The TWENTIES

I’ve written  a similar blogpost to this which mainly focused on university and loads of people seemed to relate but I wanted to talk about the struggles of being in your twenties. It just feels like you’re too young to have it all together but too old not to. Theoretically, I would have finished my uni degree by now and been on my way to graduation but I’ve skipped that part for now, but for all my friends who I’ve watched work so hard to achieve their degrees, funnily enough we’re all sitting in the same ‘lost in life’ boat staring at each other just as confused as each other.

We’re in the big wide world now and I feel like I’ve been reborn in a sort of ‘the stalk dropped me off’ kind of way with no note for my potential carer (employer), no direction of how to get to where I’m heading and no instructions to follow. When you’re in the education system, you always know what’s next and what all the steps are, until you reach the end. Then you’re left on your own and expected to work it all out. I’m currently at a stage where; my parents, family members, older friends, my friends’ families, coworkers, strangers, the guy doing my blood test, the random old lady on the bus and many more, are all looking at me with these huge hopeful eyes and asking “what’s the plan?” Whilst making sure to avoid eye contact, I sheepishly reply “I just don’t know yet”.

I’m tired of it, seriously! At what point do people stop associating age and university together and why do people think it’s okay to ask what your plan is!? WHO said I even have a plan? Because honestly, I don’t! I don’t have a f*****g clue what the plan is. I had a plan, and when it came to carrying it out I didn’t like it, so I had to scrap that plan and I’m currently trying to make a new one. I’ll happily call myself a blogger/content creator, but it’s proving hard to make a plan in this industry. Let’s say you get a job in retail, the first few days – a week of starting, you have someone on your back showing you what to do and how the business runs. Being a blogger, you’re both the new employee and the existing employee. You’re running your business whilst working out how to run your business. For me, it’s currently trial and error and unless I just haven’t done enough research, I just don’t know what the clear cut steps are, and then you’ve got to plan the back up plan too!

Everyone says the twenties are supposed to be some of the best years of your life but right now (only 21) I feel so much pressure. Constantly looking down on myself for not doing enough or not being enough yet reassuring myself this stage is absolutely normal. I’ve spoken to (or overheard conversations of) people at all different stages of twenties.. 22, 26, even as late as 29 and yet nobody seems to be confident in this new adult life full of responsibility and plans.

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So here I am, young and trying to figure it out and if it any point I find the major key to help us all through life, I’ll be sure to let you all know but for now, just know that I get it. I can relate to what you’re feeling and I believe in you!

elisekirsten xo.

My Autoimmune Disease: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I wrote a similar post over a month ago now on how I’d been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and as it was all new to me, I felt really alone with it all and was hoping there were others out there who could share their stories with me. Almost two months later and I’m ready to do an update!

If you haven’t read my last post which I’ll link here, and you’re unsure what Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is, here’s some info:

RA is a chronic and progressive autoimmune disease that mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in your body, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in various joints of the body. It can also affect and cause problems in organs such as the heart, lungs and eyes. Long term, it can result in deformity and immobility.

At age 20, I had a left knee injury which caused the onset of my RA. My knee became seriously inflamed and swollen and very painful. Walking let alone anything else became a task. A year later after many tests, x-rays and MRI’s, I was told I had RA and at that time, it had spread to my right knee. A month later, it had spread to my right elbow and the left side of my jaw. Typically, RA is more common in hands and feet but it can affect all joints.

The inflammation, swelling and pain is called a ‘flare’ and flare ups can happen very frequently or every now and again. RA is genetic and my dad was diagnosed with it several years ago yet he’s only experienced one short flare up in his wrist. Whereas I on the other hand, feel as though I’ve had this flare for roughly a year now. Shortly after my knee injury when it became inflamed and began to swell, it has never gone away. I only have bad days or better days.

Generally I’m happy, smiling and getting on with life and as much as I don’t want this to come across as a pity post, this can be a very serious disease and I want to share my honest story so far. The mornings are always the hardest. Because I’ve been sleeping for several hours, my joints become very stiff and I dread the morning stretch because it’s so painful for me now. My legs and right arm can no longer straighten properly so where my body naturally wants to stretch out, the swelling and inflammation acts as a painful barrier. I can barely open my mouth first thing in the morning because of my jaw so I try to keep yawning to a minimal. I practically crawl to the bathroom in the morning where getting up and down from the toilet seat is like mission impossible and I’m currently trying to learn to use my left hand for most things like brushing my teeth.

Honestly, I hate having to do things early in the morning because it doesn’t allow my joints time to ‘warm up’ so it’s all very painful. I’m very slow and can’t fully focus on whatever I should be doing. On bad days, it can affect my whole body because for all my affected joints, I usually have to substitute another part of my body so although my knees are inflamed, a lot of the time my legs generally ache because I’m shifting my weight and the pressure elsewhere. I often have a lot of pain in my hips and lower back too.

By mid afternoon, I’m usually back to my idea of my current normal self and I’m a lot more active and can move around more freely however as of lately, I am really struggling with fatigue. I feel exhausted all the time even with a decent amount of sleep. One thing I really have to focus on is my diet and what sort of foods I’m eating. There are a lot of inflammatory foods such as take away meals, fried foods, alcohol, bread, fizzy drinks and any processed foods. It might not sound a lot but on a daily basis it can prove a little hard to control. There are certain foods/drinks I have to have to help reduce inflammation such as fish, ginger, garlic, chai tea, green tea and fruits.

I’m currently waiting for my next few appointments to discuss treatment going forward. I’m expecting to take steroid injections mainly for my knees but as my disease has progressed I’m hoping to receive another medication for pain-relief too. I have been lucky enough to have private healthcare for the past few months which really has helped to speed up the process and answer a lot of questions for me. I’m sure I’ll do another update once I’ve started my treatment!

elisekirsten xo.

My Top 5 Pick-Me-Ups.

As I lay here in bed on a Monday afternoon having spent the whole day lounging around doing absolutely nothing productive, I finally thought “what shall I blog about today?” and having felt not quite myself for the past few days I decided I needed a mental pep talk and a pick me up! Having just recently overcome depression (I think) and having an autoimmune disease, I do seem to spend quite a few of these crappy days in bed but I have become a master of pick-me-ups and doing little things to get me up and rehabilitated into the world, so here’s my top 5:

  1. Pamper Yourself. Any guys reading this might be a bit put off but honestly, I know loads of guys who love a good face mask and all those little feel good pleasures. For me, showering some days can feel like a chore especially if I’m having a bad flare up with my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) so I end up stuck in bed for half the day until I can’t take it anymore. Once I’m up I may as well go the whole nine yards and do a deep cleanse facial, shave, a cheeky face mask, wash my hair etc. It gives me such a confidence boost because I feel and look human again rather than the smelly gremlin that was laying in my bed earlier! Check out my fav beauty products here.
  2. Listen to Music. We have a tendency to listen to music which matches our moods and if you’re feeling a bit low or not quite yourself, I wouldn’t recommend listening to sad and slow songs. It’s great that you’ve found an artist/song that you can relate to but they’re not exactly going to lift your mood or energy. Try listening to upbeat music! My fav album that really helps right now is Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic album, it always makes me feel good.
  3. Surround Yourself. This isn’t always the most accessible and most of the time we don’t want to be around anyone if we’re not feeling too good. I’m very stubborn and once I’m in a mood I’d rather be alone in bed but having a loved one come and drag me out of bed always distracts me from whatever I was feeling crappy about.
  4. Take a Walk. Once I’ve summoned up the energy to do so, I love taking a little walk by the river just to clear my mind, take in some fresh air and get my thoughts together.
  5. Plans and Organisation. This isn’t necessarily a pick-me-up but it’s something I like doing when I feel a bit discouraged or unsure about things. I love writing down my plans or brainstorming my ideas so I can visually see it all. I also find cleaning really therapeutic too.

I hope this helps and at least one of these will work for you!

elisekirsten xo. 

My Fav Beauty Products

I am far from a beauty/skincare guru and I barely ever use a skincare routine but when I do, these are by far my fav products:

  • For an ‘everyday’ face mask I use the Soap and Glory Deep Pore Detox Mask which is also self-heating! Using this straight after the face wash leaves my skin super soft and gives it a nice glow.

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elisekirsten xo.