My world changed at 22 years old. Not because it was my last day of university and the prospect of my career finally starting was super exciting (although it was)
No, it was because that morning I’d woken up with a paralyzed left side.
“It’s just stress though right? I’ve been working hard to finish my course and starting a business, everything has been crazy. It’s probably just a trapped nerve or exhaustion or something” I remember saying to my boyfriend at the time.”
Turns out, after 3 days in the hospital, it was something called Multiple sclerosis.
My doctor, who diagnosed me, told me to go and Google it in my own time.
For anyone reading this…
- DO. NOT. DO. THAT.
I learnt it was terrible advice because I read so many heartbreaking, negative stories, pictures of people in wheelchairs and everyone saying what they now can’t do after their diagnosis. I, therefore, became severely depressed and thought my life was over.
I’d tried to push myself and go to yoga and start ballet class again. My neurologist told me to stop in case I had a relapse. Even he didn’t believe it was a good idea.
It wasn’t until I started the DISabled to ENabled podcast that I realised how much I had been missing out on because I’d listened to my neurologist and told myself I couldn’t do things because I was now ‘DISabled’.
The frustrating thing was that despite having a completely numb left side and a random numb right hand – I didn’t feel any different.
I interviewed people with MS and a host of other invisible illnesses who were doing amazing things despite their diagnosis like running marathons, climbing mountains, trekking the Inca trail.
I was also particularly inspired by the creator of this blog – the lovely Jess Faulds – who I interviewed about her upcoming HSCT treatment a few months ago. I was overwhelmed by her resilience and bravery at the prospect of her starting this treatment and the fact that she intended to keep running and boxing just astounded me.
I asked myself; ‘If these people can do these things, why can’t I?’
I started running. I’d never ran in my life but whilst high on inspiration, I decided to give it a go.
It was hard at first, of course, because my body was getting used to new movements. Little by little – and I mean LITTLE – 30 second running bursts very gradually grew to run 51.5 miles in July. If you’d have told me a few months ago that I’d do that I would have laughed in your face.
Thing is, with a change of mindset I realised that my ‘physical limitations’ were actually just mental barriers. Mental barriers that needed to be broken to get me to the next level to achieve the things I wanted to achieve.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel inspired and empowered by your invisible illness this is what the DISabled to ENabled podcast aims to do. We have interviews from all kinds of inspiring individuals including celebrities fighting their invisible illnesses and even a few people from the main charities themselves such as Nick Moberly (CEO of the UK MS Society).
If you have ever asked yourself questions like, “How can I fight my fatigue so I can live a normal life?”, “How do I keep cool enough so I can exercise?” or even, “How do I minimise my medications side effects?” All of these and more will be answered on the podcast.
If you’re ready to get inspired, click here: bit.ly/EWconnect
Or click to Join the Warriors!