Regular followers of this blog will know that 2019 was a rather negative one for me and although still not 100%, I’m determined for 2020 to be a much more positive year – and that starts with thinking positively.

I therefore wanted to write a post with a list of ten things that I have achieved with my various autoimmune conditions – not just to promote what can be done whilst living with chronic conditions given the right attitude, determination and application – but also to remind myself of what I have been able to accomplish as I go through a low point in my disease currently.

  1. Completed the Great North Run in 1h 51m with two cracked ribs and a significantly swollen ankle (raised £700 for Arthritis Research UK)
  2. Played league Rugby (inc. Most Improved 2nd Team Player after my first season and appearing for the 1st team in only my second season)
  3. Completed RideLondon 100 mile charity ride for Cancer Research UK (raised over £1000)
  4. Played league Hockey for Harleston Magpies for almost 10 seasons, captaining two sides
  5. Toured the country in a band for 7 years, signed to a minor record label, released two albums and shared the billing with some of my idols
  6. Completed my BSc Degree (with honours) at home with the Open University when I was in my 30’s after having to take a Diploma first time around after my health stopped me completing my 3rd year when I was 21
  7. Got out of a wheelchair when I was 13 and have never gone back
  8. Overcome a mental health episode of psychosis in my mid-twenties brought on by my physical health
  9. Ridden racehorses and was offered a job at a professional stable after a work experience programme at school
  10. Got married and fathered a beautiful baby boy

So although I feel completely lost at the moment whilst my body doesn’t allow me to play sport or a guitar; this list serves to remind me that I have tried my hand at a whole range of things and succeeded – and I’ll do it again. I’m just in between hobbies and successes right now.

Who knows, perhaps blogging is that next achievement?

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Arthritis and Psoriasis Patient Advocate, Writer And Consultant. Owner Of The Pain Company.

I share my story of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis to raise awareness and specialise in pain, parenting (with disability) and the mental health impact of living with chronic illness. I write and campaign for leading charities and organisations. In addition, I provide patient experience consultancy for both charities and global healthcare companies.

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