Life Sparkles ✨

Burnout

The weekend after our quick trip to Broad Haven I was tired. This was no normal tiredness, it was completely debilitating tiredness. Having a shower meant sitting down afterwards for at least twenty minutes to get some energy back. This was unknown tiredness for me. Only five days earlier I had been uphill and down dale on a very long coastal walk. Weeks earlier I was out every other day for a thirty minute run. Now a shower was wearing me out? This tiredness continued into the following week along with irritation with music. MUSIC!!!! Music was irritating me!!! I had little or no interest in anything, I didn’t even go online – a sure sign I wasn’t right if I hadn’t made a trip to Instagram! I was that tired I couldn’t travel to himself to support him in looking after his Mom. This was tiredness on a whole other level.

The world kept turning and I got off for a while.

After a week I spoke with the lovely Doctor who had looked after my parents, he knew me well and it meant I didn’t have to tell my history as he already knew it. He arranged for a whole raft of blood tests as it has been quite some years since I had been to see a Dr. I explained that my Vitiligo appeared to have increased significantly. I had been told I was very pale when in fact it was the Vitiligo spreading on my face. All blood tests were fine which is great. So what was causing this tiredness? The Dr felt burnout was to blame. The double trauma of losing both parents so close together and having to re-start life, to then have lockdown’s and to commence caring for someone else would, he felt, take it’s toll mentally and physically. Alongside this I am trying to get my music career going, support a number of other people with various issues they are suffering, doorstep visits to people who needed support, plus the day to day house and garden maintenance and trying to keep up with phone calls, emails and messages. I was overwhelmed with everything, I was getting nothing done for myself and my body had spoken. Enough was enough.

You don’t have to do everything.

So, the plan of action is to slow right down and concentrate on priorities. As the Dr said, real life happens and we have to keep going up to a point. I put himself, his Mom and me and my work as the priorities and everything else can wait. I have slowed right down on everything else. We find it so hard to say no don’t we? As things are opening up I had more and more people asking for lunch dates, coffee dates, call in for a drink. I’m very lucky to be blessed with so many people who want to see me but I’m not ready to return to what used to be. The last eighteen months has been a revaluation of life, not just for me I know, it has affected all of us. I have rarely put myself first and maybe it is time I did. I found that I was spending so much time on other things I wasn’t getting the things done that I really needed to and that was overwhelming me. This has been hard for me as I am always so full of energy and on the go. I haven’t experienced debilitating tiredness like this since 2019 and the loss of my parents. The difference this time is that I go to bed and sleep almost immediately and straight through until morning and wake up shattered.

Let it go…

Taking time out for me has been a revelation. I caught up on outstanding admin and emails – oh what a feeling! I started to do a few tasks within the house and garden and that felt good, as you know I love getting out in the garden. It was my birthday in July and I had some lovely celebrations with my cousins and close friends (post to follow). I have listened to podcasts, read my book, had a manicure, made some headway in my songwriting and planning my business. I feel in control of me again and that feels so good. I am no longer overwhelmed and I am learning to put me first for a change. Himself said to me recently that it’s my time and I have to use it for what I want to do and not what anyone else wants or expects me to do. That resonated with me. I spent so many years not thinking of me at all, or doing anything that I wanted to do because I was a full time carer, I’m just not used to putting me first. I have no regrets at being a carer, I am at peace that I did everything I could. Now is my time. I don’t know how much time I have so perhaps I will be kinder to myself from now on.

Resetting my boundaries.

Taking things slower is helping. I’m still tired but nothing like I was a month ago. There are things I can do to help my body repair. Healthy diet, build up my exercise again, listen to my body and not push myself, rest when I need to. I’m thinking of documenting my journey back to full energy as it may help somebody going through a similar thing. I know from various messages I received that my blog posts as a carer helped. It helps me to write it down too and in a way, as I have lockdown weight and more to get rid of, makes me accountable too. Life can be tough and we are very hard on ourselves. We can’t fix everyone, we can’t support everyone, we can’t be there for everyone but we must be there for ourself. We can’t help anyone unless we are replenishing our own soul.

Rest Yourself.

With love and sparkles xxx

Life Sparkles ✨

Vitiligo Beauty

Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its colour. In vitiligo, there are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in your skin. This causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair. (NHS, UK, November 2019).

From Pinterest August 2020

I first noticed the white patches on my hands, underarms, thighs and very slightly on my face during the Autumn last year. I had a chat with the GP who diagnosed Vitiligo. He wasn’t surprised. This condition can be brought on by sudden traumas such as childbirth and bereavements. As I had experienced the loss of both parents, suddenly and without warning within a short space of time, this was possibly one way my body was dealing with things. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease and therefore a blood test was performed to check on my thyroid function ( all good there). There isn’t a cure for Vitiligo, it can disappear, remain as it is or gradually get worse. Over the past months mine has definitely got worse. I now wear Factor 50 suncream when outside as my white patches are at risk of severe sunburn if left unprotected. Other than that, and I know I am very lucky with this, it is not affecting my daily life. I have fair skin, I tan easily and in places the skin looks a little strange, almost like I have put a self tan treatment on and forgotten to cover certain areas.

I noticed when I was recording one of my songs on my iPhone over the Summer that the patches on my face were becoming much more noticeable. Himself remarked that I looked like a reverse Homer Simpson, charming! As much as I have accepted that this condition is part of me and I just have to get on with it, I wondered if this would affect my confidence long term especially as I want to follow a singing career. I am only now getting confident to sing and record on the phone for posting to my social media, was this going to stop me in my tracks?

A chat with my closest friend one day about this situation led me to the discovery of IT Cosmetics. https://www.itcosmetics.co.uk/ My friend was using their CC Cream (Colour Correcting for those who like me didn’t know what CC stood for) and recommended I try it. She knows I am not a full make up kind of woman, lippy and mascara and that’s about it, but I decided I would give it a go.

My CC Cream and a couple of free samples.

The IT Cosmetics website offers a step by step guide to gauging the shade of cream you require. I played it safe and selected the light medium. I also had the opportunity to try a couple of free samples so I went for the gel moisturiser and the night time beauty sleep moisturiser, both are really lovely on the skin. I am very impressed with the CC cream. It is extremely light on the skin, I cannot feel that there is any product on at all. It blends beautifully with my natural skin tone and a little goes a long way. It completely covers the white patches on my face so when the time comes to hit the stage and perform I know I can rely on this product to remove any anxiety I may have about sickly white skin patches.

This is my own personal experience and I am not in any way affiliated with IT Cosmetics.

If you should require any information on Vitiligo please visit the following organisations;

https://vitiligosociety.org/about-vitiligo/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitiligo/

With love and sparkles xxx