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I am a burned out international labour lawyer. For the past 12 months (6 months in particular), just the thought of doing anything related to law gave me panic attacks, migraines, hypertension episodes and a worsening of my fibromyalgia flare ups. Until December 3, 2020, that is.

On December 3, 2020, #IStandwithTimnit was on my Twitter feed. I’ve started using twitter actively only for the past few months, so I was curious when this showed up. I started reading and something didn’t feel right. The more I read, the more appalled I was!

Dr. Timnit Gebru is one of the…

How I gave birth to poetry from pain and anxiety

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I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2014, after nearly 3 years of suffering. I had accepted a lifetime of pain. Or so I thought, until that fateful day.

On a misty day in April, in a lovely mountain resort in the Black Forest, I had a hypertensive crisis and almost died. For about 10 seconds (but for what felt like an eternity to me) I saw nothing but a black void. I did not hear anything or feel anything.

What followed was a slow descent into hell. I lost my…

Each night, when I went to bed, I had a strange sense of calm

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Are you tired, anxious, and worried about the future, thanks to the current pandemic? Or are you just tired, anxious and worried in general because you, like me, suffer from a chronic illness or anxiety disorder? Here is a gentle exercise to guide your mind towards reframing your thoughts, behaviour and get your mental health in good order.

‘Tis the season to be jolly

Winter depression and anxiety had become widespread even during pre-Covid days. This is why the decorations, winter lights and gathering with people you love all made a huge difference in our lives. Now, however, with lockdowns reemerging and news, in general, being…

The Twitter Hashtag for people with chronic illnesses, pain or disabilities

How the #NEISVoid changed my life

I joined Twitter in January 2010 and this was my first tweet: “Another social networking site. Where does this end?” I did not tweet for 9 years, until 2019, when I tweeted for a grand total of 3 times.

In 2020, I started writing this blog and my friends kept saying that I should put my posts out on twitter, as they could help more people. …

The things you can see only when you slow down — Haemin Sunim

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Six months after my brush with death, I was still grappling with the consequences of that near fatal day. I was frustrated that the doctors could still not diagnose what was wrong with me (19 months now and we still don’t have a clear answer). It was becoming increasingly clear that life was not going to return to “normal” for the foreseeable future.

Yet, I was not anywhere close to accepting this reality. I thought that I could return to work, if not as a practising lawyer, at least as a consultant. That, to me, seemed like acceptance. …

And how it will lead to long-term motivation.

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Burnout — This is a term you may have heard thrown around in the news a lot, especially about essential workers. If these repeated lockdown cycles continue and you are forced to work from home a lot again, you may even start experiencing it. So there is no better time than now to educate yourself about what exactly is a ‘Burnout’, what are the signs and symptoms to look out for, and how to prevent it.

Burnout is a state of excessive and chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, feelings of detachment, and near-constant…

101 and FAQ on exercising with fibromyalgia

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When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, after complaining of widespread pain for over three years, one of the first things my doctor told me was to exercise more and that it was one of the best things that would help me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I kept thinking in my head “lady, I’m telling you I cannot lift my toddler without pain and you are asking me to lift weights?.”

I didn’t say that out loud, of course. Or maybe I did and I just choose to not acknowledge it. Anyway, that is not the point…

Simple things that can change your life

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  1. Take a walk in nature

There is something that happens to our body and mind when we take a walk in nature. The fresh air that we breathe, the beauty that we see, the rustling that we hear, the wind, sunshine or cold that we feel — they all wake our senses up. This creates a welcome break or distraction from our worrying and gives us an opportunity to pause and reset our thought process, if we want to. A walk in the sun or nature releases serotonin in your body, which helps elevate your mood immediately. …

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Gratitude — What Holocaust survivors can teach us

One of the common themes in any story written about or by survivors of the Nazi concentration camps is gratitude. Almost all of them express their gratitude to something or someone — from their faith that kept them going to the kindness of strangers that kept them alive.

They even speak about their gratitude while still imprisoned in those dreadful camps, just for living to see another day or getting a piece of bread to eat. …

Renuka Dhinakaran

I am a burned out international lawyer & mother with Fibromyalgia and anxiety, trying to re-discover my identity.

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