Staying positive when it seems like everything has gone wrong - snowflakes within
The past 6 months,
*After being promised a promotion and payrise for 6 months that never came, I was made redundant from my corporate job in August - got a pay out and decided to use the money to study to be a personal trainer, and be qualified by March. I'd been in my previous industry for 8 years and had wanted a fresh start in something I was passionate about, so I took it as an opportunity
*Began full time study in October. Was excited to use my sports background to help women enjoy exercise with a body positive philosophy. Was nervous about making such big changes but used daily training in my sport (BJJ) to keep consistency and positivity in my life as well as stay fit and strong for my new career
*In January, I tore the cartliage on both of my hips due to underlying structural issues (FAI) - rehabbed like crazy so I could return to being able to jog/do regular exercises painfree but was unable to continue my favourite hobby and sport without surgery due to range of motion involved. Booked in for surgery consultation in May (earliest available), would require an arthroscope on both hips. Was heartbroken to have to quit my sport but decided to put all my energy into becoming the best personal trainer I could be and focus on diving (spearfishing) as my new hobby
*From December through to March, I studied every day and worked every night in a gym for free to gain experience, the owner had told me he would employ me at the end of my course. Had planned to work part time in his gym while starting my own business and slowly build up my own clients
*2 days before the final exam of my course, was hospitalised with a CSF leak
and debilitating headaches. Discharged a week later and advised to take total bed rest for a few days, then for the next few weeks, when the headaches come back to lie completely flat and take painkillers until they pass (can be up to a day).
*Had recently begun dating a guy after being single for 3 years after a horrible relationship. Discovered he was completely unsupportive and disinterested (eg not returning my messages or even asking if I was ok) when I first got sick and I ended up telling him by text from my hospital bed that he didn't deserve a place in my life.
*Due to the CSF leak, I'm now now unable to do weights or anything beyond light cardio for 2 months. Cannot work in gym so I'm now unemployed. Doctors have advised no diving. All my other hobbies are outdoorsy, physical things. Normally I go crazy being cooped up indoors for a day, nevermind weeks. I don't enjoy watching TV etc.
*I've had to spend most of the past 3 weeks lying flat on my back to allow the CSF leak to heal. I have to see the neurologist again in May to review, if it doesn't fully heal by itself they will do a blood patch.
*My condition has definitely improved but not completely healed, I want to get a job but at the moment I'm averaging one day a week where I have to stay in bed, and my energy levels are low. I'm waiting for the hospital to call me back and advise whether that's still normal.
*Obviously, as someone who was previously very fit and active, not being able to do anything physical at all, and seeing my hard-earned muscle and CV fitness go to waste is difficult
*I'm trying to get unemployment payments sorted in the mean time, but the process is depressing and I feel disappointed in myself for being in a situation where I have to
*My friends and family have been ridiculously supportive and I feel very loved, which is really something when it seems like there's nothing else
*My family are helping me out financially in the mean time and also with food on the days I'm unable to leave my flat (I live alone), which though it makes me feel like a burden and an infant which depresses me (as I have always prided myself on my independence), I am grateful for not being in danger of homelessness
*I am trying lots of different things to stay entertained and make the best of the downtime, eg today a sampler I purchased arrived so I'm going to try making beats at home. I've also tried random things like learning crochet, building model planes etc. I have internet access, and a laptop, yay!
*It could have been something much more serious, thankfully CT and MRI scans have ruled out tumors etc - this is something I can recover from and hopefully return to normal in a few months time
*I am making the absolute most of the time I am able to move around normally, and am relishing the chance to do normal things when I can do them
*I've started applying for temporary office jobs etc in the interim, and hopefully the headaches will continue to decrease in frequency
*In a few months time once I'm hopefully fully healed, I can slowly start to get fit again and then once I'm fit again, I can look at making this personal trainer thing happen - so it is viable, it's probably just going to be about a year away
In the mean time, the biggest thing I'm facing up against is maintaining a positive mindset. Most days now, I'm able to walk around etc as long as I take it easy, but on my "headache" days, I have to lie as flat as possible. I've had major problems with anxiety and depression in the past and know that I need to stay mindful and not let my thoughts run wild as it's a slippery slope. Usually exercise would help, but obviously that's not an option. Most of the time I'm doing great but I do sometimes find myself sinking into thoughts of being a failure (I'm unemployed! I can't do anything! I have nothing to offer anymore! Everything I was defined by is gone! I'm like a child again! This is embarrassing! I'm being lazy! I can't look after myself! I've made stupid decisions!) During the working week is the hardest as everyone I know is at work, and I am mostly by myself, doing nothing terribly useful - either sloooowly chipping away at the things I need to get sorted out when I'm mobile, or lying flat on my back waiting for headaches to pass. I feel a lot of pressure (from myself) to achieve something with this time (eg, I was sick for 3 months, but I learned Spanish!) but I can't think of anything I really want to do, and the pressure is unpleasant and unhelpful because it just makes me feel guilty. I also feel overwhelmed by the massive amount of things I have to "get sorted", though I am slowly working through them (eg rescheduling my exams, completing some final paperwork, catching up on bills, household tasks etc, applying for jobs) when I am able.
TL/DR; I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that's gone wrong, and the amount of stuff I need to sort out to get back on my feet. I *know* I can turn things around, it's just going to take time, but I need to keep positive to make that happen. I'm looking for any advice, anecdotes and perspective you can offer on getting through this time, being kind to myself and staying confident of rebuilding my life and plans from here.