Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists. Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.
Today’s prompt reads as follows:
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all” – Mulan. True or false? When do you bloom best?
I do believe the above quote is true – replace the flower with a person and put them through various life’s challenges; some despite the challenges will continue to persevere and flourish whereas as others will become bitter and wither. I would like to think that I am the former – that I am a flower that has bloomed despite the adversity that has befallen me.
Many of us battling chronic illness; whatever condition that might affect us; have instead of wallowing in self-pity and misery have instead turned illness into something positive by writing about our experiences with illness and spreading awareness to others. Going through illness is not easy – it is often exceptionally difficult,; symptoms overwhelming our bodies and mind. However, all those difficulties; all the difficulties that we face every day makes us stronger and determined. Determined that despite the illness, and the restrictions it places upon our lives, we will rise above them and live the life in the best way that we can. We appreciate all the good days so much more than perhaps healthy people, as often we rarely experience the good days.
Very often, being chronically ill, we are more sympathetic and emphatic of the struggles that others face. We are often more caring of others, and love nothing more than to support others’ facing similar adversities then our own. This is certainly what I have found since joining Twitter. If I am having a bad day, or facing some other difficulty, I am inundated with tweets of support from fellow ‘spoonies’ and other people whom I am honoured to call my friends. Often, we are more non-judgemental than most; especially considering invisible illnesses and disabilities, as we can appreciate that every person has their own struggles and inner demons, and are aware that although we may not be able to see all illnesses it doesn’t mean that they do not exist.
We bloom despite our personal adversities by all joining together; regardless of gender, race or even by diagnoses. We form communities and by supporting each other, and offer comfort when needed, we not only bloom and grow individually but also have the honour to see the entire plant, and group bloom also. We all bloom and soon an entire garden is filled with the most beautiful of flowers.
So, how does adversity affect my life? For starters, it often stops me from doing all that I want to do in life. Often, fatigue overwhelms me and as a result all I can do is lie on the sofa watching TV or a film. Adversity has touched my life, as dizziness and vertigo affects my daily life, in a completely negative way; because of these I find it difficult to go into shops that I may want to visit, or I became extremely unwell and nauseous within a blink of an eye and need to go to bed. The spastic paraparesis has adversely affected my life as I am not able to stand for very long; I lose sensation in the legs (and sometimes even my hands); often experience tremors in the legs and hands or very often they will just collapse from under me. A few years I never envisioned myself needing to use a wheelchair, however now I have one and will often need to use it. Chronic illness is like that though; like a snake it often creeps toward you, never noticing it is even there, until it bites you, and your life has instantly changed.
Personally, the adversity that the health condition has placed upon my life has affected me psychologically and socially – often I become down because of all the symptoms that I experience, and how often I am unable to complete tasks or go out. And it has also affected friendships; people do not understand the limitations that the condition has placed upon my life; and so friends have come and gone, often with no warning and some who never contact me, or invite me out with them.
When do I bloom best? I have to say this is a very hard question to answer! I am really not sure when I bloom best; often it just seems I am muddling along in life, and attempting to do my best to keep living despite battling with the condition in which I am afflicted. I recently found a love of the water; now with the support of a Personal Assistant, I am now able to go swimming, and I am loving it! I am pain-free, and if my legs do give way the water supports my body weight and they are able to give way with no injuries! I feel that I also bloom when I am determined and set my mind to something; for example, I recently managed to sit through a screening of Les Misèrables. Previously, I hadn’t been to the cinema in some years, as the cinema experience can trigger episodes of vertigo and nausea, however, as I really wanted to see the film in question I managed to push through all of the horrible feelings, and managed to see the whole film. I find often, that because of my condition and the places which can trigger them (such as high ceilings and open spaces), and as there are plenty, I have to push through the dizziness and vertigo a lot of the time, and when I do manage to do it successfully a real sense of accomplishment is felt and I bloom even more so!
Do you think the above statement is true? How does adversity affect you? When do you bloom best? Please share any comments below; I always love to hear from my readers so please get in contact….