignore it and just carry on eating what I like anyway?

“I was shocked when we found that my carer has high cholesterol. Looks can be deceptive as this news reveals.

I thought they were super healthy, not visibly overweight; they exercise and visit the gym regularly. 

Perhaps more surprising, they rarely go out to restaurants or visit fast food outlets. Preferring to eat a modest meal at home.”

What is cholesterol?

It’s a fatty substance in the blood, produced by certain foods which can cause arteries to be blocked.

Why is high cholesterol a serious health concern?

If you have high cholesterol levels, your chances of suffering a heart attack or cardiovascular disease are much greater.

What can be done to lower it?

Changing your diet to a healthy balanced one, stopping smoking and regularly getting exercise.

My carer went for a free NHS Health Check which is available to UK citizens between 40 – 74. 

It checks if you would be likely to develop heart disease, kidney disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes or a stroke.

Imagine how you would feel if someone you cared about was diagnosed with high cholesterol.

If you think your cholesterol could be high, your doctor or health professional can arrange a blood test to check these levels.

They will be able to discuss a plan to help you lower it, if it is high.

Since my carer’s diagnosis; they have made changes to the diet they eat. This has helped a lot to not only reduce cholesterol to a healthy level and also lose weight.

The Passing of Time

black and white photo of clocks

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When I saw this photo it gave me a flash of inspiration. A mass of clocks all ticking at the same time. I think, as you grow older time seems to fly by; you sometimes find yourself wondering where the time goes…

 

The Passing of Time

 

Tick, tock, tick, tock

Faster and faster

Time flies by

In days

Then months

Into years….

*****

My head’s spinning

Where are we going?

Falling, further

And further…

 *****

It’s another new day

A baby cries

Longing for its milk

Placated by it’s bottle

 

Morning chorus singing

As a child murmurs

Teddy dangling from its hand

Questioning, all the time

 

Noonday sun shines bright

A school child plays

Dreaming of home time

But has no answers

 

In the heat of the afternoon

A teenager fashionista

Self consciously

Struggles to understand

 

In the fading sun

An adult works hard

Earning a daily living

Hoping to achieve

 

Darkness surrounds us now

As an old person reads

Looking for inspiration

What is it all for?

 *****

The tick, tock, tick, tock

Is it even faster and faster still….

Sadly, time

Slows for no one.

Poem by Nick

What do you say to someone with #Fibromyalgia?…..

white and red plastic heart balloon on sky during daytime
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One huge difficulty of living with #fibromyalgia is it’s an #invisible illness; others assume you are well because there’s no physical evidence of being ill.

In my personal struggle with fibromyalgia this single fact has caused me the most stress over the last 15 years.

You may ask, if you know someone or meet someone with fibromyalgia. What should you say?

Show them compassion and listen to them. Just taking the time to talk about it in a non judgmental way will help.

Let them know you want to help them if they need it.

It’s difficult to ask for help when you are struggling.

Give an open invitation to join in or not if it’s a bad day.

Not feeling under pressure to attend, as symptoms come and go without any warning. Being included is important and can help to distract the mind from pain.

Try to avoid this….

I have Fibromyalgia.

When I meet people, l explain this

They think it’s a fake illness,

Or I’m lying,

because:

I appear normal

They say,

You don’t look ill’

I’ll reply,

You wouldn’t be able to see anything…

It’s an invisible illness,

It doesn’t make me grow two heads 👥

It’s not a disease that turns my head bright purple 👿

Or make my eyeballs enlarge to the size of plates 🔘

As ridiculous as these examples are….

I ask

Would you believe me then?…

And

What don’t you believe?…

Why do I have to constantly prove the validity of my illness

with cross questioning?

Such as…

Perhaps it’s because you are stressed?….

It’s all in your head….

You’re imagining it….

It can’t be as bad as you describe….

All of the above questions are not helpful;

I thought you had more intelligence than that.

So, What is fibromyalgia?

Briefly, it affects the skeletal muscles throughout the body, causing varying degrees of pain.

The pain ranges in severity from day to day and it is affected by temperature,

stress

and the amount of physical activity carried out.

Fibromyalgia sufferers commonly experience a range of different types of pain.

The pain can range from a sharp stabbing pain,

an ache

and a burning pain.

Other symptoms that can be experienced are

fatigue,

poor sleep quality,

stiffness,

IBS,

headaches,

cognitive problems

“Fibro fog”,

depression,

dizziness,

anxiety

and painful periods.

The NHS description of fibromyalgia gives more information about the condition.

If you have just been diagnosed and are trying to find links to support groups and the online community. Have a look at the organisations below and also Facebook groups.

UK Fibromyalgia is a brilliant site that covers a wide range of information about fibromyalgia.

Also

Fibromyalgia Association  is a registered charity that provides information and help to sufferers.

Remembrance….

nature red plant flower
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For Remembrance Sunday I have written a poem inspired by accounts I have heard of the First World War called…

The Poppy Field 

 

In front of me stands 

A windswept land

Scattered with flashes of red 

Brightly coloured flowers

Pepper a lush green field

Their heads rocking to and fro

 

What secrets they know

Lying beneath the soil

Of brave heroes never to return

Their tortured souls

At last, at rest

Now a strangely peaceful sight

 

How can we begin

To ever imagine

What they endured

Relentlessly in battle

Only be humbled by their sacrifice

In this foreign far away land

by Nick 

In the Spooky Graveyard 👻

night building forest trees
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To all my followers, Happy Halloween, I hope you enjoy my poem…

 

In the Spooky Graveyard 🎃

 

Walking the steep

Winding path

Into the old graveyard

A deep dank mist

Hovers all around me

 

💀💀💀

 

Darkness is falling

Strange shadows

Fall across my path

Spooky feelings

Sink slowly

Into my head

 

☠️☠️☠️

 

I rest on a bench

Suddenly, behind me

A huge gust

blows leaves high

Into the air

I don’t feel alone

 

👻👻👻

 

Swiftly I hurry

Back to the gate

A slight terror

Fills my mind

Is it unearthly

Forces at work?  

 

🎃🎃🎃

 

Poem by Nick