Category Archives: chronic pain

My Mental Health is a Shit Show…How’s Yours?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I wanted to talk about the mess that is my brain. Actually, calling it a mess is kind. It’s a total shit show right now.

Back in February I was celebrating my birthday when I got a message saying my Dad had gone into hospital. He has Alzheimer’s and he’d been admitted to hospital after they thought he’d had a fall. It was worrying and stressful.

A couple days later a familiar sensation started to creep in and I knew I was headed for stormy waters. I have not been coping well with my Dad’s Alzheimer’s. In fact I’m willing to admit I’m in total denial about it.

I don’t usually have a trigger for my depression, it just kinda happens. This time I was worried about my Dad and I’d also launched a project I’d been working on and it was failing – more on that in another blog post!

Before I knew it I had been hit with the sledgehammer of a depressive episode.

This depressive episode hit right in the middle of a chronic pain flare up. I’m writing this post on my phone, adding to it sporadically when the pain in my hip back and legs subsides. I really try to stay as positive as possible but having a chronic pain flare up and a depressive episode hit all at once is just too much.

I feel exhausted all the time and everything I do is taking from an already depleted source. Insomnia stops me from being able to drift off to sleep at night or I manage to fall asleep but only for an hour or so.

My energy levels are low and I’m struggling to get excited about anything. And yet, the impulse to create is strong. Which makes me feel like I’m lazy because I don’t have the energy to create and I start to spiral. I feel disconnected and frustrated.

My brain is not my aly in times like these. It tells me awful things about myself and judges everything I do. Which is frustrating because the voice that tells me I’m a piece of shit comes from the same place that positive reinforcement comes from. The same place that says go on, you can do it…reach for the stars!

And that’s not even getting into the things my brain tells me about food and body image. I’m exhausted just thinking about it let alone putting it into words.

I have to work so hard to battle that voice and sometimes you’re just too tired to fight it.

I realised that this month is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s also the first anniversary of my friends passing. She was struggling with her mental health and sadly she lost the fight. I think about her often and I don’t want anyone to feel like suicide is the only option.

If you need help please reach out to friends, family and professionals. Here is a link to the some helpful phone numbers via the NHS.

Take care of yourself!


The Badass Manifesto


Personal Development: Things I Need To Work On

My fellow Badasses,

I’ve had a rough week both mentally and physically. So, I’m not really in the best place to be evaluating myself but hell, when is a good time?

When I feel a depressive episode coming on I’m a lot harsher with myself and my flaws feel magnified.  To try and combat some of these feelings I wanted to look at some of the things I need to work on. Not in a self flagellating way, I want this to be more of a self care type deal.

  • I need to get better at accepting compliments. Why is this so difficult?! Whether it’s a compliment about my work, appearance, impact on others I cringe when someone says something nice about me. And that’s some bullshit. I’m no saint but also not the worst person to crawl the earth so I need to start saying thank you.
  • I also need to stop being so hard on myself.
    I am capable of saying cruel things to myself, things I would never say to another person. Things that aren’t true but I listen to those horrible things I say to myself and I have to fight to remind myself I am not the piece of shit I tell myself I am.
  • I need to focus, which can be hard enough on a ‘good’ day let alone when I feel like I do at the moment. I feel a little lost at times, I will be 37 next year and I feel like 2018 could be a really great year but I need to focus. I need to dedicate time to my passions and goals and not let the months slip by uneventful.
    I must stop being distracted!
  • I need to be kinder to myself. In whatever form it takes.  I will be kinder to myself, more accepting of my flaws and turing those perceived flaws into positives.



Moxie McMurder
The Badass Manifesto

Penclic R2 Wireless Mouse Review

Something a little different today. I was asked to review the Penclic R2 Wireless Mouse. The Penclic R2 wireless mouse has become my new best friend. This pen inspired mouse is designed to reduce RSI (repetitive strain injury) as a vertical mouse lets you have your arm and hand in a more natural position. I wasn’t sure I’d get on with this design when it arrived but I found that I adapted to the vertical mouse much quicker than I’d anticipated. I’m now a total convert and haven’t stopped using the mouse since!

R2 Wireless

R2 Penclic You still push it around like a traditional mouse, so it’s not as strange to use as you might expect. The only issue I’ve had with the Penclic is that a couple of the buttons on the side are not quite as comfortable to use. That said the Penclic is light and really touch sensitive. The R2 is wireless thanks to the supplied USB dongle and has left click, right click and a scroll wheel. There are a couple of extra buttons that you can assign different actions to. It also has an on/off switch on the underside of the base that I never remember to use and am always surprised at how long the Penclic stays charged for!

The Penlic Mouse R2 retails at €79.99

comes with a velvet carry pouch, a small USB dongle, and a USB charging cable. No software’s required – it’s a case of plug-in-and-go for Windows, MAC etc If you suffering from RSI related to using a traditional mouse, or find using a traditional mouse causes you discomfort, which for me as a chronic pain sufferer is an issue, the Penclic R2 is certainly worth trying out! Moxie McMurder

Why I’d Be Lost Without My Smartphone

I use my phone all the time. All the time.
I have no doubt that when I die I will have my phone in my hand.

Chronic pain makes it difficult for me to sit at my desk or use my laptop for any real length of time due to the discomfort, so my phone is invaluable to me.

Being able to work from the sofa or my bed means I can still earn a living even when I’m lying in something that resembles the recovery position. I’ve written whole articles, emails, blog posts, book chapters and short stories on my phone.

I use my phone for Photography, social media, invoices, online shopping, poetry and keeping my calendar up to date. I use my phone to do so many things I truly would be lost without it.
I even did some photography for The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London for three of their events using only my smartphone. You can take a look at them here (Lecture from Stephen Thrower) and here (Kim Newman Lecture). You can also see more of my smartphone photography on my Burn The Witch Art Facebook Page.

blackwhite tree


tree burnthe witch
Without my phone I wouldn’t be able to keep in contact with my friends in other countries and I also wouldn’t be able to bombard my best friends with endless RuPaul Drag Race gifs. Due to chronic pain I can’t always hang out with my friends, so my phone helps me stay in touch through Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp,Kik etc

I use an to use an app to help me remember to take my medications, I used to use an app that tracked how far I was walking when I took my dog out. I use an app to apply text to my photography and I use an app order my shopping. Technology really does play a large part in my life and I’m grateful for that. Without these apps and without social media etc I would be more restricted than I am now.

My phone is a Sony Xperia, pretty sure it’s the Z1 version which is pretty out of date by now but it’s still a good phone and when I upgrade I’ll be looking to get another Xperia.

Do you use your phone to it’s full capacity or do you try to limit how much you rely upon your phone?


Moxie McMurder
The Badass Manifesto

What Living With Chronic Pain Has Taught Me

I’ve been living with chronic pain for 5 years. Chronic pain is defined as pain that continues longer than 3 months. 3 MONTHS! My Kingdom for only 3 months of pain.

So, what have it learned about myself through experiencing chronic pain? Well, I’m stubborn – but I’m sure you’ve guessed that by now. But I never quite realised how resilient I am and how despite the way pain impacts my life, in some ways it hasn’t stopped me at all. It has only forced me to think outside the box.

It’s also taught me that my friends and family are solid gold. Their support, patience and encouragement means so much to me. They love me and believe in me and I make sure they know how much I love them. 

I’m also grateful for my sense of humour. Despite the day in day out discomfort and pain, I laugh a lot..which doesn’t help when your back is in spasm and it hurts to breathe let alone laugh! Being able to laugh even your life feels like it’s on pause is of great benefit. 

I have also learned that I am not interested in unsolicited medical advice from anyone who isn’t a doctor. If you have an illness or disability I’m sure you’re all too familiar with the often well meaning but truly irritating experience of having someone explain your illness back to you or worse, suggest a course of treatment.

Over the past 5 years, I think I’ve heard it all and I’m just not interested in hearing unsolicited advice. Especially when it comes to wafty nonsense like acupuncture.

One lesson I keep refusing to learn is that I am not in control – my pain is. I have a lot of back problems and it stops me from doing so much and it’s really upsetting. I went from having a seriously active life to a severely sedentary one. I miss being active but I miss my social life more. I used to go to gigs all the time, I’d go to BBQ’s and events, hang out with friends the usual stuff but now I’m pretty much a hermit. My back is in control, not me. It dictates where I can go and for how long and I fight it all the time.

These changes to my life had a knock on effect on my mental health too. Something I plan to write about more in another post.

Chronic pain can isolate you, make you feel alone and misunderstood but please know you are definitely not alone. Search the hashtag #chronicpain and #spoonie on Twitter to find a huge community of people who really do understand what it’s like to live with pain and discomfort every day.

I’m still learning, still fighting and I’m grateful for the love and support I have. You have that same support in me. I got you. You got you. ‘Cos you’re a Badass!

Moxie McMurder

The Badass Manifesto