Hi, I’m Melissa
I have a fulfilling life that I love. I exercise regularly, I look after my body and mind, and I have better energy levels than I’ve had in a long time.
But rewind to 5 years ago, and I was so unwell, I could barely get out of bed for weeks at a time. Like many women, I had developed a chronic illness that hadn’t yet been diagnosed.
Up until that point, I lived life at 100%.
I had two young children and a husband, a home to take care of, and a demanding but rewarding job as a registered nurse. Life was busy and hectic, and I loved it!
Then almost overnight, everything changed. I became unwell and was admitted to hospital while doctors tried to find out what was going on. Despite me having a range of worrying symptoms like breathlessness, feeling close to fainting, having shooting pains in my body, and crippling exhaustion, doctors couldn’t find a cause. After a few hospital admissions and various tests, I was eventually told to basically ‘go home and don’t come back’.
I knew I had to take control. When I knew that I had hit a brick wall with medical help, but my symptoms were still ruling my life, I made a decision. I wasn’t going to just accept what was happening to me. I needed to take back some control and figure out how to manage the situation I’d found myself in.
As a natural planner and researcher, I took the same approach to figuring out how to give my body what it needed to function again. I spent hours, days, weeks, where I could barely get out of bed, searching for information online and finding a way forward. It became my project.
Through discovering new ideas and concepts, I have learned the importance of prioritising self care.
I’ve set firm boundaries to protect my energy levels, and I put my wellbeing at front and centre of every decision I make. There have been small tweaks, and huge lifestyle changes, and these shifts in behaviour have given me a new connection with my body and mind that allow me to trust myself and be present for my family.
Things haven’t been plain sailing. I still have bad days and flare ups, and my life isn’t exactly how it used to be. But that’s ok. I’ve done enough work on my mindset that I’ve learnt to love and appreciate my body, and I accept that things are different.
I can no longer push my body to its limits with long shifts at work, late night parties and a bad diet; but I can enjoy the feeling of energy and wellness that comes from having a strong, healthy body and a calm mind.
My chronic illness is now something that is part of me. It doesn’t define me. It doesn’t stop me being ambitious and driven.
The Chronic Wellness Project
My own Chronic Wellness Project allowed me to spend time healing the disconnect I felt with my body and learning to trust it again. As a result of focusing on my wellness, rather than my illness, I have rebuilt a life I love, that feels more authentic than ever before. I eat sensibly, exercise regularly and now run a successful business as a writer. I know that there are other women out there who are also living with chronic illness, but who refuse to let it define them. Ambitious women who have goals and dreams and won’t let anything stand in their way.
I wanted to create a positive, inspiring place to offer support, solidarity and encouragement to women who want to start their own Chronic Wellness Project.
The Chronic Wellness Project will help you…
• Reconnect with your body
• Come to terms with your diagnosis
• Feel less alone
• Stay motivated
• Identify what makes you feel better or worse
• Track your symptoms
• Manage your energy levels
It’s a safe, positive online space where you can find support and encouragement while you find your own way to chronic wellness.
Enought about me
As you’re here, reading this, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that you are also living with chronic illness. I’m hoping that you feel inspired and ready to start your own Chronic Wellness Project to start moving forward from wherever you’re at right now. You might be coming to terms with a new diagnosis and want a hand-hold as you find your feet again.
Maybe you have your symptoms under control and are now looking for someone to support and encourage you as you take a new direction in your career and start your own business.
You might feel that you are starting to manage your symptoms better, but desperately want to find other women who understand how hard it is to maintain home life, raising children, and working, when managing your illness feels like a full-time job in itself sometimes.
The other online spaces you’ve found tend to be negative and emotionally draining, and you want to find somewhere with a positive vibe to lift you up rather than bring you down.
You’re in the right place.
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