Last year was a tough one for many of us, but looking back I realised that I have learned many important lessons which make me stronger and better equipped for the year ahead.
So although 2018 was a year of very high highs and very low lows, there were many lessons scattered among both the trials and the triumphs. This is the way life goes - it is never linear and it's always changing - but we can always look back and learn something from what we have been through.
Through the course of each year we will grow wiser, we will heal old wounds, we will get up and try again, but each time we will also be a little stronger.
Have you ever experienced that moment of intense pain in your eyes and head when you've opened the curtains on a bright and sunny day? Anybody who has experienced a migraine or even a hangover would likely understand what I'm talking about too. Although photophobia or light sensitivity might seem quite common among the general population, it can be quite debilitating when combined with a chronic illness like ME.
Most people struggle with glare and direct sunlight in their eyes, but what you might not realise is that some people with chronic illness actually cannot tolerate any light at all and might have to spend hours, days, weeks or even months in the dark - and it's not just pain in the eyes that they're avoiding!
This summer was a season of great change for our family. After little more than a year in our flat, my dad had found us a lovely big house with a garden and we were packing again. Moving house can be quite stressful for the healthiest of people, so it can really be a nightmare for somebody with a severe chronic illness like ME.
We actually loved our flat, it was enough for my sister and I, it ticked most of the boxes when we were house hunting a year ago, but there wasn't room for the parents when they came over, and it was starting to get crowded.
Welcome to another Warrior of the Week guest interview. In this Faith Through Illness series we will meet various chronic illness warriors who'll share their faith journey with us. How does chronic illness affect their faith and how does their faith affect their condition?
This week I have the honour of sharing Heather Hancock's story. Heather is a Christian Inner Healing Coach helping women to find freedom from their emotional scars and spiritual wounds. She has a gorgeous blog where she writes about healing and overcoming through faith. I'm sure you will be as encouraged by her story as I am.
In this interview series we highlight various chronic illnesses and the amazing warriors who deal with them daily. My aim is to raise awareness as well as celebrate the many ways in which our fellow warriors overcome the limits illness and disability has placed on them.
Today I have the privilege of sharing Jodie's "A Day In My Life" interview here on Chronically Hopeful. Jodie has fought hard for years to get a diagnosis - a battle that many chronic illness warriors know all too well. She has a lovely blog where she writes about her health, her goals and victories on her road to recovery.