Seeing Yourself As Enough

Dear Reader,

Ever get that feeling that you’re not enough? That you’re not doing enough? That what you are right now and who you are is not enough? Well this is something that can honestly feel quite lonely and depletes one’s energy and when in such a mind-set….the hope of this turning round does not seem like a move that can be made. However it’s me who is writing this post and even though I can annoy the crap out of myself being a positive Polly and sometimes just wanting to see the volume of water that is in the glass in whatever damn way (without a psychological explanation being attached to this), it is true that this is not a feeling that is felt by a singular person- it is experienced by many.

It feels like I’ve gone off into the deep end, I didn’t mean to here but fear of not doing enough are thoughts that I have been experiencing of late. Back in May I shared on my social media that I had been experiencing pain as a result of my Cerebral Palsy, which meant I couldn’t do very much at all for a while, and for someone like me who always wants to be a busy bee this was kinda hard. Since then these aches have been on and off depending on how much I’ve been doing. It’s that knowing that I’m not doing, not continually moving forwards, which at these times are my more prominent thoughts, the insistent chatter of what I could be doing clogs up the ol’ mind. Somehow this has more of an importance than it did before. I guess it’s a classic case of when you can’t do something, you want to do things even more with the imagination running wild with ideas. Ohhh how the mind chatters!

Sitting there with all these thoughts was kind of like toying with someone else’s story-it wasn’t I who was living out that day, it was a character I created in my brain. A character with no flaws who navigated a flawless day-ironically, this whole idea is flawed! The thing is by participating in such creativity and building a picture of a person of who you think you should be kind of puts one into self-destruction mode, picking out parts of oneself that aren’t enough, that they should be more focussed- basically berating anything that makes one human-the mistakes, the getting things wrong, the going at a different pace to everyone else, the not living up to expectations people or even you had of yourself … the list is endless. All this obsession over what you think you don’t measure up to will only make you feel worse.

I do think now more than ever we need to be kind to ourselves as well as each other. This year has thrown everyone sideways in one way or another, yet we can find ways to tear ourselves down and tell ourselves that we should be doing more or that we’re not doing what we should be. There is no ‘right’ way to think, but if we just found a way not to be too harsh or expect too much of ourselves and be a bit more gentle maybe we would start to feel a little lighter in a world that already seems so heavy. I guess what I want to say is that it’s okay if you are not where you thought you would be, focus on where you are and the pathways that could lead from there. It goes without saying that everyone will experience peaks and trots and just because you find yourself at a low, up against a challenge, facing a flare up, it does not mean you can’t get back or that it will be like this forever. I am saying this to you as well as myself, do not let these not so great days define who you are.

There’s that saying ride the wave. Although this can seem like a fleeting statement, it actually does have some merit-stay with me here. Instead of fighting what you are experiencing and burying yourself down some dark rabbit hole, I started to realise, when I had to take a break from things that rather than focusing on whether or not I was measuring up to being enough or trying to justify to myself as to why I was not doing thing, I started think about how just resting and being more present could just help the future me: if I rest now, I’ll be able to do more later.

All my love XX

A Call to Change How Disability is Seen

Dear Reader,

It is funny (not the haha kind, more the stop and think kind) how the world is sooo pent up and focusing on fixing things, solving this by pretending they are not there instead working around them. I guess that would require too much ground work. This idea becomes dangerous when these things are not just things but are people and the outlook remains the same- the focus being ‘how can this be fixed’ or ‘made better’. Well, spoiler alert, this can’t be fixed, made better or be shunned away through any other ableist ideologies-how about…they you know…turn that frown upside down and realised that it’s more about people working with what they’ve got.
Sometimes disability is seen as some sort of disadvantage, and something that instantly categorises people with disabilities as ‘the disabled’ as if they’re a faulty model. As a person with a disability, it is all too familiar and expected that I will see someone’s eyes widening and their voice reach a new octave as I share a little about who I am, flabbergasted that I am just as human as them. However something in their behaviour says that this stereotype of disability is still being brought into.

Though I write and do my part to raise awareness of disability I do not know quite how to tackle one’s perception of this. Dating back to long ago people with disabilities were…let’s just say there was no voice that represented this community so I guess this stereotype was the only reference point. But this stereotype was only formed because there was no voice, still the only voice that was heard were men in power(sometimes I do wonder if times have changed). Even though the community of people with disabilities has come a long way, with campaigns around inclusions being had, it still feels like we haven’t reached our peak! When I ask myself how I can go about furthering my message, the only possible solution is to keep saying how things are for me, keep speaking out, keep writing stuff like this, call out when people show discriminative behaviour and do not let other people’s words and actions have an influence on how I view myself.

It is not only how people with disabilities are approached and talked to that needs to be addressed, but what is also needed is for society to be accessible and all round inclusive-some may call it ambitious, I call it essential! As I said above, the world can go around fixing things by pretending that they are not there, by this I mean by places STILL not accessible. Checking if somewhere is, for me, wheelchair friendly should not be a part of my ‘check before you travel’ routine. On this note: London underground! Now I know it is at the height of hustle and bustle but it is also the most inaccessible and my question is why? We’ve got technologies for the more unnecessary such as being able to see on your phone who is at your door, so why can’t some investment go into technology to engineer public transport to be just that transport for PUBLIC use, transport for EVERYbody?
I’d love to say that the physical form of accessibility that the only an area of that needs stark improvement but this is just the start: how institutions relate to people with disabilities, be it in education or in, or accessing, work need to undergo a major change in order for the same opportunities to be given to everyone. Therefore this means people with disabilities receive equal treatment to everyone else without having to go to extra measures to prove themselves, that extra thing that if disability was taken out of the equation these measures wouldn’t have to be taken. I do wonder if people without disabilities were questioned, were put through tests and were observed in the same way, what would be the response of these people? Would they understand the implications of ignorance? Would they finally see people and not what people have or haven’t got?

I am writing this as I no longer want to be silent and pretend that I am not moved by the inequality that is blandly obvious in society, a society that is fractured and unable stand in solidarity with those with differences. I am one of many with these thoughts and I hope that others who resonate with these words are able to feel empowered to share theirs. But not only do I hope these voices come forward, I also hope people who are on the other side of the coin, who don’t have a disability, that these words play a role in their understanding in how such judgement feels. Perhaps this understanding will also go towards changing their perspective and actions towards disability!

All my love XX

This will pass

✨ I hope you can find magic this Monday however small 😘✨

Illustration by @emilycoxhead

Image description: words in black handwriting that reads: “It’s okay to feel flat you can’t ALWAYS bounce back CONVERSATIONS can be TOUGH doing the RIGHT thing isn’t always enough . We can’t have HAPPINESS without a little pain hard times will pass again & again- emily coxhead.” These words are on a illustrated lined piece of paper. This paper is on a blue background with a illustration of a rainbow in the center. Illustration is by @emilycoxhead

One Step at a Time

🌈Everything takes time. Focus this moment 🌈

I hope you find a little bit of magic in your Monday 😘✨💖

Illustration by @stacieswift

Image description: An illustration of rainbow is in the centre. With white writing underneath that says “ONE STEP AT A TIME” with a white line drawn below this sentence. The background is bright pink. This illustration is by @stacieswift

Reframing Disability

✨🌈 And don’t be made to think differently.

Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones🌈✨

Image description: words on a yellow-green cut out piece of paper that reads “A disability is something that you have, it is not you.” The paper is placed on a pink and green background

You Can!!

🌈✨Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones ✨🌈

This a reminder at the start of the week, that you, yes YOU, can do anything 💪🏻 Turn them thoughts into reality and make yourself proud💜😘😘✨

Illustration by @soolooka

[Image description : There are two illustrations of plant pots. On one plant pot there is writing that reads ‘I can’t do it ‘ with a small bud. The other pot has writing on it that says ‘I can do it’ with a tall flower with smiley face drawn on the flower head. There is an illustration of a person turning towards the pot with the flower with a magic wand in there hand. Above this illustration reads the words ‘everyone has magic power to make a thought grow’. And underneath reads ‘make sure you choose the thoughts that make your life better’. The background of this illustration is purple. This illustration is by @soolooka]

Self-belief

🌈✨ Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones ✨🌈

This is your Monday reminder, via the wonderful @stacieswift, to always try and go after what you believe✨✨ It is not a easy thing to do at times, but it is always worth it! Believe in your lovely self 😘💖🌈

[Image description: the word ‘HAVE’ is printed in white in the centre of the image. Underneath is the word ‘COURAGE ‘ written more bigger and bolder. Underneath reads italic words in brackets ‘EVEN IF YOU FEEL A BIT WOBBLY AT FIRST’. The background of this illustration is pink. This illustration is by @stacieswift]

Honour Connection

🌈🌟 Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones 🌟🌈

To be able to connect to others is something I treasure and something over the last few years has meant even more to me💖 Its important to tell those closest to you that you love them 💖

Let’s kick this week off by sharing a little love🙌🏻💖🙌🏻

Tag in the comments below those humans who just light up your heart 😘🌈🌟💜

Honour Connection

🌈🌟 Happy Magic Monday my Fabulous Ones 🌟🌈

To be able to connect to others is something I treasure and something over the last few years has meant even more to me💖 Its important to tell those closest to you that you love them 💖

Let’s kick this week off by sharing a little love🙌🏻💖🙌🏻

Tag in the comments below those humans who just light up your heart 😘🌈🌟💜

Create your own rules

✨? Happy Magic Monday My Fabulous Ones?✨

This is a little reminder from the brilliant @wonder_doodles to step out of conventions and do things our way ? This illustration also speaks to the child in me who was aways told to “Choose the colours for your picture “ rather than letting me just go ahead and colour ( my shaky hands would mean my colouring would over flow the lines, which did not go down well with those looking for ‘perfection ‘) , it goes without saying it took a while to like making art again, and it something now that I love!? Never be put off by or be dictated to about how to do or not to do something – make your own rules ????? Thank you @wonder_doodles for this reminder ?