About Me and My Alternative Life!
It is never easy to know where to start writing ‘my story’ or what to add and leave out. I have to be honest I could write a book about my life, in fact I have threatened to do just that one of these days! I don’t think I have had a particularly interesting life, however I get told a lot that I inspire people. I’m not quite sure how or why – I am only me.
Its a bit of a running joke actually, that whole its only me thing. I used to say it all the time. I try not to say it now as I know the words we use are very powerful, especially the ones we use to describe ourselves. I learned that during my time studying psychology.
Psychology is a fascinating topic, and I first started studying it as a direct result of being diagnosed with “endogenous depression” at the age of 18. I remember it well. After all it is not every day that you get told your future is going to be dictated by a condition that makes you want to die, and it will never go away. Luckily I have always been the kind of person who seeks knowledge. That meant I went off to learn more instead of listening to the views of someone who wanted to admit me to hospital and fill me with drugs.
I never have been very good at doing what I was told….
I was quite the tomboy as a child. Climbing trees and making mud pies on the roof were my favourite pastimes. My Mum tells me she couldn’t turn her back for a minute without me climbing something. I must have been quite a handful really. Put it this way there are many photos of me as a child with my legs covered in bruises. I have a lot of scars as well. One on my face where I got bitten by a dog, one on my finger where I cut the top of it off, one on my knee which needed stitches, a few on my lip where I fell and split it several times, oh and one where I got my appendix removed. For years I also had a dent in my thumb nail where I got bitten by a horse and lifted off the ground by the thumb. All of those scars I got before the age of 10!
What is an Alternative Life?
The idea of living an alternative life is simply about doing things a little differently from the ‘norm’, not following the traditional route, or doing what is expected. It could be argued we are all individuals and therefore we all live an alternative life… but I guess for me it means not having a job, not being married or living with a partner, not having children and choosing to live in the middle of no-where.
I didn’t exactly choose the route my life took, but I have also been very aware of making certain decisions that led me to where I am today.
The main reasons for me living an alternative life are all health related – I have severe depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, osteoporosis, anxiety disorder, hormone imbalance, endometriosis, and some other conditions that are linked to those main ones such as chronic fatigue, migraine and generalised pain. Despite all my health issues I try very hard to live my life from the perspective of what I can do and not what I can’t. I try to look at things from different angles, find ways around issues and basically do things in my own way. That, to me, is an alternative life….
My Life, My Way
Doing things my own way led me to leaving school with 1 O’ level. I then went to night classes to get the qualifications I needed to get into nurse training. After all that work I was told I was too small and light to become a nurse – I was 6 stone soaking wet back then!
After that I turned down a career opportunity with the RAF because they wanted me to be a physical training instructor, opting instead to become a care assistant. That was the closest to becoming a nurse I could find. Unfortunately I hurt my back very badly doing that job, and was told I would never be able to lift anything heavier than a bag of sugar….
Oh really I thought, and that diagnosis led me to learn how to strengthen my back using weight training….. which led to me becoming a fitness instructor and an outdoor pursuits instructor. I guess the RAF knew something I didn’t back when I did their assessments! Mind you I did return to care work, and discovered I had a real penchant for working in mental health after my diagnosis of depression.
I spent many years at night classes doing social work type courses and ended up at university at the age of 30. After another 6 years of training in psychology and counselling I was finally ready to set up my own business. Sadly, thanks to early menopause my mental health took a major nose dive and I was no longer able to follow that dream. I was no longer able to work at all!
Working From Home
My experience of working from home starts as a child when I helped my mum with her Avon business. I guess I have her to thank for teaching me that there are always ways you can boost your income from home. I have used various work from home opportunities throughout my life to do just that. Sometimes I did it just for the fun of being able to work for myself, and sometimes it was my only source of income. Regardless of why I did it I learned a lot, and thankfully I was able to fall back on that knowledge when I was unable to work through ill health in 2010.
That was a very scary time for me. I had major debts to deal with. After taking loans to pay for university and postgraduate training I owed over £20,000. I also had a mortgage and I thought I was going to loose my house because I couldn’t pay that bill. I could hardly afford to buy food at that point and I just knew I had to do something. Thanks to being able to earn money online I boosted my income, cleared my debts and kept my house….
Still Helping Others
Finally, after a rather convoluted journey, I now make a living by working for myself. I share my story to help inspire others to never give up no matter what life throws at you. In my experience there is always a way to work around the barriers associated with health problems. Had I listened to other peoples opinions or allowed their expectations to limit my beliefs I would have given up before my life had even started.
In my role as a blogger I simply share what I am doing and what I have learned. I do this in the hope the information here helps someone, anyone to overcome their own life hurdles. I know I might not be able to post everyday and I know my methods won’t suit everyone. What I do promise is to be open and honest about my experiences. I also promise you I will keep going as best I can…
Thanks for all your support and for reading this blog. It means more to me than I can express!