Disability issues

This is not a self-help manual

I can’t solve your problems

Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

All the blog advice I’ve read (and believe me that’s a lot) tells me that I should write to solve people’s problems, that I should know my readers ‘pain points’ and attempt to give them some ways to resolve them.

A bit like a self-help manual!

I hone in on the words ‘pain points’ because I blog mainly from the perspective of a quite severely disabled person.  My pain points are many and varied, and they can’t be solved by reading a blog aimed at them.

Of course, I am applying those words to my own particular situation. In fact, in blogspeak, apparently, they can apply to anything – personal or business related.  This is my interpretation anyway.

The aim of my blog is not to solve the problems of disabled people or those with chronic illness.  If I could do that, I’d be world-famous!  No, my aim is to tell my story in the hope that it’s relatable to someone like me,

I find it difficult to write freely and from my heart if, in the back of my mind, is the idea I should somehow solve problems.

We need help with everything!

Chronic illness comes in many forms, both physical and mental, and a lot of the time, both.  Many of us who are physically disabled suffer with anxiety and depression.  In my case depression is a symptom of MS and, in fact, was one of the first symptoms, so was dealt with early on.

My depression manifested itself as constant crying.  So embarrassing in public. Just about anything could start me off, seeing a child cry because her balloon had burst is one example, I just didn’t know where to put myself, and since running away by that time was not an option, I just had to sit it out! 

So, it was a relief when I started taking anti-depressants.  The downside of it is that my feelings and emotions are a bit dulled, which is horrible.  But it’s better than how I was feeling before.

In the same way, people who suffer mental illness, can find themselves incapacitated physically as a result of fear, anxiety, panic attacks and complete mental breakdown.  

I am not qualified to write about this, because it is not my experience.  But, if you want to read a first hand account read this lovely lady’s blog at http://mentalhealth360.uk. It’s amazing.

How I cope with Anxiety (or not)

Whilst my depression is under control, my anxiety very definitely is not.  It’s one of the worst things I live with, because it is not something I can solve with an occasional paracetamol.  My physical aches and pains I have learned to live with and are mostly constant.  My anxiety, on the other hand, can hit me suddenly. 

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and it’s there, the feeling of nausea and of a crushing weight on your mind.  What will today bring? Is this the day I have symptoms of Coronavirus? Bronchitis? Sepsis? Kidney failure?  And many other horrendous things that I can’t even write about, in case they happen (another symptom).  

This will ease once I start on my day.  It fades into a feeling of butterflies in my stomach, as if I’m about to take an exam or something.  As long as the day goes fairly smoothly it stays that way.  But a spike can happen at anytime.  Something normal like the phone ringing can set me off.

Now I’ve written this down, it just sounds ridiculous, like I just want to say ‘get a grip on yourself girl’. But as anyone who suffers with anxiety will know that just doesn’t help.

I can’t solve problems

I can’t write a self-help manual blog, I am not any sort of expert.  The only thing I can write about is my own experiences.  I write openly and honestly about my life as a disabled chronically ill person.  I can only tell my own story. I write from my heart,

I am trying to live with my anxiety in the same way that I have had to learn to live with my disability. None of it is easy, but I believe strongly in the power of the mind.  Positivity is an attitude of mind and I am sure it can be learned.

My mother is 90 years old, and has arthritis which severely restricts her mobility.  She is the most remarkable person I know.

She gets up at 6 am every morning, does her make up and hair, goes downstairs in her stairlift and makes her breakfast. She has an iPad which she uses to keep in touch with the family and to read. She is always her bright and smiley self. Now that is positivity!

If telling my story and asking you to accompany me, or if you ask me to go with you on the journey towards living the best life we can in our individual circumstances, if you can relate, or just feel that you are not alone, then I have achieved something.

That’s what I set out to do.

Image shows a girl on a journey carrying a backpack leading somebody by the hand
Photo by Daniel Frank on Unsplash

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