Holiday on hold, my immune system is at war.

This is not something I’ve had the courage to openly discuss with more than three people before, so please be kind whilst I explain my current situation, as it’s taking over my life. 

After yet another trip to my doctor two weeks ago, I am waiting for an appointment for a scan, to see if I have Endometriosis. What’s that? Well, Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrial stroma and glands, which should only be located inside the uterus) is found elsewhere in the body (endometriosis.org) and what it brings is hours of excruciating pain, painful bowel movements (and Irritable Bowel Syndrome type symptoms), heavy and painful periods, pains in the back and legs, fatigue, nausea, depression and a few other issues (Endometriosis-UK) which will inevitably vary between women, but can severely impact the quality of life for those suffering.

Whilst many people may laugh it off as ‘just period pains’ or someone being a ‘typical dramatic woman’, I strongly urge you to think twice before using these sorts of phrases, as this is so much more than that. I am talking about hours and hours of crippling pain, to the point where I cannot even walk to the toilet, or make myself a drink. It is lying in a bath for four hours because it is the only way to even slightly reduce the pain. It’s crying hysterically for hours because of the pain and nothing that will stop it. It is calling for an ambulance because something is clearly not right, only for them to take four hours to arrive and then give you a shot of morphine and say you’ll be fine in the morning. That is rarely the case. 

Once an episode of pain starts, it can, in my situation, last for days. Sometimes weeks. Paracetamol? Ha! What a waste of time. It has absolutely no impact on the pain whatsoever. Hot water bottles? Most of the time the pressure of one being on my stomach only makes it worse. Eating? Why eat when I’m already bloated enough to look 5 months pregnant!? I would also like to quickly mention how awful the bloating can be. It’s painful, uncomfortable and also distressing being asked if I’m pregnant. No, I’m not. Don’t be so rude! 


It’s a no-win situation some days. Nothing I do will ease the pain and it feels like I am fighting world war three inside my own body. 

I have had months in the past where I have been in bed for up to 10 days, barely able to move from bed to bathroom. Some months the pain just carries on into the next month with barely any rest. Which has caused me to call in sick for work, only to be laughed at or been given written warnings for time off. Out of the three employers I have tried to explain my condition to, not one of them has even attempted to understand. I’ve had the typical, judgemental responses of, ‘you’ll just have to toughen up’ or ‘well all women get periods, get over it’ or something else along those lines. Is that really acceptable? No. I do not think so.

Endometriosis affects over 176 million women worldwide (Endofound) and people clearly need to be more aware of this illness, and stop dismissing it as period pains, woman troubles, or any other lame excuse people come up with, instead of doing some research and stop being so ignorant. 

That’s all I have to say right now, as once again I’m dealing with a horrible amount of discomfort. I have prepared myself for the night ahead, and can only hope I can find a way of staying just slightly comfortable tonight.


Vegans in Taipei

The two weeks before my holiday started I decided to try out being vegan. It was tough some days. All I wanted were crisps or chocolate, but on the whole I felt pretty energised and healthy.

Since arriving in Taipei I don’t think I’ve had an entire day without eating something I shouldn’t have. My body is rebelling. I’m feeling sluggish, exhausted, grouchy and sick.

Tonight however, I decided to be healthy!


 I raided the local Night Market food stalls for some fresh fruit and veg to make up a little vegan dinner. 

Avocado, tomato, onion, sweet corn, mango and chilli – my favourite mix!

ShiLin Night Market

Oh the joys of growing up in Taipei and having a night market like this as your weekend hang out. 

However, before I continue I would like to point out the biggest difference about this place… NO MORE PHOTO BOOTHS. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Those out-of-this-world, state of the art, Japanese photobooths which for NT$200 you would get about an hours worth of photo taking, picture decorating time and having sticker-photo keepsakes forever. It’s true, they no longer exist. Talk about devastating.

Fortunately, for those of you who don’t remember, or never experienced such excitement, Shilin Night Market (士林夜市) is buzzing with locals and the occasional foreigner from about 5pm through to the early hours of the morning. During the week it’ll be 11/12, on the weekends places stay open until around 1am.You’ll find quirky fashion items, millions of phone cases, socks, earrings, handbags, silly claw machines, balloon-bursting games and local, authentic street stalls! 

You can take the Red line MRT and either walk down from ShiLin station, or get off at JianTian, which leads you into the very heart of the market.
It gets busy! Go with the flow, be prepared for the occasional scooter and if you see the food sellers move promptly, the police are probably on the way and you need to be careful, in case you get barged into during the frantic dispersal!

It’s a great place to spend the evening and a must-see when in Taipei! 


Taipei’s diamond in the sky.

Since the evening that I arrived in Taipei, four days ago, the 101 has been completed engulfed in clouds and rain, making it invisible from a distance. 

As the clouds finally began to break this morning, and I found myself walking alongside the beautiful Da’An park I suddenly saw, from a great distance, and down the middle of the dual carriageway, the 101 in between a collection of buildings.

There she was. Clear as day, staring at me down the middle of the roads. And what a wonderful feeling that was too, to see one of the most outstanding buildings in the world right in front of me.

Snap out of it.

The words I had to tell myself this morning as I spent over half an hour scrolling through various social media feeds, wading through utter nonsense that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on.

I had to forcefully tell myself to get up and do my morning breathing and exercise rituals that I have set for myself.

I fed myself some positive vibes, straight from my own mind and made myself a 4-cup dripper full of coffee as I read through my mindfulness book.

It’s working, honestly.

Even if my days are not 100% positive I am already feeling a little more confident, a little less angry at the world, and a little more proud of myself. Despite that evil voice in my head that tries to suffocate me, I am learning to fight back.

I got this.

Decluttering my head.

Lately I seem to be making some irrational decisions, and I have come to the conclusion that my life is an a fairly unstable mess.

With few friends, only a part time job and a shed-load of debt, finding the positives becomes a little difficult some days. Especially when you’ve just messed up the most wonderful relationship because your brain decides to tell you nasty things and fill your head with insecurities.

You often hear, “All girls are crazy!”, and right now, I feel as crazy as they come.

I have decided on a few ‘things’ to help me work through my cluttered mind, body and soul. (Yes, all of it. It’s a mess.)

  • Forgiveness – I have so many angry, upsetting memories that I just can’t let go of, but I have decided that I must. They are poisoning me. I will forgive people for what they have done wrong to me, I will forgive myself for my wrong-doings, and I will forgive myself for not taking care of myself when I needed it the most. I feel like this is a fundamental part of moving forward with my life.
  • Recognize my accomplishments – another negative is that I constantly put myself down about absolutely everything, despite having two University degrees and having worked 4 jobs throughout one of them. I can hold a conversation in at least two languages, and am trying to learn more. I can cook, sew, make a pretty decent coffee, I am creative, clever, occasionally hilarious and almost always kind to others. They don’t seem like such bad attributes right? So why, why, why, do I have such a negative opinion of myself? This is going to stop. Right now.
  • Breathing – Although I STILL haven’t been to a yoga class (it’s been 3 years I’ve been saying I’ll go, and I still haven’t.) I am starting to learn to breathe differently. I breathe to calm myself down, to relax, to think, to just be. It is absolutely unbelievable how much breathing properly helps in stressful situations. I am going to make even more of an effort to relax, breathe, and unwind during my days. Part of this will include finding a yoga class I can afford, and try and find an effective way to meditate.
  • Self-talk  – I constantly beat myself up and let my worries completely take over my mind, causing stress to my body and bringing out the worst in myself. I tell myself I’m useless, worthless, stupid, horrible and many other things. This will stop, as I said above, and I mean it. I am going to practice self-talk to bring more positive vibes into my mind, and to help rebuild my confidence (which is currently at about -10000). Negative self-talk can be immensely, emotionally crippling and damage our health more than we often realize, and I am going to stop it. I found an interesting article on Spirituality & Health on the benefits of Self-Talk, written by Linda Carbone.
  • WRITE MORE! I have noticed how little I write these days, compared to a year or two ago when I would fill notebook after notebook with thoughts and ideas and emotions. I am confident that by writing out my worries I can reflect better, and release my thoughts from my head, rather than bottling them up inside me, which leads to…
  • Being more open – I worry too often about hurting someone else’s feelings, therefore I keep my opinions or feelings to myself. If I feel that someone has been unkind, or is pushing me out, I let it bubble up inside and hurt myself, rather than discussing the issue. I 100% will be more open about what I am thinking and feeling, as this as once again caused a break down in certain relationships recently.

Whilst I have a few other options in the background (I am exercising more, and looking into mindfulness), I am going to start with these pointers and hope that they begin to make a difference.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments section! xo