Last week ended on, what I would call, a bit of a high.
The pictures people see of me on ski slopes and in woods suggest I’m some sort of outdoor character. This is quite true, but anyone who really knows me knows that my favourite type of gossip and chatter involves the “P” word, Politics. Westminster is my Hollywood and Malcolm Tucker is my spirit animal. So when it all kicks off in Whitehall, I love it!
On Friday night, my phone buzzed with a BBC News update.
Probably someone’s died, I thought.
Iain Duncan Smith had resigned from his role as Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions.
This was my reaction:
I saw it simply and shallowly as relief (He’s gone!) and a bit of excitement, knowing there’d be major drama to watch over during a weekend where I had nothing planned. I never thought it would coincide and lead to people with disabilities, the House of Lords select committee and the media finally speaking out and exposing what I always think and say, but never really have the confidence to publicly write about.
Well that’s all changed.
Last month it was the 11-year anniversary of my spinal cord injury. I’m 22. So it marked the moment where I had been alive paralysed as long as I’ve been alive and not paralysed. It hit me hard. I’ve had a lot of health problems over the last 2-3 years connected to my injury that have contributed to my mental health spiralling dangerously downhill. In many ways I find it difficult to admit and share this fact, as I know I’ve achieved a lot in 11 years that I should be and am, proud of. But as I’ve grown older and hit the milestones we all hit in our lives, the way I view myself and the world around me has become increasingly harder to deal with.