I wrote a blog post last night about living with FOMO and I have received nasty emails and threats about it so I want to publically address what I really meant, I feel I have also upset a number of people which I love dearly and that is the last thing I want to do.
I suffer with a number of lifelong mental and physical health conditions that I battle with on a daily basis, some of them are so rare I have to travel to a specialist in London because my local specialists and doctors don’t know what they are dealing with.
While right now my health right now is relatively good ( I will never be 100% healthy) its not always been the case, since about 14 years old I began having episodes of fainting, blacking out and severe gastrointestinal problems to the point I was hospitalised a number of times.
At 16, I began having trouble again, this time I lost a lot of weight without trying, again I was hospitalised a number of times, only now I was also self-harming, and I began having the diagnoses of “attention seeking disorder” and “anorexia”, I had left college after 3 months due to severe depression and went into full time work, smoking and drinking more than eating and generally not giving a shit about anyone or anything in the world.
By 17, I re enrolled in college and stuck it out, achieving the second highest grade, working full time in the hospital sector and I was WELL on my way to becoming a midwife. When I left college at 19 I had undergone major facial surgery which greatly improved my appearance and I was getting bullied a lot less than I had been, my self confidence was the best it had ever been.
After spending weeks working 60-70 hour weeks in my job that I absolutely loved and saved up enough to see my family up in Scotland for a little break, I do not see them often so this was a real treat for me, however after the second day of arriving, I was climbing the walls in pain, my guts were in absolute knots and I was losing blood, I was so scared and I could barely enjoy the rest of my stay, I just wanted to be better, I had expected it to pass after a few days but it continued long after I returned home.
It took 3 months for doctors to realise there was something very wrong with me, I was admitted to hospital and whilst I was in my hospital bed, I was caught self harming by a nurse performing night checks. Up until this point, despite my very intense workload I had an amazing social life, going out most evenings to see my friends, going on shopping trips to Bristol- literally all the stereotypical things a 19 year old girly girl would do!
But once people saw me deteriorate health-wise, they saw the vulnerable Abbie. The Abbie who was so run-down, depressed and weak she could barely sit up in bed.
I had to leave the job I worked so hard to get to, and my fun days out began to become few and far between, as did meeting up with friends, I’m not at all bitter about not seeing them, I too would naturally retreat from seeing my friends if they became seriously unwell, I wouldn’t want to suffocate them, I’m only human.
The straw that broke the camels back was a rare “good day” when I decided to venture into town with my statutory sick pay and treat myself, it was all good until I walked into a high-end jewelry shop, I was smiling trying on an array of beautiful rings I could only ever have dreamed of affording years ago, I was in full conversation with a cashier when I felt that familiar churning feeling in my stomach, I flushed as I tried to ignore it and hurry with the purchase I was about to make, the cashier instead decided to tell me about matching items as I tried to remain courteous but hurry, I handed over the money and ran as fast as I could.
Then it happened, there I was. A 19 year old girl, on her hands and knees in the middle of the street after shitting myself explosively. I sit here with tears flowing as I remember the utter disgust of passers by as I sat in my own blood and excrement, god bless the women who handed me wet wipes and consoled me, luckily this wasn’t the only time it happened so I came prepared with a change of underwear and bottoms.
That was February 2013, I panicked everytime I left the house and one day I rang the doctors for another sicknote for my dad to collect to which the receptionist replied ‘you must book an appointment Abbie’. Appointment? Are you fucking serious?! I SHIT MYSELF for fucks sake I cant possibly leave my house! ‘But we haven’t seen you since February, Abbie- it is now late September’.
I had not left my house for SEVEN. MONTHS. I was officially agoraphobic.
I had no contact with anyone apart from my family. I used to sit and cry everyday as I watched every other 20 year old build their lives with their friends, start driving, own their own places, start university etc etc. and there I was, an incontinent 20 year old who couldn’t even open the front door without having a panic attack.
This is what I mean about FOMO, even though my health has improved greatly since then and I am going out more, looking for work and generally trying to rebuild my life from the scraps I was left with- in my head, I am still that girl who could shit herself in the street (I now have bladder problems too so I could also piss myself in the street now), I’m still that really unwell girl that people are too scared to ask out for social events, I’m still that girl who could fall seriously unwell at any stage.
I have the most amazing friends now, I go out to the pub most Tuesdays to see them and Tuesday is by far my favourite day of the week – fuck Fridays!
The thing is, with invisible illnesses, particularly those which are lifelong like mine, after they develop and rear their ugly heads, you mourn that life you had before and took for granted, you mourn the fact your body could function normally and you mourn the fact you could moan about working etc.
That’s another reason I have FOMO, if my illnesses had never happened, I would be a midwife, I’d live in my own place, working full time, still being able to go shopping with my friends and clubbing. Its not my FRIENDS fault, its not MY fault. Its no ones fault.
I was dealt a shitty hand in life, I have problems with my digestive system, mast cells, bladder, bones, muscles, blood vessels, heart and literally every fucking cell in my body, only I can rebuild my life from now, its fucking hard, a daily battle.
I have been so traumatised by the past few years that I have been diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety also, my brain overthinks, it works overtime- and I am a fucking woman so I overthink things anyway lol.
I am thankful for the people who came into my life post-shitstorm, that’s you, Lizzy, Joshua, Aaron, Hayley, Harvey, Tasha, Nika, David- and gave me times I’ll neverforget- even though I have a brain like a fucking sieve!
I’m sorry to those I have offended, however I don’t believe that even though my blog from yesterday came across as abrasive that it certainly doesn’t warrant threats and nasty comments towards me, so I will be deleting it.