This is totally not the type of article I usually write.

It doesn’t contain fitness advice, exercise routines, nutrition information or a recipe of any kind! Yes, it is about health- just not the physical kind I usually post about. Today’s post focuses on mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

I have had so much time to think over the past few weeks. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and it’s fair to say I’ve been a mixed bag of emotions. I cry at the drop of a hat, get extremely frustrated at myself (that admittedly, I sometimes take out on others) and have experienced some very low points in my self-esteem. But these feelings don’t seem to last too long as I have such great friends and family around me who encourage, support and energise me beyond their knowledge. Having this operation has definitely changed my mindset on a lot of things and made me discover more about myself and the power of the brain.

IMG_1415My generous family has been my support and full-time carers for the past 8 weeks- well for my whole life really! Mum and Dad cooked for me, cleaned up after me, made my bed, washed my clothes and kept me company for the duration of my recovery. Mumma in particular, was my nurse and absolute god send, who took over a month off work to do all this for me. She had only been home from a massive European holiday for a few days before she was thrown into the role of nurse!  I cannot thank her enough or show her how much I have valued not only her care but also her friendship over this time. Dad was the perfect ying to mum’s yang by being a typical father in stirring me up! Telling me to walk faster, carry my own tea, to “get up and do it yourself” even in the first week out of hospital! It was so nice to move back into the family home and spent such quality time with my parents. It is definitely something I will miss when I move away.

I’ve always been someone who has been lucky with lots of friends in lots of different groups. I have my high school friends, my teaching friends, my uni friends, my casual work friends, my gym girls, friends of friends that have become my friends, dancing friends and many I’ve met along the way through time and place! These few weeks of being unable to drive or move, has definitely opened my eyes to friends that are absolute super stars. They’ve dropped everything important in their life to come and visit me, or have texted me several times in a day just to check up on me and keep me busy. They’ve driven me around, taken me out for coffee, sat with me for hours on end just chatting as there’s nothing else we can do. Those who have brought me gifts and books and jigsaws and flowers and kept me busy with making plans and talking all things fitness and travel! I just feel so very lucky to have these friends in my life and know that saying ‘catch ya later” to them in December when I head off to the states will be really difficult.

IMG_1857But the person who has really changed my mindset by challenging my thoughts and breathing positivity into my lungs…is the American. I can’t even begin to find the words to explain the power of his presence in my life. When I felt sorry for myself he would allow me to cry just long enough before reiterating how lucky I am to eventually make a full recovery and reminded me of others who are going through a lot worse. Whenever I tried to push the limits and do more than I should, he would be stern enough to make me stop but in a way that was caring enough to let me know that it was for the best. IMG_9533When I complained about my body image or the fact that I hadn’t washed my hair, put make up on or been out of tracksuit pants for weeks on end, he would tell me that I looked beautiful even when I couldn’t believe him.
He has shared stories with me about his own shoulder surgeries and reassured me that all the feelings and emotions I am experiencing are normal and expected. He has been so incredible in cooking healthy meals for me and not bringing home naughty snacks because he knows that my nutritional intake affects my moods. I can’t even explain the things that he does that help me- some are so little, that to write them would sound so petty, yet they have been so important to me.

I am just so lucky! Not only in love….but in life!

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