I began having minor symptoms of a misbehaving body towards the end of my teens (although I had spent my entire childhood and teens picking up every bug and infection, and Mum always thought something wasn’t quite right with me). These symptoms didn’t overly affect my life, apart from frequent colds and infections meaning I would cancel on some social events, and miss uni from time to time. However, on the whole, I remember being happy with my body. I would think how my body would put up with anything I did to it when Mum would complain about reactions to face creams and makeup. I noticed that if I put a kilo or two on after a couple weeks of holidaying gluttony, I would quickly and easily lose it when I went back to being healthy. Although I had bad eyesight and a weak ankle, my dodgy immune system was my only real issue, but I got used to it (an immune system which, til my mid twenties seemed weak against any enemy, has now turned on me and is attacking me!!).

Since I started experiencing more severe and frequent symptoms about  4-5 years ago (which then really hit hard in the past 2.5 years), my life seems to have become just about being sick. Up until my mid twenties, I was really happy with what I had done with my life thus far. When I had finished school, I travelled for a year, and then I went to uni. I worked for two years and then travelled, lived and worked overseas. Then after meeting my partner from Adelaide, I moved there for 1.5 years and experienced living and working in a different Australian city. I felt I had done a fair bit for a 26 year old!
But now, almost 3 years later, apart from a bit of travel, I feel like I have just plodded along. I am in the same job and position I was in prior to leaving for overseas, I barely do any of the fun, social events I used to love, I am not married, or starting to have kids, or studying new courses, or travelling the world, or anything I thought I would be doing by the time I was getting closer to 30! That is just not me! I am enthusiastic, and keen to learn and experience new things, I want to start a family,  I love to have fun, and take on new responsibilities and make the most of life!!

Being unwell so frequently really does impact on you so much. It can be quite upsetting, frustrating and disheartening. My support network is really my saving grace. I have had so much help and understanding and love from so many people, that I can’t imagine giving up and not trying to get to all those things I crave to do eventually.

Although it seems bleak sometimes, it is really a driving and motivating factor. I am off work at the moment for quite some time because of my health, but I am making the most of this time to do the little things that could help in some way to improve things (eating healthily, having accupuncture and massage, resting etc. I am even starting yoga soon!). One thing that having a dodgy body teaches you is to fight for the things you really want. I am determined to do everything I can do to look after my body, and to seek out any medical help and advice that can change things. I know I can get back on track, and when I do, it will make all the things I want to do that much better when I do do them! I think I will become a gym junkie for a start!

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