One of the election candidates for Hastings has made a controversial statement that people with learning disabilities should be paid less because some “don’t understand money.”
During the 2017 UK General Election, I wrote an article about how politics influences everything and why it is important for all of us to consider the impact on society as a whole. When we vote, we are not just choosing “what is going to affect me,” but rather “what and how this is going to affect society.” It is therefore important for us to listen to what candidates are saying as individuals, what parties are saying as a whole, and – not forgetting – to make sure we understand the social situations enough to evaluate what is being said.
It has been far too long since I last posted a blog! Almost at the end of November and I haven’t posted since the New Year (soon to be the old year) began. I can only apologise to my regular readers that I have not been producing content for you to read – I know that most of you also have experience with Fibromyalgia (personal or loved ones) so understand my irregular posting and I just want to say a massive THANK YOU for still being here, still reading and still supporting.
While my blog has been quiet this past year, my life certainly has not been. It’s had its ups and downs; oh, so many extreme highs and lows. However, all in all I feel this year has been beneficial.
I began this year with a great deal of hope. In the latter half of 2017, my life had changed dramatically in many ways; most notably, with regard to my Fibromyalgia, was in the September when my five-year search for accessible housing came to an end. Last Christmas I found myself buzzing with excitement, with a new burst of life, surrounded by friends and able to enjoy a very busy and wonderful first Christmas in my own home.
This year, the experience has been quite different. Following a great deal of illness throughout this year, pain levels have remained high and energy levels low. I was thankful that this year I didn’t have so much to do, as I spent Christmas with friends, in their homes. I found strength to do those things which are most important to me (seeing friends and family), and wherever I was in need, someone usually stepped forward with gifts and kind words when I needed them.
A friend from one of my online fibromyalgia support groups recently wrote this book. I decided to get a copy and check it out. It’s a fantastic book and I have posted a review on Goodreads. First, I would like to share my review with you, then I would like to add a few additional thoughts that came to me as I was reading it.
Following the death of Stephen Hawking, a few discussions have opened up among disabled people about how we are viewed with regard to “being inspirational”. BuDS (Buckinghamshire Disability Service) recently asked the question: Are you tired of being labelled inspirational, or tired of people assuming you need to be inspired?
The latter, I find quite annoying. I’ve had people asking me to do regular volunteer work – even though I am signed off work because I am too unwell – with the follow up that it will give me something to do. Really? I’m a writer; I write blogs and articles about my health conditions, I am working on a few novel ideas, some poetry collections and a whole bunch of other things. I run a local support group for people with Fibromyalgia, I run a Facebook writing group that has 30k+ members and I am very hands-on, helping people wherever I can. The project list goes on, but the fact is that all the things I do have one thing in common; they can be picked up or dropped as needed.
N. J. Gatehouse was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at the age of seventeen; it is a lifelong illness and this blog was started with the aim of giving hope and understanding to those who are going through similar and to help explain to others what life is like and how to support someone living day after day with chronic pain and illness.