1. To be more assertive.
    How to say, “no, thank you” with grace. I listen carefully to the request, and consider if it is something that I firstly want to do and secondly, if it is possible to do without causing me pain or wipe me out for days/ weeks afterwards. Somethings are worth the sacrifice, it will make me more ill but it is worth it. I’m still learning my limitations. But I’m glad I’m getting better at sharing them, I’m affirming “this is who I am,” which can be powerful.
  1. Self-acceptance.
    Yes, I am unwell, yes, it has changed my life entirely but I am still me, I still have qualities and can bring joy to others. I am doing all I can, and that is enough. That it is strong to be vulnerable sometimes. A wise person knows their vulnerabilities, in fact it builds confidence and personal growth. There is nothing more authentic and trusting than to be vulnerable with others. Lastly, serenity; aka, the doughnut of control. It is my concern? Am I able to change it? No? Move along please.
  1. My priorities.
    I know what is important to me. At last I know I want to do with my life, I now know I am retraining and looking forward to the future. I may not have taken this leap if I hadn’t become unwell. That family and friends are more important than popularity. That to be open trumps importance. That humanity pinnacles individualism. That I prefer to wear fairly-traded clothes and be more comfortable than fashionable. And that to be authentic tops being cool.
  1. To be mindful.
    To live in the moment. Appreciation of what is around me, in the here and now. I can’t change the past. I have a new-found gratefulness of peacefulness and calm. To appreciate the changing seasons, that the sun always rises and light follows darkness, fresh air and countryside, trees and flowers and wildlife. I’m grateful for the National Trust, National Parks, freedom to roam, public right of ways, places where I can sit and enjoy nature and light flickering through a tree and cherry blossom against a blue sky.
  1. That everyone is different.
    Everyone has different limitations. That we shouldn’t expect things of others without talking with them, understanding their point of view, and learning how best we can be with that person.

 

If you have a hidden disability or health condition and would like to share what you have learnt, or other aspects of your story with Katherine, who may include it this series, please email her at Katherine@enhancetheuk.org

 

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