Girl talk Lifestyle self-growth

On Feeling Weak and Frustrated- a little blog + life update

How can one of the things that give you so much joy and fulfillment, suddenly become so difficult to even think about?

Maybe it’s because you’re afraid you’ve failed. Or, maybe, it’s because it reminds you of how things used to be.

Yes, the big “before everything happened.” 

You know, I think that when life presents you with unexpected challenges, when everything seems to be falling apart, when you feel as if you, yourself are about to fall apart at any minute… you often try to talk yourself into believing that you’re strong enough.

You open your eyes, you tell yourself “today is the day when I take back control of my life.” Then, it’s 1.30am and you’re lying in your bed, trying to tell yourself that it’s going to be just fine. The next day you wake up, and once again you promise yourself that “today is the day.” The day when things go back to the way they used to be.

At night, you go to bed feeling like a failure. Again. “It’s going to be just fine,” you tell yourself, but you don’t believe it anymore. Not really. I mean, it’s all starting to sound like a stupid lie you’re talking yourself into, every day as you open your eyes, and every night, as you close them.

I’ve been told (countless times now) that when facing major health issues, you should allow yourself to grieve. For the longest time, I’ve refused to do that. Still do. I refuse to grieve because I refuse to believe that I’ve lost something. Because I refuse to accept the fact that my life might not go back to “normal.” That’s just not going to happen.

I’m writing this post because things have been quiet around here. My posting has been sporadic and I feel like I wanted to put this out here, before publishing any other content I’ve been working on. I still love this blog, I still love writing, photography and everything else that goes into blogging. Sometimes I just find myself feeling incredibly frustrated when I can’t put in as much work as I’d like to. As much as I love it, it reminds me of how effortless and simple things used to be for me, and that stings a little. Then, when I actually do get to do some “blog work” I don’t hyperfocus on the pain I’m in, and feel that spark igniting again somewhere deep inside. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, struggling with inspiration and creativity, while also knowing that both are the things that help me stay sane and keep me going.

The truth is that I also feel like I’ve written this post before over and over again, in the last year and a half. I talked about feeling lost, overcoming fear, or staying resilient during tough times. Right now though, I don’t feel so strong. And I think it’s important to talk about that, too.

That part about feeling strong… I mean that quite literally.

Most days I’m in pain from the moment I open my eyes. Sometimes I have trouble keeping my balance or have an immediate need to lie flat on my back if I’m up on my feet for longer than 10-15 minutes. One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with a rare condition is the lack of answers. After nearly two years, fourteen procedures and countless tests, I’m still at a point where I’m being referred to have even more testing done, in order to rule things out. The multiple cysts that I have on my spine are symptomatic in such a rare number of cases that my doctors are having a hard time determining if that is the cause of my back pain and leg weakness. I constantly hear “the symptoms don’t fit diagnostic imaging, we don’t know what the problem is but don’t worry, you’re young, you’ll get better.” It’s tough to see these words as encouraging when you’re getting progressively worse, but still can’t get a clear answer. It’s hard to focus on getting better when you don’t even know what the problem is. Once I do have the answer, I’ll feel more comfortable about going into more detail about everything, and hope this happens soon, as I’m slowly running out of patience.

In all honesty, I hate talking about all of this. I hate bringing any attention to it, I don’t like focusing on the bad, negative things. The thing is, I can’t change it. It doesn’t matter how much work I put into myself, at the end of the day it’s still the last thing on my mind as I close my eyes at night, and the first thing I think about when I open them in the morning. I’ve always believed that it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself a little whenever the shit hits the fan, but I just can’t stand how often I see myself feeling small or weak. I hate not knowing if I’ll break down when someone asks “how are you feeling today?”

I wrote, then deleted this post a couple of times now. When I started writing it, I had tears running down my face because of how much physical pain I was in. As I’m finishing it, I’m having one of my better moments and I’m not sure if I should actually publish it. I also feel like I’ve already talked about it all, so what’s the point?

Putting all of this into words makes me feel weak, and I don’t like to think of myself as “weak.”

By putting all of this into words, I also remembered just how good it feels to just… write. It’s a little different than writing in my journal. This, right here, I can show to the people I love and let them know- hey, this what I’m feeling. When I say I can’t go out and do things with you, it doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you or don’t want to spend time with you. When I’m having a better day, it doesn’t mean that I’m healed or that I exaggerate when you happen to see me on one of those “bad” days. When I lose my temper, when I raise my voice or repeatedly ask to be left alone, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you or that I want to push you away. It just means that I’m frustrated and that despite having all of you around, sometimes I can’t help but feel very alone in all of this. When I’m sometimes quiet for days at a time, it doesn’t mean that I’m not curious about things that are going on in your life, it doesn’t mean that I don’t think of you. Some days I’m just so fed up with myself and stay quiet because I don’t want to burden anyone else with my shit. I know that it might not seem like it, but I’m still the same person. All those things that make me “me” are still there.

I’m still here.

By putting all of this into words, I’m reminding myself that being “weak” isn’t something we should be ashamed of. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a human thing to feel and it happens to us all- some of us just experience more challenges than others. I still have a lot of gratitude in my heart, and I practice it daily as there are many beautiful people and things in my life for which I feel incredibly grateful. On most days I have moments when I just want to run away from everything (more like crawl away, as running isn’t exactly an option for me right now, lol) and hide. Gratitude is what helps me see that despite the pain and the struggles, life can be pretty amazing and you really don’t have to look far to notice that.

So, this is why I wanted to write this before resuming posting. To let you know, and to also remind myself, that this space is still very important to me. I still have the passion for the same things (beauty, makeup, photography, self-growth) I’m just having a tough time maintaining the focus and structure in my life, when my body refuses to cooperate with my mind. It doesn’t have anything to do with “needing a break” or taking time out to focus on my health. I know that keeping my mind healthy will play a huge role in my healing process- whether I choose to go the spine surgery route or focus on alternative treatment. I cannot give up on doing things that bring me joy and fulfillment- blogging happens to be one of those things. I will not grieve and I will not let this stop me from living my life.

This post might seem like a bit of a mess, but you know what? This is just where my mind is at right now. And, I mean, my life is just a little messy at the moment, so I think it’s okay. :) I know that I’ll be okay because even though I do feel weak and frustrated on most days, I’m not giving up on myself.

33 Comments

  • Reply
    Deanna Marie
    March 19, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Writing is therapeutic so I’m glad you finally wrote this piece for yourself. Sending you all of the warmth and positive thoughts for clarity, comfort and some answers in the coming months! xo

    Deanna | luxandvitae.com

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    March 19, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Paula I really hope you feel better soon. It sometimes helps just to share whats going on and how you feel! Lots of love to you!

    x Lisa | lisaautumn.com

  • Reply
    afiori
    March 19, 2019 at 9:18 am

    I think it’s really important to show this side as well <3 A lot of us are going through horrible things.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 19, 2019 at 11:13 am

      Glad that you agree with me on this! Things aren’t always great and picture-perfect and I think seeing other people talk and open up about some of their struggles definitely makes us all feel a bit less alone. x

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    March 19, 2019 at 11:04 am

    I am really sorry to hear how you feel Paula. Sadly, time does not heal everything, and it is incredibly hard when your body doesn´t function the way it used to. That is probably why you have such power in writing about self-growth – it comes from experience and a place deep inside you, and we can feel it through all your writing.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

      Thank you so much, Anne, can’t thank you enough for all the words of kindness and encouragement. I definitely now know that time doesn’t heal all the wounds- I feel like I’ve given myself enough time and it didn’t really change anything for me so I’m trying to look at it all from a different perspective now. Hope you’re doing well- looking forward to catching up with your blog! x

  • Reply
    Shelley Stewart
    March 19, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease four years ago, after a year and half of no answers. I understand the process of trying to figure out what is actually causing pain and symptoms. The pain is still daily, but having a plan in place and learning my triggers help me get through. Praying you will find answers soon so that you can move toward recovery. Hang in there.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 19, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Aw Shelley, I am so sorry to hear that. As difficult as it must be, you must also be glad to finally have an answer and be able to put some kind of plan into action. I’m looking forward to the day when I finally get those answers for myself and can focus on healing and finally rid myself of the anxiety and uncertainty. Sending my love your way, thank you so much for sharing your own experience- it gives me hope!

  • Reply
    Shell
    March 19, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I also think it’s important to show the less glamorous side of life, to show vulnerability. I used to think that vulnerability was a weakness, but now I see it as a strength. It takes courage to bear yourself to the world & I know its not always well received by some, but still, be proud of yourself for getting this out to your followers Paula. I have no doubt that people out there understand & support you & probably feel less alone in their own struggles. Hope you’re able to get the answers you need sooner rather than later.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 21, 2019 at 6:32 am

      It took me a while, but I’m starting to see the ability to admit to feeling weak as a way of being strong- even if it sounds a little strange :) Thank you so much for reading Shell and for your words of encouragement! I too hope that I get those answers soon (fingers crossed). x

  • Reply
    Teresa Maria
    March 20, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through but I truly wish, from the bottom of my heart, that you will soon find out what the issue is and hopefully then also find a solution of some kind to it.
    In the meanwhile, I hope you’ll be able to continue creating the amazing and inspiring content that you always have. We’re not going anywhere ;) xx

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog 💫

  • Reply
    Samileen
    March 22, 2019 at 3:57 am

    Paula, I can’t even imagine what you might be going through. I’m sorry you are going through all this, but I admire and respect you even more for sharing your vulnerable side and giving others a little bit more hope and strength and courage to keep going no matter what. And never give up on yourself. Because that is the foremost important and long term relation you have. I truly pray that you find answers and come out of it painfree, happy and super inspiring for a lot of us. Because we all are struggling with something or the other, and its good to connect with our fellow beings at not just a fancy glamorous level but more on a humble human level. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Sending lots of smiles and healing vibes your way. You are still my absolute favorite girl on the internet <3

    Saman || abeautydetour

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 23, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Aww my beautiful Sam, thank you SO much for your kindness and all the support you’ve shown me over the years, you truly are a gem and I’m so happy to have you as part of my blog family since pretty much the beginning. It can be so intimidating to share these weak moments with the world, feeling like you’ve fallen behind on life when everyone else seems to be moving forward, but nothing in life is picture-perfect and I truly believe that those struggles we go through are meant to make us stronger and wiser. Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement, I’m sending my love to you and your beautiful family! x

  • Reply
    Odessa @ Odessa Darling
    March 22, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    I’m so sorry you are struggling so much. Your feelings are completely valid, it is frustrating being in that amount of pain and no answers. I’ve been dealing with a (more mild) six plus year run with chronic pain and issues and it sucks. It takes so much away from you, and it’s hard to be told “you’re young, you’ll be fine”. Just know that sharing things like this is okay, and healthy, and just another part of you to share. I hope you find some relief and answers soon.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 23, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you so much, Odessa and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re dealing with chronic pain yourself. It really does take a lot from you, but the important thing is to keep going and not let those bad moments get to you. I really hope that I find some answers soon as well, thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read this post! x

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    March 26, 2019 at 4:55 am

    I feel weird saying I loved this post, because obviously I don’t love what you’re going through…but I loved this post. It was so raw and I like the messiness of it! I don’t know if there is something energetically going around lately or what’s happening, all I know is that (although not due to health reasons) I have been feeling very similar lately. Incredibly weak in general and just not like myself, to the point where I actually texted my mum this morning saying I just wanted to crawl in a hole for like 5 days. Not even kidding. The older I get the more I know most things pass with time, or progress, or get better in some way, shape or form, so I’m holding onto that. Sending you heaps of love all the way from Australia xxxxx

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 26, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Thank you so much, Julia! I usually read and re-read and edit my posts, but with this one I just felt that if I were to start fixing and editing it, it’d either lose the message I was trying to send, or I’d just end up deleting it altogether, haha!

      I can definitely relate to that feeling, I think we all wish that we could just press “pause” on life sometimes and take a little break from everything. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like that, hehe. BUT the good news is that, like you said, those feelings tend to go away with time. You’re such a beautiful woman, inside and out, with so much wisdom and talent, so you definitely do have a lot to hold onto. :) Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I’m sending love right back at you! xx

  • Reply
    Shireen
    March 26, 2019 at 11:59 pm

    Reading this post brought tears to my eyes, I can feel your pain and frustrations coming through every word but…I also felt your determination, strength (yes, strength!) and resilence. I hope the doctors will find the answers to what’s coming you the pain and you can finally begin the road to recovery.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 28, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Aww, Shireen, thank you so much for your kind words, it truly means so much to me. I’m hoping for that as well, really looking forward to the day when I can just focus on recovery. xx

  • Reply
    Huong Vo
    March 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Oh Paula, I had NO idea you’re going through so much. I admire that you’re transparent about how you’re feeling inside and out. Please know a lot of us are here for you despite that it may seem we’re “internet strangers”. And your post isn’t a mess. It’s human. Life is messy and it’s okay because comes with living on purpose.

    I’m not sure if you’re open to suggestions, but I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t tell you about Sanoviv. They help with more than what’s listed on their website and I just cannot not tell you about them.

    I pray you find relief, answers you’re looking for and come back 200% healthier than you were before! xo

    She Sweats Diamonds

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 28, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Huong, thank you so much for reading and for your encouraging words. Thank you so much for your suggestion, too, I’ll definitely look into it! We’re getting ready to plan this year’s vacation and as I can’t do the usual fun, adventure kind of thing we like to do, I’ve actually been looking for some sort of a wellness/health getaway so your suggestion couldn’t have come at a better time! :)

      • Reply
        Huong Vo
        March 28, 2019 at 4:47 pm

        Aww, I’m so glad it could help with your planning! I’ll email you some details since one of my good friends went a few years ago! x

  • Reply
    Brianna Watson
    March 28, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Hi Paula, I’m really sorry you’re going through so much. I pray that things begin to change for the better for you! I have to say though, by you sharing this it has given me comfort in a way. I’ve been going through the same thing as far as feeling stuck and confused and as if my life isnt going to have meaning from blogging again. So thank you for sharing this and being so transparent about it. I’ve said this many times before and I’ll say it again, I always come to you blog when I’m feeling down and need inspiration to keep going and not give up. God bless you!

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 28, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Thank you so much, Brianna. It’s really people like you who read my blog, comment and connect, that inspire me and make blogging feel so special and close to my heart. I’m so happy that reading this post brought you a little comfort- this just proves that being open and honest can really help us connect with one another. Even though we all might go through different struggles, the feelings of discouragement we sometimes feel are all the same. Those things that we love to do, things that bring us joy can, in a weird way, sometimes can make us feel stuck or stagnant. The important thing to remember is to never lose sight of what really matters. Just because we sometimes feel drained or feel the need to slow down a little, it doesn’t mean that we’ve given up on pursuing our hobbies, passions or things we love to do. Sending my love and thank you again!

  • Reply
    Melina
    March 29, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Hi Paula, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. I will keep you in my thoughts and my prayers. I don’t think writing about this makes you weak, I honestly feel the complete opposite. I think you’re extremely brave for being so transparent and honest about how you’re feeling. Writing about something just makes everything so much more real, because like you said, now everyone knows. You are brave.
    Stay strong love xxx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      March 31, 2019 at 4:08 pm

      Thank you so much Melina, you are so kind and sweet for saying that! So happy to know that this is how you feel about this post- it just makes me feel so good about putting it out there, knowing this. Sending love and again, thank you so much for your kind words. xx

  • Reply
    Antonina Lovyn
    April 16, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    This post is so real! Thank you for sharing what you’re going through. I’m so sorry that in you’re in pain and you don’t have answers at the moment. I hope that you get better soon and you find out what’s truly causing everything.

    I love your blog.

    X Antonina

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      April 17, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Antonina, thank you SO much for your kind comment and thank you for reading. So happy to know that you love the blog- it truly means the world to me!! xx

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    April 20, 2019 at 8:27 am

    So sorry to hear you are struggling! It’s good to share your feelings though instead of keeping them bottled up. It’s a great way to process everything. Lots of love!!!

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

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