Hi, I’m Carly…
And this is my online home I welcome you into. Much like entering any friend’s home I hope that you feel the energy and the warmth of a good host, and that you align with my decor and style. I hope you look forward to visiting me regularly, where we can mindfully curl up on the sofa, with a cup of peppermint tea as we chat, giggle, share, love and inspire one another.
And much like any home, I’m sure you’ll notice revamps as time evolves – as I myself evolve. For nothing is static and already I have watched this space shift and shape a lot over the past few years.
There is a growing sense of clarity and confidence emerging – within my bones, within my work, within myself – for which I credit my writing. And yet, ironically the uncertainly within my health situation is simultaneously as present as ever. More so infact. And thus what I have come to fully realise is that – dark can and does co-exist with light – all of the time. And that it is okay to acknowledge both within our circumstances.
I admit though, that when I initially began blogging I held back from sharing much about my health situation, and any shadow side. I felt scared incase it began to define me in your eyes (because it is certainly not who I am.) Incase too it triggered old feelings of shame and judgement once again. Because looking back I see now how the attitudes I encountered in the early years (of my illness) were nothing short of traumatic, let alone wrong. And therefore it has felt sweeter to gradually let you get to know before I fully opened up.
Yet naturally my writing simply had to to align with the new way I was beginning to live my life. And now I am comfortable. As much as any writer can be anyway.
Light + Love + Truth.
Exposing and Accepting.
And only now do I feel truly authentic and proud.
I can be mindful and grateful at the same time as being scared and unwell.
I can be physically unwell and still step into my own worthiness.
And you know what, in doing so I have attracted so many aligned and beautiful friendships.
Thus this is the path I try my best to mindfully navigate, desperately hoping of course that it does get easier, because I have to tell you that there is a basic requirement and level of health one does absolutely need to be at to even function within the world, let alone thrive. Mostly I have never been at this basic level, and certainly currently I am far from it. And it is hard.
My spirit has remained blessedly strong, but I desire some ease…
I willingly implement ALL the tools I have learnt over the past decades in order to help me stay afloat, however, in the spirit of full transparency I do have to express how much I need medical/physiological help – and always have – to unravel these complex conditions. (Labels often mean little in reality but for the sake of ease, I am mainly dealing with ME, CFS, Autoimmune Disease, Lyme, Adrenal insufficiency, Immune dysfunction, Parvo Virus, POTS + Hyper-Mobility + Mild Lupus.)
Because life with a severe chronic long term illness (I am currently at year 22) is hugely devastating and impacting. For, when illness consumes every single second of your day, when it limits life quality so dramatically and consistently without reprieve (and many people under-estimate how much it really), when dreams have remained just that, when normal life trajectories have not occurred, when the symptoms and exhaustion are beyond heavy and dangerous, when the medical professional have little to offer, and when you have no idea if/when things will ever change – then it is actually beyond belief.
This is reality as it stands.
Hope is what sustains me. Magic and possibility is what I believe in.
I must also acknowledge how everyone’s journey (and recovery) is so individual, and how too how the length of time combined with severity and age changes everything. It just does – in ways one may not even begin to consider, for 5 years in is so very different to 25 years in – even just in terms of how fragile the body systems will have become, and therefore how precarious any treatment becomes. But also practically and emotionally because so many of us have never encountered the basic freedom or independence of being an adult, nor the chance to create a life and a family. Yet, we are perhaps the ones with the most faith despite it all – because this is the positive choice we make and the mindset we adhere to.
And that my friends is the whole truth.
Thank you for being gentle and allowing me to share such vulnerability. More and more I am allowing my emotions to be witnessed, felt and released. I think it is the right way. Then I can naturally anchor back – towards light, love and gratitude.
Acknowledgement is often what is needed to set us free.
Thank you for seeing me.
As is often the way within difficult situations, I find myself firmly treading a soul journey alongside a health one. Both have helped me grow in ways I never imagined. Both make me strong and both make me weak…
My intention is simply to share my own story as I navigate onwards. To open up conversations and perhaps inspire others to write and share too. For them (and I) to step into self acceptance and worth – regardless of circumstance.
Truthfully though, I actually cannot believe that this is where I am.
That this is how it is.
And yet, this is where I am.
This is how it is.
Acceptance and surrender mingled in with determination and faith. It’s a balance impossible to ever get completely right at this level. That’s okay too.
I remain a constant work-in-progress. And all I can do is remember who I really am underneath, and continue to try my best. To feel the dark, and come back home to light. Continuously.
Because quite simply I don’t know a better way?
As I explore deeper, I unintentionally and organically find myself becoming the researcher, the healer and the person others turn to – which is interesting…and an honour. But ultimately I remain the eternal student.
I want to take a moment to share how I am grateful for so much, because there have indeed been so many genuine blessings and important lessons arising directly from this journey; but quite simply I am ready to be well and participate now.
“You only see me at my best” is perhaps the truest statement ever.
Take a pause. And re-read that.
Because whenever we meet you will never realise that I haven’t perhaps been out of the house for a month. You won’t necessarily see beneath, and why would you? For a brief moment I want to be the real and normal version of ‘me’ after all. Yet, thankfully, through this blog (and my work) I have created a place to show the hidden side – and somehow that balances the frustration in a way for me.
It is a sweet outlet and I could not recommend it more.
Finally I feel that am finding my place in this online world – even if it’s not at all how I dreamt it would all evolve. Initially I held back for far too long because I was waiting to share from a place of recovery. But, that isn’t yet my story. And so I share what is. Now.
I realise it is the most valuable thing I can do.
This is purpose and service.
(You can read more about my blogging story HERE and HERE)
Certainly I honour this privilege because there are not many blogs/writers out there who represent this unique situation, and I have made my own voice count at last. Millions of us have become a collective and invisible group and there are so many suffering so brave at heart and strong in mind, yet unacknowledged and under-represented. I write for myself, and I write for these people, and so too for anyone else I may attract along the way. You are all welcome.
I desire for us ALL to rise collectively. I welcome sisterhood, tribe and celebrating one another. For this is the energy I want to reside within in our wonderful world. An consciousness of expansion, giving and love.
Eyes and hearts wide open please.
I do believe that we can begin to create the shift we wish to see.
For now I continue blindly, step by baby step, as I can, when I can, rolling with the waves in a storm which have not yet come close to passing.
Knowing that writing is part of my journey.
I go forward with constant inspiration and love in my heart.
They tell me I am a dreamer. I know I am not the only one.
And likely there will always be frustrations too – in every way and in pretty much every occasion That is okay.
When it is possible I simply sit by my beautiful beach and breathe in the serenity and salt spray…
Let’s look for the rainbow even as we feel the rain.
The journey continues with every single breath…
There is no one set path on this journey and I believe that you weave in and out of methods and modalities at various points. That you follow the crumbs of your own intuition as you gently unfold.
I now consider self-love and acceptance to be the best foundation. I meditate. I practice yoga. I breathe in Mother nature. Food is my medicine. And organic and mindful living my blueprint.
Please take a moment to sign up, and keep up to date with how my story unfolds through VIP email Soul Notes.
At present I am in the process of self-publishing my first book ‘i see in words’ which is a dream come true. You can get a peek of the manuscript and read more poems HERE.
I’ve previously written much more about how my health story unfolded HERE. And how I have had the flu for 22 years!
(And there are more specifics on my Fundraising page.)
But I will leave you will a peek of the story below…
To cut a long story short I came down with the flu overnight at age 16 and was transformed from a completely fit and healthy girl into someone for whom sickness took over. About 5 years into the illness (after finishing Uni) I crashed completely and became bed-bound and very poorly, needing full time care, and I could not be left alone. Suffice to say that at this point I broke down in every single way a person can. It was all too shocking and severe.
Since then I have either been in a predominately housebound stage, or a worse bed-bound stage. With brief semi-reprieves during parts of some days. On the one hand I have forgotten health completely, and yet on the other I remember it fully…
“I was thrown into the all consuming chaos on New Year’s Eve 1995 to be exact, just a few months after we had relocated 200 miles to Kent. A year of massive change climaxing into something far greater than anyone could ever anticipate.
And not in a good way.
My friend Emma had come down to stay with me and we celebrated at a pub with a group of people we barely knew, feeling the (heightened) self-consciousness of being teenagers wildly out of our comfort zones. To be honest whilst we were determined we would be ‘out’ as the dongs chimed Midnight, the dressing up and giggles getting ready together were a millions times more fun, and secretly we were both relieved to get back home as soon as we could – our reputations intact at least.
I remember the night so clearly. A sense of unease and apprehension mingled with excitement. Wanting to fit in and build up my social life in this new place. I wore a short black dress with a shiny silver T-shirt. My Denim jacket in no way sufficient for the freezing cold 20 minute walk we took.
In hindsight I’ve often wondered if something so simple as switching that jacket for a cozy fleece parka could have saved me? If I had never caught the flu that night would I have never developed a Chronic Disease?
Crazy harrowing thoughts?
……Besides I already felt slightly overdressed amongst these new alien people brazenly wearing their Mum’s bright red shift dresses and high heels. At least Emma and I had tights on!…”. Click HERE to continue the story