It's the New Year and 1 of my resolutions is to keep on top of my blogs, it's a way to track my progress with various things and it's also a way to let my friends what's going on.
2015 wasn't a great year but I'm going to focus on the positives and focusing on the negatives never gets you anywhere! It didn't get off to a good start and took me a long while to get over various things.
I'm going to start back in April when I was discharged from CBT therapy at the hospital. It was something I never found very helpful but I felt I ought to stick to it as it's the only help available. It saves a fairly frequent long journey anyway and there were positives from seeing an OT. Writing certain goals down actually did help to an extent as I'm usually terrible at doing things like that myself, my mind is very quickly converted to other more interesting things going on! I also wouldn't have been to the pain clinic if it wasn't for my OT...
Since October I've been twice to the pain clinic, it was short but sweet. I was prescribed pain relief through my doctor which actually worked, I'd been waiting most of the year for relief that would actually help and in October I finally got that. I've been taking tramadol for 2 months now and it works great so that's a big plus.
Just a few weeks before then I won my appeal at the PIP tribunal, I also passed my ESA medical back in June. As a lot of you will know they're stressful experiences and not pleasant at all.
Health wise I've been using my walking aids less, they're still used for "big" days out but for short journeys I can manage without it. I feel wobbly at times but I like to walk slowly, this makes it awkward when I'm out with anyone as they all like to walk at double the speed I do!
Pain wise it's been a funny one, there's always some discomfort but I get spells where it's pretty bad for days on end. It comes and goes in phases and sometimes it fits the pattern of when I overdo it but not always.
Fatigue wise it's been pretty much the same. I've appeared "ok" to others when I see them as I've prepared. For example if I'm invited to an event that lasts a few hours then I will spend most of that day and most of the following day in bed just so I can get through those few hours of the "event". Some days I've spent 20 hours of it in bed but luckily that hasn't been too often. The Christmas period has been tougher on me physically but I'm glad I've made the effort but now I'm starting to pay for that.
Personal goals wise I've not achieved as much as I'd have liked but I've still made good progress. A few months ago I started swimming for the first time in nearly 3 years. At first I was very wobbly and felt fragile, having to take rests in between each length whereas now I still have a long way to go but I've made so much progress and gradually built myself up. I've also had spells where I've been able to manage 10 minutes of careful exercise a day but those spells haven't been as frequent as I'd have liked! I've also had a book published about my journey with autism which you can see here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Complicated-journey-Asperger-Syndrome/dp/1507778279/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451668727&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=barry+john+evns
I've been to a few concerts including Queen & Adam Lambert, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rhydian and Hairspray. And whilst on the subject of music I've got my grade 3 singing exam coming up in February, it's actually booked so no going back this time! When I look back to the start of the year I've made big progress vocally even though it's hard to see sometimes.
Another big plus which did me the world of good was an ME retreat for 5 days and 4 nights. It was great to get away from normal surroundings and to spend time with others in a very similar position to yourself. I also made some nice new friends there too. I usually struggle a lot socially but it came naturally to me there and I honestly can't remember the last time that's happened. It gave me the motivation to keep on going and not to give in to this illness. You can see the vlog I did about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6e2EXouKqU
This year (like every year) I have big plans. The difference this time is that I have nothing holding me back (except health)! Having said that I know my body pretty well and know when to stop.
As mentioned before I have my grade 3 singing exam coming up, I feel like I'm coming up to the stage where I'm almost ready to start performing in front of an audience and that would be a massive step for me.
I've become a bit of a hermit this past year so I'm going to try and make more effort this time round to socialise more... but in moderation as it can be very exhausting for me. I have plans to meet some new friends I've made who I haven't actually "met" before so that will be a big step too.
My faith has kept me going and I've let myself down not keeping up with my readings etc so I need to give that more priority and who knows... maybe a mission trip in another country if all goes well!?
Organisation is key to me and simple things like keeping lists and diaries I really need to improve on. Sometimes it's hard when my "autistic obsessions" take over but I'm going to fight against that and place myself in different scenarios to make sure that 2016 is a great one!
Lastly, my fur babies really have been a God send to me and just their company has helped me through a lot. In particular, my baby rats have helped me a lot. Here's the process of the whole ordeal which occurred during the summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqYuDXkKj8o
Well done to everyone who got through that and I wish you all a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!