I have a job!

There’s no denying that lots of exciting things have happened to me lately, but perhaps the most exciting thing of all is that I can finally say I have a job!

A full-time, paid job involving writing and social media and research and newswriting and all the things I love. It’s mine until July.

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Photo shows a mug with a finger pointing and the text ‘you’re hired’.

Nancy Doyle, the career psychologist from Employable Me, accidentally made me a cup of tea in this mug while we were filming the series. I took a picture because it made me laugh at the time, but I guess I have a legitimate reason to use it now!

I start tomorrow (Monday).

I am so relieved.

I have lots of amazing and exciting freelance projects on the go too. I’m still going to keep working on those during my evenings and weekends.

I’ve gone from being the least busy person ever to finally being able to justify buying a diary again, hence my almost crying in Waterstones incident the other day.

I’ve actually been volunteering a my workplace (ohmygosh I have a workplace) for a couple of months, so I already know the people and that the building is accessible, so I’m not as nervous as about my first day as I could be, but the nerves are still there.

I’ll keep you posted!

Nic xx

 

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Allow me to re-introduce myself

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Me with my hair in plaits

It recently occurred to me that a  lot of new people have started reading View from a Walking Frame since Employable Me aired. I realised that not all of those people will know a lot about me or this blog, so I thought today it might be nice to re-introduce myself and explain a few of the things I natter on about on here.

So, here is a bit of a potted history of my life.

About Me

I’m pretty sure most of you will have worked this out already, but if you haven’t then I’m Nicola Golding (although I go by Nic) and I have cerebral palsy. I write a lot, read just as much and drink way, way, way too much tea.

I also have anxiety and depression that flares up a various points in my life, which I talk about a lot on here (and my YouTube channel too).

I have a boyfriend of nine years, two cats, a dog, and a degree in multimedia journalism.

That’s about as interesting as I get to be honest, but if you want to know more about me that isn’t related to my disability or mental health, then you can always look through my old Fun Fact Friday posts.

About my cerebral palsy

There are about 17 million people in the world who have cerebral palsy, and while I’m definitely not a CP (or disability) expert, I am perhaps the only expert in how cerebral palsy truly effects me.

To cut a very long story short, I was born 14 weeks premature and had a bleed in my brain, and that is how I got CP, or spastic diaplegic cerebral palsy to be specific. There are four main types of cerebral palsy, but mine is the spastic kind, which means I have muscle tightness. Diaplegic means I have it in two limbs (both of my legs). Although, my left arm is also impacted a bit, so some professionals call me triplegic (three limbs).

There is no cure for it, but I can learn to manage my pain and the various other challenges my disability throws at me.

The main problem I have is pain. There is not a single day where I am ever completely pain free. Some days are worse than others. Now I’m getting older (I’m 27) I’m noticing that the bad days are getting more and more frequent, and some months they outnumber the good.

The main thing is that I wouldn’t change my life. I wouldn’t take away my disability.

In truth, it actually makes me quite sad when people tell me they think ‘it’s a shame’ that I’m like this, because it’s really not.

 

Anyway, I think that’s enough about me. Why not tell me a little bit about yourself  in the comments.

Love,

Nic xx

 

 

My first week of 2018

Well the first week of 2018 was definitely eventful for me. I had my birthday, three freelance work deadlines, two full days of volunteering, and I even bothered to put my makeup on at least three times. And I managed to survive on that on less sleep than I would’ve like, and without getting so anxious that I turned into a puff of smoke.

I’m so proud of myself.  It might not sound like a big deal, but I haven’t been this busy in a long time, and I’d started to become afraid that I might not be able to handle it any more. Turns out I can. Cool.

Over the years I’ve learned the hard way that setting myself too many long-term goals at once isn’t great. I have a habit of turning them into sticks to beat myself with. As much as I’m working hard to not do that, but I find it’s better not to take chances. That said, I’m (so far) still feeling pretty positive about everything to I do have a couple of things I want to try achieve this year:

Make more content

Believe it or not, there was once time when I used to update this blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and my YouTube channel every Sunday, and I loved it. That was before my mental health took the biggest nose-dive it has ever taken and I could hardly bring myself to get out of bed, let alone do anything else.

I’m not sure if going to commit to that schedule again straightaway, but I’m hoping for at least two blog posts a week and two YouTube videos a month. We’ll see.

Complete a second draft of my YA eating disorders novel

I have way too many novels on the go. I think around three or four, but the one I’m furthest along with is a YA  novel about teenagers with eating disorders. I’ve even had feedback on it from an editor.

I say here that I want to finish a second draft, but I’ve actually redrafted the first third of it too many times to count. By the end of the year, I want to have actually re-drafted it all the way to the end so I can send it back to my editor.

Wish me luck!

 

A Positive Start

Well, it’s just past midnight on January 2nd. I am pleased, and actually quite amazed to say that I managed to survive New Year without dissolving into a ball of anxiety, depression and self-loathing like I have done almost every year since I graduated.

If anything, I’m more motivated than ever.

It’s also my birthday. 27 years ago today I shocked (and probably panicked) everyone by deciding that I wanted to take my place in the world 14 weeks ahead of schedule. I got cerebral palsy for my eagerness.

I wish I could say this level of punctuality has followed me into my adult life, but I’d be lying.

For the past few years I haven’t wanted to do anything special for my birthday.

I never really gave that much thought when I was a kid, but now I’m older it feels pretty darn weird. I think it always will now. I mean, why would/should/do I celebrate a day that was probably awful for my family?

This year though, I’ve had a bit of a change of heart. I survived. My mum survived. It was touch and go for a while, but we made it. My dad also managed to come through the whole ordeal too.

My parents were told I’d need speech therapy. I didn’t.

My parents were told I might not crawl. I did. Within two weeks of them being told that.

They were told I might only be able to ‘walk around a supermarket at best’. I think you all know how wrong that turned out to be.

Not only did we all survive, but we stuck two fingers up to every expectation along the way.

And we still do that last part. Every. Single. Day.

I think that’s pretty freaking amazing.

I’m off to celebrate. Who’s with me?

Employable Me: one week on (a mini round-up)

It’s now been a week since ‘my episode’ of Employable Me series 2 aired in the UK and I’m still not sure I’ve managed to get my thoughts in order.

This week has been one of the busiest, longest, and most rewarding weeks of my life. My phone has hardly stopped buzzing with notifications from so many people, most of whom I’ve never met and probably never will, wanting to show support.

Honestly, there are so many things  I want to say about what Employable Me has brought into my life, and probably will bring over the next few months. If I wrote about them all in detail then this would be the longest blog post ever. So, for now, I’m just going to post this little round up. Enjoy!

The Support I’ve received

I don’t think the enormity of the support I’ve been shown has sunk in for me yet and I don’t think it will for a while. But please know that I appreciate every single one of your messages. I’ve even screen-shotted a lot of them to look back on on my worst day, when I’m hurting and sore from my cerebral palsy, or when I feel like I’m worthless.

I’m sorry that I haven’t replied to all of them. I wish I could, but there are just so, so many it would be impossible. I’m still trying to get through as many as I can.

The Support I’ve given others

The most rewarding part of this  whole process (and there have been a lot of them) is knowing that my choice to share my story has helped others. I’m going to include some of their stories here – with their permission.

The following is a DM I received from a lovely person on Twitter –

“Hiya. please may I just say something and I apologise if I come across the wrong way or sound patronising. I’ve had a rough few months and while watching your employable me episode I actually felt motivated to change myself for the better. I too have CP and after watching you and seeing that you went to university and got a degree and how you’ve approached people work experience made me realise that actually despite CP I can do things if I really apply myself and want to do them. Since the episode aired I’ve actually started composing letters to send to employers and companies for work and began making plans to have a meeting so I can attend university after having to defer last year, even looking at alternatives even if that course isn’t the best for me. So thank you.”

 

I had a blog post published on the Huffington Post!

I’ve also been lucky enough to have a blog about my experiences taking part in Employable Me published on The Huffington Post, which you can read here, if you haven’t already.

I also wrote a blog for Genius Within, (career psychologist Nancy Doyle’s website) on the power of the positive assessments which I undertook as part of the filming process.  You can read that here.

 

Thank you so much to everyone who’s taken the time to watch the show, and to all the amazing people who worked so hard to make it happen.

There are so many stories that I want to tell you all in time. Some of them are still unfolding as I write this. I hope you all don’t mind waiting until I can find the head-space (and words) to write them.

Love,

Nic xx

Employable Me continues on Monday at 9pm on BBC2.

 

Employable Me Series Two

If you’ve been following any of my posts on social media for the last couple of weeks you’ll know that I’ve been fortunate enough to have taken part in the second series of Employable Me for BBC2!

It starts tonight by the way (Monday, November 27th at 9pm on BBC2) and I’m so excited for you all to finally be able to see it.

If you’ve never heard of the show before, the best way to describe it in a nutshell is that it’s a documentary series that looks at the barriers disabled people, like myself, face when they’re trying to find employment – and you only have to look back though the archives of this blog to see that I’ve come up against my fair share of those.

I’ve been working on this for so long and I haven’t been allowed to talk about it. It’s one of the reasons why my blog posts have been so few and far between lately – so much of the disability-related stuff that’s been going on in my life has been thanks to Employable Me.

I’ve met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life, and lots of us are still in touch. I think we’ll be friends for a very long time. I’m not going to talk about what happens over the series (although I might talk about certain elements of it in the future) but I do urge you all to watch it, whether you’re disabled, or an employer or just interested.

I hope it raises awareness and I hope people learn something. I’ve learned a lot about myself and a lot about disability. I hope you all do, too.

Physiotherapy & CP update 30/10/2017

I’ll admit that I’d totally forgotten my consultant said she was going to refer me back to my usual physio department so they to give me a refresher course on all of the stretches I’m supposed to be doing.

We’d arranged it a while back when my pelvis pain was really bad. I’d been seen by a different department in the meantime (that my GP had referred me to) so I’d kind of assumed that would be that. I didn’t think they’d allow me to have this second lot of appointments once I mentioned this, so I was really grateful when they said I still still go in.

I was even happier when I found out that my new physio is also the same lady who gives me acupuncture. My previous physio retired earlier this year and I was a bit nervous about seeing somebody new when the previous lady knew me and my regular problems so well.

thankfully, my acupuncturist does too, so, even though she’s never actually given me physio I feel like we could hit the ground running.

It didn’t take her long to work out that my pelvis isn’t very well- aligned at the moment (one side is lower than the other) ,, and she told me that we were going to have to work on making the muscles around it stronger before we could work on the alignment issue.

One thing that I really liked what that she taught me the names of exercises I’ve been doing for years but never knew the names of. Well, it’s more likely that I’ve forgotten them, but I’m still pleased she took them time to tell me again.

It was one of those appointments where I came out feeling more sore than when I went into it, but I often find that these ones make me feel much better much faster.

I’m feeling really positive that we’ll do a lot of good work in these sessions.

I’m looking forward to my next appointment now.