After Christmas and pain free thinking

Finally…. something working on my pain level… wow… this was a long haul of dizzies and pain… more than 2 weeks and it got so much worse after I slipped and fell just over a week ago… oye…and 2 solid days completely laid out after Christmas… well… now that it’s 8:30 PM and I’m finally feeling back to normal and can think clearly without fuzziness in my head and ice-picks …. I’d like to give some of my thoughts on when you’re thinking you can’t go another step…

I’m pretty new to this Vestibular Disorder thing with Vestibular Migraines (Only have had these since March 2016). That isn’t very long when I’ve spoken to so many who have suffered through Chronic pain and disorders for years, some their whole lives. One thing I see time and time again though is the lack of will to keep moving, the depression these illnesses cause and the lack of knowing where to turn or HOW to keep moving when all you can focus on is pain.

This is something that comes from so far deep within yourself that you have to dig for it .

I hit a bout of depression for about 4 1/2 months when I was told I’d never work again. I got so ill, and I simply went through my days and waited for the quiet moments where I could be alone. Where my then husband was at work, and the kids in school so I’d be alone to cry or think and ponder my life as it was. I was alone with the animals most often… and with my disorder. The one that I was just then recently told would cause me to never work again or have a normal life ever again. The “normal life” they spoke of has turned out to be quite something but let me stay on track. I was devastated, and at my rock bottom & in constant pain and my world was always spinning. No, I was not okay then. But I sure am now! These VM caused me to have to find myself and learn a whole set of skills and mind sets I did not know I possessed and could ever possess. I had to dig deep though, I had to find out what I wanted, and I had to figure out what it was that was going to keep me going and what was going to make my life purposeful again. It was not ever going to be how it was, that much was clear. So what was a 29 year old to do that was just told she’s now saddled with a condition that will always be silly and act up out of nowhere unless we can find medication that will keep it in line? (which YAYYYY we did) – I dug deep. I had a TON of help. Let me tell you I had SO much help from some amazing people that watched me cry and guided me and still listen to me when I have frustrated days but these days will happen. I found a job that I CAN do around my condition, I found hobbies that I used to be passionate about that I pulled out of storage and have worked on and turned into a passion AT my job.

I can’t do a lot of the things I used to do, and that does frustrate me to no end, and there is days where it overwhelms me how seemingly little i can now do, but in the end:

  1. I found a few new doors to explore that would not have opened without this condition
  2. I am more peaceful because my life is MUCH less busy, because I can no longer be too busy.
  3. I have found out that I can be a lot more patient than I ever thought possible, mostly because a lot of stuff simply has to wait now.
  4. I am learning a whole pile of skill sets that I’d never have learned otherwise and educating myself on anything that interests me: Neurology, mindfulness, arts etc. Why not?!

So you see, though my life turned out very different than I imagined it may have when I woke up in March 2016 with that crazy spinning sensation in my head not able to keep myself steady, it turned and it landed up where it was supposed to be. Our doors shut for reasons and then, just like that, we are guided right to where we need to be. Sometimes the guidance isn’t as loving as it seems (tough love and all) but I think that may be because us Humans are a little too stubborn to take the guidance when it’s initially offered, so the Universe has to give us firmer pushes. SO this was mine……




My weekend response & Self-care Part 2

Life sure is funny. The day to day events can drag us down and leave us quite drained and sluggish. For sensitive people getting through and juggling a lot of emotional things at ones becomes overwhelming. This all turns into a big mess where our health is concerned. Stress is a huge no – no when it comes to this. In my case I believe stress played a big role in how I became so ill and was unable to function for so long. Often times it’s underlying hidden stressors that we may not realize are causing us these anxieties and other times it’s the things we know are for sure causing us stress : the broken down vehicle, the teenager, the monthly bills, the toddler that won’t eat your cooking, the messy house, the cat that simply won’t leave you alone when you need your space bubble …. You know the ones I’m talking about. And then your health takes a turn for the worse again and you can’t get it in check and you can’t figure out why things are just not leveling again. You think you’ve done all the right things: Avoided triggers, drank your fluids, gotten sleep, but then you realize it ……

There is that one minute you’re panicking and thinking that your head will never be okay again and then right in the next one you’re sitting up at 11:30 PM (when your normal bedtime is 10 PM) , because you can’t sleep… simply because you feel “normal”. I put that in quotation marks because really, I don’t recall what “normal” feels like. I always have some sort of pain or dizziness or unstableness, but I’ve learned to manage those and live with all of those quite well thanks to my amazing support & family. This normal though is different…. I’m giddy, and bouncy and there is NO pain and minimal dizziness. I’m so wound up from the lack of discomfort that I’m wide awake and unable to get to bed. Which that is also no good because lack of sleep as you may know is a trigger in itself.

Anyways, what I was saying… Life is funny, it presents us with all sorts of obstacles. I had an amazing weekend. Shopping, hanging out with friends, and just all around it was great getting things done with the people I love and care about and just spending some lovely pre-holiday time together (including fake snowball fights). I think the fact that I finally was able to do some severe self-care this weekend and rejuvenate was what turned my head around some. Healing self-care practices can help us make it to the other side.

Self-Care is never about being selfish or uncaring. Never does it mean that you are wanting to shut others out or don’t love them. What it does mean is, that your energy tank needs fuel too to run effectively and if it runs on empty you run out of steam. We are not super-human ! We are amazing, beautiful creatures but we do have to nurture and take care of ourselves.  Sometimes for the sake of our well being we simply have to unplug and unwind and do what WE want to do. So here are some more self-care ideas/tips that may help you:

  1. Unplug: Shut off your phone/tablet/devices for some time throughout the evening or weekend. It’s amazing how much breathing room you can get from a couple of hours without the dinging but simply by spending it with the person/people you are with!
  2. Mediation: Well this one is always on my list because breathing we all do. So try this method: Breathe in for 4 seconds, Hold it for 7 seconds and breathe out for 8 seconds. Do this for one minute. After I do this, during stressful times, I am grounded enough to continue normal deep breathing and stay in my meditation for a period to unwind and ground myself.
  3. Surround yourself with Loved ones. Spend some time doing coffee, playing board games, doing crafts etc. Whatever you enjoy doing.
  4. Make sure you take your medication and refill it regularly if you have to be on some. This too is self-care. I personally also actively search for other ways to live, so one day I don’t have to be on my medication.
  5. Avoid toxic people. Anyone that you do not enjoy spending time with, that drains your energy, that makes you feel negative. Avoid them as much as you can and spend time with those that are uplifting, stable and encourage your goals, dreams and visions. You don’t have to share the same goals and dreams with others but supporting each other in a healthy positive manner is a loving support to have.
  6. And lastly, sleep. Go to bed about the same time each day and get up about the same time each morning. The routine does your body good and we function much better when we’re well rested.




My response to self-care articles

flat,1000x1000,075,f.u1As I have my laptop set to the lowest brightness and my lights in my house are off, blinds are drawn and I’ve called into work that I’m unable to make it today…. I’m home alone with just my animals keeping me company today. This all seems so familiar. A familiar kind of dread creeped up in me when the dizziness, pain and nausea started yesterday. Life changes, the constant up and down and down and up in weather… my body was bound to have enough. Days like today, everything just seems big and overwhelming (even things like what blanket should I use). On days like today I spend my day trying to make my world small again, to make it manageable, so I can focus on one item at a time.

I usually forget about the self-care part of things and only worry about what everyone around me needs. That’s part of what leads me to these break-downs I imagine. Caring for everyone around me.

Don’t even ask what I’ve eaten in the last week. In the midst of battling my migraine I tend to either eat nothing at all, just what I’m being made to eat, which usually is the bare minimum because I can’t stomach anything, or random things like chocolate, toast, donuts etc (nothing healthy or trigger friendly). And then mid migraine for some reason my brain focuses on what I have to do that day, so I zero in on needing to clean and lay myself out completely OR I am so done already that I simply can’t move off the couch at all. Those are the days where I struggle to decide if I do the dishes or take a shower.

Then when I’ve given up on trying to rest, I browse Facebook, type or find articles to read. There is a ton of ways to better myself as it turns out. The information online is endless. Twenty ways to loose your belly flab. Ten days to a better, calmer you. And here I think: 10 more emails to help me feel even more guilty about this day at home.

My normal routine used to be: hop out of bed, race through my day and voila start over. Now my days look very different: Before I am even fully conscious I perform my morning scan of my body for pain symptoms. Does my head hurt, throb or in any way give off signals that today is going to have to be a minimal trigger day? What about signs of nausea, neck pain or dizziness? I take stock of any signs of warnings of  potential triggers of an impending migraine that I may have to battle. It is a silent daily battle that I have hour by hour to see if I’m going to be OK. It used to never be this way. All day long I unconsciously (often consciously) check myself : Will this push me over the edge, or will I be OK if I make this decision?

I had been doing so well for so many months that I think I almost forgot about my condition. That I forgot that I need to take care of me too and that I do have this condition, regardless of how many “good” days may be in between, if I stack the triggers like a pile of unevenly stacked books, they will tumble and crash down. I can no longer simply just go morning to night, I have to stop in between or the attacks will get worse by the day. Despite how guilty I feel with each self-care ritual, I have to take care of me too in between.  We all need to do this, whether we have chronic health problems or not, or we will burn out. And so thankfully, today as I sit here because life slowed my butt right down again, even though it hurts like an ice-pick in the eye (no pun intended), back to reality.

My self help rituals and realities aren’t very fancy… they used to be and I even was writing about them and now this book has been sitting there untouched due to life getting in the way and me not being able to spend prolonged periods in front of the screen.

  • I have chronic VM. Sometimes I try to forget it or downplay it (usually I downplay it). I don’t make excuses for it and I don’t whine about it but it’s real.
  • Some things simply can’t be solved. Accepting that is healing.
  • In order to live a full life I got treatment, I’m on medication, continue my research, stay in touch with my Doctor. Often this scares me. But still it’s self-care.
  • My health is up and down. Usually it’s up now but that doesn’t mean I’ll always feel gross now.
  • Accepting that I’m not always going to feel up to getting dressed up and done up. This doesn’t mean I’m sloppy, it simply means I’m reserving my energy.
  • Knowing that some days I simply won’t be able to make a full dinner and we simply will have pizza. This doesn’t mean I’m lazy.
  • I cannot predict my need for rest. There is lots of nights I don’t sleep because of my VM, and it makes sense that my need to sleep is real, not a sign of laziness. Resting is self-care.
  • Doing Meditation to bring me back to my center & help make my world a little smaller.
  • And finally: writing to clear my full mind of it’s cluttered thoughts and brain dump. This also is healing.

So thank you to the emails and the post who inspired this post. Though all of them usually are overwhelming and often make me feel guilty about “not doing better”. So as a commitment to coming back to the self-care bit, I’ll work on not feeling guilty for the things I cannot change & instead take those times to take care of myself and rest. Other than that, I will just keep eating bits here and there & going to bed at 8:30 pm if I feel I need to that day.



On chronic Illness and finding reasons to smile

This morning I sat here pondering after reading some posts from people, very much in the same mental space as I was in last year about this time. Frustrated, devastated and hopeless. Vestibular disorders including Vestibular Migraines are a often a chronic condition that alter your life suddenly, and completely. This condition drains you of most of your drive and ambition and you just have to figure out how to keep going through your day to day. I struggled so hard last year. I was pulled off work because I became a danger to myself and a liability due to my constant vertigo & dizziness. I was stumbling around like a drunk kitten. Being a bartender, this not only didn’t present a good picture but because it’s a busy job with lots of up and down and twists and turns was not the most safe environment for me. The decision was made after months of me not improving, but instead getting worse (March to October), that I’d take a sick leave. My condition still did not improve, so I did not return to my job as a bartender, letting them know to fill my position around Christmas time I believe, as Doctors didn’t have high hopes for me to ever return to work at all.

My sadness and depression got much worse at this time. I was devastated. I was a busy person. I loved busy. I loved knowing that I could fill my days 100% with To-Do’s. Then all of that was suddenly gone in a blink of an eye it seemed, and I was couch ridden and stumbling through my house, along furniture trying to make it day by day. I found my art in this time period again, it was something I strongly leaned on. Writing, painting, drawing. I did so many pictures that I gave away in this period and that are in my sketchbook but they carried me through.

Through each day I kept a smile on my face, knowing if I wasn’t waking up for myself, I was waking up for my girls. They were my motivation during my toughest days, were I simply had no motivation to roll out of bed in the morning, no ambition or strength to get up. The condition had taken over. I was in pain, disoriented, dizzy, nauseated and miserable 24/7, but my girls kept me moving. Having to mom and knowing that they relied on my smile and me getting up and being a grown up and running our house kept me going. So I did. I fought mentally through the depression, found my way back to where I could stand almost stable on my own two feet and then was referred to a program that would help me gain some confidence that I’d lost along the way and find my footing. They taught me that I did not need to be a bartender for the rest of my life and that my career was not locked in place just because that was what I’d done for x-number of years. By the end of the course (12 weeks after I’d started but 7 months from my lay-off) I was much more mentally prepared to battle life, I was on medication that had stabilized my VM and I was ready to tackle the work force again in a new field.

My story is a little long-winded and round about this evening, but what I’m getting at today: My path was very dead ended – I was on a dead end track bar-tending and that that and other doors simply needed to close. I believe fully that the Universe redirected me in it’s own way towards a path that would lead me towards my passions and where I’d be much better suited and needed. I now work in a field where I get to utilize my skills in a much better way still but also I get to be artistic ! I’m still chronic where my health is concerned and most days I wake up in some level of pain ( chronic means 15 or more VM days a month) but I do much better than before and I have an amazing support system that is always close by. The pain you learn to live with and it’s manageable with the right lotions. If you learn your triggers along the way and if you adjust your life along the way that also will help. My life changed. A lot. Everything changed. My friends, my lifestyles, I changed, my whole world has changed in the last almost 2 years but I am happy again and I am now in a place where I can almost confidently say that, though I am still daily finding more triggers (some I refuse to avoid: children, coffee, some days chocolate………) and always growing and always learning, I am stable in my Vestibular Migraine/Disorder and I have a handle on it as best as possible in this short period.

So sometimes, even though we may not understand why we’re dealt these cards. Why life is being so difficult or why we’re having such a tough time. If we give it time, and if we are still and trust that things will work out to our best need, they will. The Universe does have a plan. There always is a plan laid out for us. We just don’t have the Answer Key. We just get to go along for the ride. The fun part is to sit back and enjoy each moment and find the miracles in the crazy days!



Marc and Angel Hack Life – Pixie’s thoughts

I was reading an article by Marc and Angel this evening (I get these daily). I adore their articles. These two just know how to lift up a gloomy day and say things how they are. Anyways, this article was about unhappy people and the things they don’t admit to themselves. Have you met the type, they are always negative, and have not a whole lot of positive to say?!

Well, in this article Marc and Angel discussed the things that unhappy people don’t admit to themselves and I admit, we all have bad days. As a matter of fact we’re all allowed bad days, but we don’t have to move into that mindset, always blaming others for our negativity and always being in that bad spot. Life is beautiful and there is so many beautiful things and moments and if we’re always unhappy and miserable we will miss them all.

Holding on to grudges is another thing they discussed in their article. Isn’t it funny, I just discussed this with someone today. I strongly believe grudges are the silliest thing. I get irritable with people and there is a person or two that always tend to rub me the wrong way. But the I remind myself “I choose to see this with Love”. Normally that little mantra is enough to redirect my thinking. Their way of life, their attitude and their behavior is not about me, nor is it my problem. I can react and respond in a very positive and light filled manner. Be the light you wish to see. I promise, this is not an easy task, and there is is, like I said a person or two, that make me struggle with this, but most people don’t make this difficult for me. Be positive and respond in a positive manner to their bad mannerisms and behaviors and I promise you will be much happier for it.

The final point that I want to touch on that was on their list, is that unhappy people avoid themselves. What is meant here is that they are never fully present. They over indulge in social media, TV , shopping, food, booze, tabloids….. the list goes on, but the point is they are never fully present with just themselves. Being alone means truly dealing with our feelings, and unhappy people will distract by any means to not face those at any cost, so they avoid. Have you sat in total solitude recently? Meditated in peace, sat with


your journal and simply spend time with you? Why don’t you just notice your emotions without judgement, because life is too short to not enjoy and love yourself and learn from yourself. After all, if you’re not truly in tune with who you are… how will you ever expect to grow?


Love, Pixie (Beatrice

Releasing the pent up energy

Love is seriously all there is when the Universe is convinced that everyone of your strengths has to be tested at once. I’ve been tested and tested again in the last year and a half and I keep shaking it off and moving forward because really, that is all we have.

Life is a full of ups and downs and I can’t stop repeating that we all have our moments. We are allowed to have those. We are human, full of emotion. But we also need to have healthy outlets. Certain ways to channel those emotions in a healthy and positive maner.

What are your outlets? What I mean is, how do you wind down? How do you let go of that pent up stress, frustration, energy? I want to talk to you a little about utilizing art for this and using your mind creatively to do so. Everyone is creative in their own way. Just because we were once told we weren’t doesn’t mean we aren’t. We all have an inner artist, we just have to allow that artist to breathe a little. Art isn’t about painting the Mona Lisa or the next Picasso – Art is beauty, passion, and emotion. It doesn’t even have to be on paper or canvas.

I’ve used various forms of art all my life, between music (singing, guitar and simply listing to others perform), painting, drawing, writing, multimedia art, I’ve utilized various forms of artwork as outlets in my day to day life and all have brought me incredible peace. You don’t have to be trained in any form of art to receive its benefits. There are many ways you can express your emotions into creative art:

  • through music – singing, dancing, playing an instrument
  • writing – short stories, journaling, poetry etc.
  • art – drawing, painting, sculptures etc.
  • drama theater groups

There are virtually endless ways you can creatively express anxiety, sadness, loneliness, or anger and transform that emotion into something original and useful. Slap some paint onto a blank canvas,  doodle some lines with markers, use pots and pans for drums (remember we did this as kids?!) . Don’t worry about coloring in the lines or having a rhythm or carrying a tune. Just go for it!

Don’t judge your creative work – just get involved in it! The point is to turn a potentially destructive emotion into a constructive activity by using an activity you enjoy!

Love, Pixie (Beatrice)


When I say “I’m fine” & some evening thoughts

Many of us that live with Chronic pain will often answer the same way when asked how we’re doing “We’re fine”. Most of us don’t do it to lie or to hide the truth from those we love and care about, rather many people assume that when you look OK then you must be doing OK. We also hide our pain well and we do this mostly for our  own comfort as much as for yours I imagine. For myself personally, I’ve simply come to move beyond and just putter along my day to day focusing on the tasks needing to be done versus where my physical self is at.

I’ve lost a lot of weight due to my medication (to the tune of 40 + pounds). I am forever complimented at how great I look and how much I’ve changed. The other day I was asked if I have been working out lots. Most people would be thrilled about this, I am not though, I feel drained quite often. On top of the constant and various forms and levels of pain that I deal with on a daily basis, I am often tired and I don’t feel healthy like I used to before all this. I am no longer able to be bouncy and all over the place as I used to be. So when I’m asked how I’m doing instead of giving the constant explanations, I rather answer “I’m fine”. Most of us have our own reasons for doing this, I do it to protect myself emotionally mostly, and also to spare others at the same time. I don’t want people feeling badly for me because each time I tend to be honest they do feel bad, so I’ve simply come to keep the answer short.

Some days I feel better than others and there is nothing I can do about this. All I can do is take it as it is and move forward.

I’ve been doing much better than I was even 5 months ago and I’m so very grateful for that. The medication I am currently taking has stabilized me and given me a little more freedom again, to where my life is mostly back to normal versus where I was basically locked to my couch and unable to do a lot of things without help because I had too many bad days. And yes, I smile through chronic pain. Yes, I laugh through chronic pain. So yes do please ask me how I’m doing, but also know that I may not always be up front with the answer or give you a different one than you may expect.

19961379_1425208140899644_7837327881646711673_nAll of this said though, my VM has made me a happier person as a whole. I am more creative than I was before because I simply am pushed to sit and stay sitting for longer periods. I don’t have much control over my pain but I do have control over how I react to it and how I choose to deal with it as it comes. I can be miserable and moody, or I can take care of myself in those situations and hours as I need to as best as I can. (<—-I’m still learning this.)

The only person that will be able to control or is ever responsible for my happiness will be me, so when I am in pain and as I live with my chronic VM – I will take this one day at a time, one anxiety attack at a time and one VM-attack at a time, because that’s the only way to make it day to day with smiles and giggles. This is my life and it’s perfect as it is. There is no need for things to be different, this too has lessons to be learned. The thing is though….

Not all of them have yet been revealed……


Pixie (Beatrice)