For October, I am joining in again with the monthly writing prompts from Sheryl at A Chronic Voice .

This month, the prompts that Sheryl has given us are:

  • Falling
  • Transitioning
  • Choosing
  • Imagining
  • Beautifying


Aside from myself falling off the wagon with regard to my own health (which I’ll come back to), it’s the season of apples falling off my tree in the garden. We are lucky enough to have a beautiful Bramley apple tree that’s over 120 years old and so every autumn, we are inundated with cooking apples. We give most of them away to family, friends and neighbours but we also juice some and use the remainder in a variety of recipes including soups and cakes. I love to think about all the people over the years who have also eaten apples from that same tree, who they were and what their lives might have been like.

In another way, dealing with this seasonal apple bounty reminds me of how life has changed since being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. How the old me would’ve hated staying home and dealing with something as mundane as apples! But now, I’m happy to slow down and be creative, but most of all, I’m thankful for nature’s bounty.


After a really tough summer, I’m using autumn as a chance to reboot. Personal circumstances have meant that I have been mainly living away from home so far this year and it has been difficult to stick to any sort of routine. Life has been chaotic, to say the least.

The result of this is high pain levels, weight gain due to eating the wrong foods (comfort eating…), a virus that I have struggled to shake off and plummeting self esteem. So I am now in the process of transitioning back to a healthier way of life starting with increasing physical exercise and making slow but steady improvements to my diet to allow me to (hopefully) return to a much better level of health.


I’ve been perimenopausal for a while now but my symptoms are coming more and more to the fore as time goes on. Menopause isn’t something which has historically been widely discussed , here in the UK at least, and this has left many women (myself included) woefully uneducated about symptoms and what we might expect during this phase of life. Throw chronic illness into the mix too and as it’s a potential minefield.

Thankfully the topic of menopause is becoming increasingly visible with more media coverage and celebrities openly discussing their own experiences. There is a lot of information to navigate and digest and so right now, I am choosing to educate myself on this new time of life, as well as choosing supplements, foods and lifestyle tweaks to help me to get through it as naturally as possible.


Much as I love my garden, it has become a bit jungle-like and messy over the summer as I haven’t been able to stay on top of things. This has become quite stressful, when I look out of my window and see a rather overgrown and scruffy garden. So over the next few weeks, I’m figuring out how I can make changes to enable the garden to look as beautiful as it did before but also lower maintenance and so easier for me to look after. I’m researching which perennial plants might suit the clay type soil we have in this area, to increase the chances that they will thrive and not be so labour intensive. So my goal for next summer is a still a beautiful garden, but one which is easier to tend.


The life I live now is a million miles away from the life that I used to have and the one I imagined I would have when I was younger. This took a long time to accept, but I think that I have finally made peace with it. My own perception of what success looks like has changed and I now have a totally different outlook on life. The turning point has been being able to imagine a different sort of future, one that’s in tune with my current physical, mental and financial capabilities as well as my personal values. Imagination can fuel hope and with that comes the motivation to set realistic life goals to help us move forward.

Big thanks to Sheryl for such thought provoking prompts 🙂

13 thoughts on “A Chronic Voice – October 2021 Writing Prompts

  1. Just wanted to say how very much I enjoy your posts. They hit a chord with me so much and give me perspective. Thank you. Jacqui


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Jacqui – thank you so much for your kind comment. I’m very glad that the posts resonate with you and thanks for reading my blog too 🙂

      Best Wishes



  2. Oh, I’d love for a garden that I was able to tend too. All I want is some raised garden beds and a patch so I can reach them. I love that you have an ancient apple tree. I live in a new build but there are some trees at the bottom of my garden (beyond my fence so not my trees) that look like they have been there a very long time. I totally related to your comment about your life being a million miles away from what you imagined it to be. I always thought I’d be a healthy (youngish) grandma, but instead I’m a disabled Mum of youngster I had too late in life and will probably never be a grandma or healthy again. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment – it is lovely having a garden but it frustrates me that I can’t do as much as I’d like to out there! Raised beds do help a lot though, there’s no way I could bend down repeatedly to tend to plants.
      The trees at the end of your garden sound great – it’s always interesting to imagine what trees must have “seen” over their life spans when they are so old.
      Yes it is painful when things don’t turn out as you thought, takes a long time to readjust and bad days still crop up when it is hard to accept. I do find it helps to connect with others online who are going through similar though, they’re the only ones who really understand.
      Take care x


  3. Wow, your apple tree sounds amazing! I totally agree on the garden situation. We have a large front and back garden and I struggle to keep up with maintenance. I got a few compliments over summer though when I thought it looked like a jungle. Apparently my visitors liked the wild garden 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yes I love the apple tree and have spent many happy hours enjoying the shade of its canopy (and talking to it as well…)
      I’m sure that I think the garden is worse than it actually is as I spend too long looking at it – wild gardens are good for wildlife, so maybe it’s not a bad thing to cultivate wildness after all!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your apple tree looks gorgeous! I struggle with my garden but do have a cherry tree which means that the garden looks good when it is in flower (only for about 2 weeks!). We sound the same re things not going as planned… it is something that I have struggled with but I am trying to look at the positives and it helps to know others are in the same boat. A lovely read, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello and many thanks for reading and for your comment. Yes it is hard to plod on day after day when things don’t go to plan, but all we can do is focus on the positives and try to keep going- we’re not called chronic illness warriors for nothing!
      Look after yourself
      Sarah x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We don’t have an apple tree out this way. I leave all the flower gardening to my bf since I truly have a black thumb. lol.
    I am also going through perimenopause. Or at least, I think I literally just started to so I am not entirely sure yet but it seems like it. Even before my cycle changed I had an inkling it was starting due to the rather sudden appearance of night sweats. So I have been on a supplement since then, which works really well, for now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Nikki – thanks for reading and for the comment. Yep perimenopause is a bit of a confusing time with all sorts of symptoms cropping up but the night sweats – ugh, horrendous. I’m glad that the supplement is helping anyway and hopefully it will continue to do so.
      Best Wishes
      Sarah x


  6. Ooo, I would love an apple tree. 🌳 We have a cherry tree and a peach tree. the cherry tree produced one cherry this year and the birds had it. The peach tree produced some lovely peaches. So we are looking forward to next year! Love your post! Hope your enjoying your weekend so far. 😊


    1. Thank you for the comment – a peach tree would be amazing! We had a cherry tree too but it only produced 3 cherries and then died 😦 I hope yours fares better in the long run…
      Enjoy your week
      Sarah x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no, that’s a shame. I’m hoping next year ours will be more successful! It’s seems to be doing okay so far. Yes, our little patio peach tree did so much better than I thought. Hope you have a lovely week. Cassie 😊


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