I want to tell you a little story about me and my furry friend, Barney. For those of you that don't know, I suffer with a neurological illness and now and then I have seizures. They can be fairly small lasting for about 5 minutes, or they can go on for hours. They can be minor, or they can be aggressive and even put me in danger. The exact cause and type of seizure I have is still unknown, but to onlookers, my body looks like it's having an epileptic fit, and my face looks like it is having a stroke. I loose all control.
This particular day I was feeling very unwell as a result of M.E. I was really struggling to move that day. It was early morning around 4am and I needed to use the bathroom. I tried to use the little energy I had to get me there but I was so dizzy and I could hardly see. I needed help. I have an emergency bell which I can use if I need to raise the alarm and call for help, but I couldn't move to grab it. I tried to make enough noise to wake someone up but as I opened my mouth, nothing could come out. I had lost the control to speak - this sometimes happens and to be honest the whole episode is a big blur. So much was going on in my brain like the fact it was busy sending messages to my body to have a seizure. Not cool brain! NOT COOL. So I guess it had bigger priorities than giving me a voice.
Barney, who is my little Jack Russell dog, has never been trained in medical assistance or has even been trained well at all - he doesn't even sit when you tell him to, he's such a dumbo! When I am suffering badly with my illness he doesn't leave my side - you know they say animals can sense it...
As I fell to the ground before making it to the bathroom Barney starting barking loudly. He's not much of a barker, he's normally quite quiet. He was running up and down and making lots of noise trying to wake someone up to come and help me. It worked and he made such a fuss that he woke up the whole house! Thanks to his natural instinct it meant I could be kept warm and be kept safe. My family were there to prevent me from hitting my head on anything, and keep an eye on me until the seizure came to an end naturally.
Once I finally come round, Barney was snuggled so tight next to me, licking me and crying a little. I think this was his way of saying 'I don't like it Hayley, please be OK, I want to make you feel better' (Major aww moment right there!)
I have so much respect for the people that train dogs to assist the disabled. They do such a great job and the dogs are a lifeline to so many. My dog might not be able to bring me the morning post via his mouth, or assist with the laundry, or make me a cup of tea - I wish he could! But his natural instinct to raise the alarm when it's needed is extremely reassuring. Sometimes, animals amaze me.
Do you have any experiences like this with animals? I'd love to hear them if you do - leave them in a comment below :) Have a good week everyone!
These photos just speak for themselves. I admire anyone who isn't letting their disability get in the way of doing the things they want to do. Each of these individuals are beautiful, and in my eyes, they are even more beautiful for what they represent. You all know by now I'm all for equality for disabled people, and I admire greatly anyone who uses disability to inspire others, and create a positive out of a negative. Every one of these photos inspires me no end, and I'm sure if I knew the personal stories of these people they would inspire me 100x more.
I've been a little slack with posting recently, but I've been recovering from a viral infection so I have a valid excuse! I'm still not 100% so I thought I'd do a Q&A post with some FAQ's so you guys can get to know me a little better!
How do you pronounce your name?
OK so Hayley is obvious... but Eszti is pronounced like Es-zee-tee
What is your nationality?
I'm British Hungarian
Where are you from?
I spend my time between a seaside town on the East coast in Suffolk England, and in Madrid Spain with my handsome boyfriend.
I've also lived in Bedford, London and Barcelona
If you could live in any decade which would it be?
The 60's! If anyone has a time machine, hook me up!
How long have you been ill?
Severely ill for three years, but now that I know the signs I know that it all started in my early - mid teens
What is your proudest moment?
Probably when I started walking for the first time after loosing the use of my legs
What makes you laugh?
Adults in crocs, crocs with socks, crocs that tan holes on your feet
A random fact about you?
I had the hiccups non stop for 2 years (Take a moment to imagine how annoying that was)
What or who inspires you?
All of the friends I've made who are also ill, who fight to get through each day
Something we may not know about you?
My voice is on the guitar hero game
How much do you exercise?
If it wasn't for muscle spasms I wouldn't get any exercise at all ;)
Why is it so great to be a woman?
Because we never have more hair in our noses than on our heads
What makes you happy?
Feel free to use any of these questions in your own Q&A blog post and let me know if you do one of your own in the comment section :)
Have a good week everyone!
Why is a positive attitude so important?
Life is a journey, and that journey isn't always going to be a bed of roses. There will be pain, there will be sadness. That's just how life works. But if we allow ourselves to see the bright side of life, the silver lining in every cloud, and the glimmer of hope in every moment of darkness, the moments of pain and sadness will be a little easier to bare, even if the situation totally sucks, looking on the bright side and having an optimistic attitude will see us through it. When you can laugh through pain, you're already winning.
Positivity isn't about perfection or striving for it
Positivity is about acceptance. Loving ourselves for who we are. Accepting things and allowing ourselves to grow. Choosing to see the good in people and situations, choosing to be happy for others. Nobody is perfect and nobody has a perfect life no matter what their social media accounts may suggest. We don't need to strive for perfection either. Admitting and being open and honest about our battles and hardships doesn't mean we are being negative, it doesn't mean we are weak. It means we are being open to encouragement, swallowing pride, letting go of fears of judgement. We are sharing our stories with others, and who knows maybe even helping others as a result of that too and what could be more positive than that.
There are lots of things we can do to get into a positive mindset. Anyone can train their mind to see the good in things. Practising positivity as I like to call it. Little by little, day by day we can introduce positive activities into our lives, and soon enough, we will probably notice we're more optimistic and we are seeing things in a whole new light.
21 positivity tips:
- Spend time with people you love
- Listen to music that makes you feel how you want to feel
- Listen to music loudly and sing at the top of your lungs - even if you're terrible
- Cut out negative people who bring you down and wear you out
- Take time to do the things you enjoy
- Take time to smell the flowers and fill your lungs with fresh air
- Eat good food
- Express yourself
- Write down everything that has made you happy for a week, a month or a year
- Challenge negativity. Be stronger than negativity.
- Set goals and reward yourself when you've met those goals
- Collect your favourite quotes and images and put them into a book folder or box for inspiration
- See criticism as a way to grow and improve
- Hug people (people you know, not random strangers!)
- Share with others - share your worries, share your successes, share good moments
- Practise random acts of kindness
- Commit yourself to constant self-improvement
- Pamper yourself
- Take lots of snapshots
- Give compliments
- Never give up
I'd love to know how you stay positive? Leave your answers in a comment below!