Friday, 9 February 2018

About that poem...

Fortunately that poem about suicide is no longer my now. It is but a memory. A memory of a time that was a dark and hellish place. A time I saw inside and out. A time that I learnt from, grew from, took strength from. A time that has led to so much more. A time that now means I am able to shine a light. For there was light to be found. Lots of it.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Lyme Disease, a poem about suicide: THE HERE & THE HEREAFTER

Lyme Disease - A poem about suicide

When I wrote this poem, clearly I was in a very bad place. I wanted to top myself. Don't get me wrong, I never would have gone through with it, but the idea appealed to me. A way out. No one knew how I felt, which now that I'm out of that hellish depression, strikes me as horrendous. But then, I was so busy being strong, I fooled everyone.

I'm guessing the main point people do go through with it, is down to feeling isolated, unable to share, pathetic, worried about being a social outcast? Perhaps pressured, even conditioned to believe that surely they ought to be able to cope?

I wrote this poem five years ago. But it has never been more relevant to me than it is now, just after a Lyme Disease diagnosis, and the fact that it describes many of the debilitating symptoms of Late/Chronic Lyme Disease to a tee.

For all who suffer with Lyme, the diagnosed and the undiagnosed, and indeed for all who suffer any chronic illness and dream of an alternative. This poem is for you.

The here and the hereafter


Is she falling?
Drunk with ill.
Lifeless legs,
Keep her still.

Joints frozen.
Limbs heavy.
Drowning fast;
a flooding levy.

Aching body.
Pain within.
Subject to
internal din.

Nervously taut,
staccato of toe.
Step by step
of cautious woe.

Wired to scream.
Not to smile.
Scares and scars.
Vicious and vile.

Control; reachless
A no go zone.
An abyss open.
A place alone.

Sunshine bright.
Bright is pain.
Listless, sapped,
laid out again.

Legs won't run.
Can barely walk;
tumble. Jumble 
has replaced her talk.

Is this finite?
Ever repeated?
Can she be free
of a life so cheated?


She turns her face to death
and back again to hope
And asks for hope to give her
a long piece of rope.

And when no one is around
in the middle of the night
A noose she does make
to climb towards the light.

Found hanging the next morn
with a smile on her face,
She'd set herself free
to a pure painless place.

When they cut her down
to lay a body on its bed,
they emptied her belongings 
beside her blood drained head.

They stood back to see 
what little she possessed.
At worst, a stash of pills,
A crumpled tissue, at best.

They found, no hope no joy.
And they looked for a while.
Just grief. Relentless grief.
Her all consuming trial.

And they stared out of her window
to the patch of grey below.
And spied uniformed and lifeless 
- row on row on row. 

No future amid laughter.
No future - none at all.
As they stared out of her window
they heard her new life call.

I'm happy now I'm free, 
there's hope, joy and ease.
My grief has dissipated.
It's left swinging in the breeze.

They realised all they knew
of this tortured bruised soul,
was the fact that she had gone
to a place where she was whole.

A place where she was able
to be at once at one.
Celebrating no more pain
with legs now free to run.

© Emma Oliver July 3rd 2013 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Understanding Chronic Lyme Disease

For me, it makes sense to find out I have Lyme Disease. You see, there have been so many pieces of puzzle... and they finally fit together. I was diagnosed yesterday. I started on the path of connecting the dots in Nov 2015. But my body has been fighting it for years longer than that. Fighting mostly on the quiet. Feeling terrible but masking it well. 2018 now and a myriad of health issues later, I feel the need to remove the mask. To say I feel shite most days and horrendous many. I suppose being diagnosed with this silent disease of pandemic proportion, brings a form of relief as well as understanding. I'm finally able to start living the rest of my Life As It Is.

Those health issues, in the last 18 months alone, include a hysterectomy, three breast lumps (all drained), continual bloating, nausea, ocular shingles, Glandular Fever, countless colds, coldsores, a body overrun with candida, Chronic Fatigue, muscle aches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, starting each day with a hangover (when no alcohol has been touched), psychological crap, anxiety, short term memory loss, being unable to concentrate, losing my train of thought, words coming out as mumbo jumbo, having blurred vision, endless screaming tinnitus - and I mean both endless and screaming, balance issues, nerve tingling and numbness. I think that's it? It ain't pretty. And I've lived like this since I was pregnant with Esme, that'll be ten years.

It's just making sense. No wonder it's a relief.

All those times that I didn't know why I felt the way I did that now make sense.

It has been years of trying to work out why I was unwell with one thing after another, (along with not willingly accepting the three negative NHS Lyme Disease blood test results, not going for the lumbar puncture the GP wanted me to have to test for MS, not listening to the doctor that I needed anti-depressants. I knew there was more going on.)

Having connected the dots, and with a private, more sensitive test, I can finally see it for what it was. The symptoms of Lyme Disease... But what about those that can't afford a private test? To them I would say, listen to what it is that you feel. Trust your own instincts.

The next post I want to share is a hard hitting poem called The Here and the Hereafter, a frank, honest and shocking tale about suicide, describing how symptoms of a chronic illness can effect you to the point that taking yourself out feels a good alternative to remaining in your current state.

I wrote it five years ago, way before Lyme was on my radar. Like so many I continued my day to day life, wearing a mask and putting my many symptoms down to everything but chronic illness. I feel sad that I couldn't share it then and be true to myself. When I first posted it on this blog, I never owned up to the fact that it was about me and how I felt, although there are many other posts on Life As It Is that interpreted and voiced it in other ways. When you are in the hellish depths of depression to the point that you feel suicidal, you cannot possibly begin to share - you don't know where to begin. At the time, even my husband had no idea. Well I'd like to share it now... for those that are currently at rock bottom. For those that are so busy being strong, they fool everyone.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Picturing Life As It Is

Back to it officially - feeling quite cheery about it too. Lovely office flowers courtesy of yellow sticker reductions - 70p - love a bargain! Happy New Year one and all. Let's make it a good one!

Monday, 8 January 2018

The LIFE AS IT IS Blog - six years on

Somewhat surprisingly, I began LIFE AS IT IS six years ago this year, and babies have long since grown into little girls. Over that time, the blog has documented the many ups and downs. The ups have been plenty. And the downs, well they've certainly given me much to write about, including many posts on allergies and hivesscreaming, hospital visits, postnatal depression and more recently my personal battle of getting a Lyme Disease diagnosis. But whatever is happening at the time and whatever I write about, throughout it all, our little family has remained steadfast and secure. Living and loving our life as it is. And rather wonderfully, throughout it all, my stats tell me that you've continued to visit and read my ramblings. So I just wanted to thank you for continuing to do that. I really do love that six years on you still stop by to share!

Sunday, 7 January 2018

The GraceFaith year long art project...

...A collection of artwork by the girls

Esme received Henna from Father Christmas, and a book on how to do designs. Here is her first attempt - which she painted on herself this week. I think she did very well.