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!

 

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.

 

A low pain weekend!

Guys, I am so happy right now. It’s Sunday evening and I can honestly say that I’ve had the lowest pain weekend that I’ve had in a long, long time. It feels so amazing to be able to say that after so many bad cerebral palsy days.

Honestly, I don’t think I can remember the last time I had so little pain – probably because not all that long ago, my day-to-day aches and pains were easy enough for me to push to the back of my mind and not really notice.

God, I miss those days. I hate to say it, but I think Bad CP Days have become my new normal. Let’s hope it’s just a phase. I keep telling myself it’s just a phase, but to be honest, I feel I’m in my embarking on a long-term relationship with bad CP days for the moment.

I’m mentally preparing to be in it for the long haul. The thing that people never tell you about pain is that it’s perhaps even more emotionally exhausting than it is physically exhausting, but this weekend has given me a much needed glimmer of hope that I’ll get through this – whatever this is – and manage to get my old mental and physical self back.

The only time pain has really, really bothered me this weekend was on Saturday night (thank you, Left, Hip. I love you, too) and the rest of them time I’ve felt like I have been the one in control of my CP.

I feel so empowered and optimistic. I’m looking forward to the next few days, rather than dreading how tired I’m going to be, and that is how life used to be. How it should be.

I’m going to count this as a victory.

What 4 years of blogging has taught me about my disability

As cliché as it sounds, it doesn’t seem like two minutes have passed since I hit publish on my very first post, inviting you all to share my journey as a young woman with with cerebral palsy living in the UK. Yet, here I am still typing away, only the year on my laptop is telling me it’s 2017 now.

I might not have been around as much lately while I try look after my mental health, but View from a Walking Frame is always at the forefront of my mind. Not only has this tiny part of the internet helped to give me something to talk about at job interviews as I still try to find full-time employment, it’s been my lifeline. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is that it’s taught me a lot about my own disability. And today, I thought I’d share those things with you:

 

I need to learn to let go

One of the toughest journeys I’ve been on with this blog is learning to let go of so many things. Back when this blog started, I used to shy away from talking about my bad CP days. I thought everyone reading would think I was being an ungrateful whimp. I thought you’d only want to read about the good days.

I was wrong. You are all so kind and supportive and understanding.  You are all kinder to me and more supportive of me than I have ever been to myself. I’m learning so much from all of you.

Which leads me onto…

I need to stop worrying about what other people think

My bad CP days are mine, and even though I can try and explain how they make me feel, only I know the truth. I should be allowed say I’m hurting and not worry about being judged.

My mental health is just as important as my physical health

Honestly, opening up about my mental health as well as my cerebral palsy on this blog has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. You’ve all helped to make this blog a place where I feel I can be honest, so thank you.

When I started View from a Walking Frame it was purely about disability. It is about so much more than that now. I never realised or paid attention to the emotional impact of a bad cerebral palsy day until I started talking about it on here. I guess I didn’t really think it was important, but it is. I’m learning more and more about how my disability impacts on my life every day, and I have blogging to thank for that.

Naps are good. Rest days are good. It is important.

You guys have all helped me realise that needing a rest day is perfectly normal and I don’t have to fight against my body every second of every day. In fact, I might catch some Zs after I’ve written this post. #Sorrynotsorry

Again, thank you all so much for your support. I hope my blog helps some of you even a tiny bit more than it helps me. If it does, then it’s all worth it.

So, who’s up for another four years? I’m game if you are!

Love,

Nic xx

 

 

Being Honest with Myself About My Mental Health – again

Okay, I need to confess a few things.  Mental health things.

If you’ve been hanging around this blog or my YouTube channel for a while, you know I have problems with anxiety, my ‘mood’ (doctors don’t seem to like using the word ‘depression’ these days, it seems) and what I like to call OCD-type tendencies. By this I mean that I wash my hands a lot, change my clothes a lot, worry constantly about germs and sometimes, I even babywipe my clothes WHILE I’M STILL WEARING THEM.

I’ve had therapy on and off for a lot of my life, and have been on pills for a couple of years now. Things were okay for a while. I was almost considering coming off said pills, and then things went downhill. Of course, I should have done something about this as soon as I started slipping but I didn’t.

I tried my best to ignore it, not wanting to admit that I was ‘back here again’ as I describe it to people, but as I stood in the bathroom a couple of weeks ago, wet-wipping my jeans so that I wouldn’t get bathroom germs around the rest of the house, I knew I had to do something. It hit me that I couldn’t remember the last time I hadn’t felt like an emotional wreck, couldn’t remember the last time I felt like something wasn’t a bit broken in my brain, and couldn’t remember the last time I’d woken up feeling content.

I told myself that I’d sleep more because that would make everything better, only it turned out that the more I slept the more of a failure I felt, then the more of a failure I felt, the harder it got to get out of bed, and the more the thought of having to change out of my PJs and into ‘real clothes’ to face the ‘real world’ filled me with dread.

One day I just sent my mum a text while she was at work. I hadn’t been planning on it and felt guilty, but she told me to go to the doctor too. As much as I didn’t want to, I forced myself to do it. He’s doubled my dosage of my pills and is sending me back for CBT.

As much as I hate that I’m ‘back here again’, I need to admit it, and get on with trying to overcome this.

 

So. Many. Things

I miss this blog. I miss you guys. I miss the days when I updated three times a week. I miss the days when when uploading to my YouTube channel was a weekly thing at least, but there’s just so much going on right now. So many things. I haven’t even had chance to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet!

Annnywaaay, the main bulk of it can be explained I guess by watching this video that I made, which I may or  may not have shared on here, I don’t even remember any more TBH. But yeah, this will probably explain a lot:

 

Work on this project is still ongoing and probably will be for ages. It’s taking up most of my brain power, and what little I have left is spent reading the huge pile of library books that only seems to be growing as more and more of my reservations turn up, and binge-watching Gilmore Girls. Hopefully I’ll be back more regularly soon, but for now, I hope you’ll stick with me.

In terms of how I’m doing Cerebral Palsy wise, I’ll update you all soon, probably by doing a video so that I can keep everyone on YouTube and this blog updated at once. Things have been a bit up and down, I guess. That’s all I’ll say for now. My back is not exactly my best friend at the moment, but some good things have come out of having to deal with a lot of back pain too.  I’ll explain what I mean soon, or hopefully before too long anyway.

I hope you guys are doing okay.

Thanks for being patient

Nic xx