I grew up wanting to be an Attorney and in 1990, my dream came true. I qualified with L.LB (Hons) from the University of London. However, I delayed my being called to the Bar as I got married the same year. Within 3 years I had my daughter and 2 years later, I gave birth to twin boys. Once again, my priorities changed. I do admit that I thoroughly enjoyed staying at home with my babies and my dream of being a lawyer got pushed further into the background.
Ten years later, my husband and I separated. As a single mum, I needed to be there for my kids and yet I felt the need to do someething with my life. Since my ex husband was Bipolar, I had done a lot of reading on the topic and I decided to pursue a further education in Psychology. In 2003, I qualified as a Life Coping Skills Consultant from Australia. From here, I continued to do my Masters in Psychology and Counselling from USA. I worked part time for the next few years.
All this time, I was unable to work full time because my health did not allow. I was still plagued by the constant aches and pains. I was finding it exceedingly difficult to be punctual. Constantly feeling sad and tired became part of my daily life.
Finally in 2011, I was given a diagnosis – I had Fibromyalgia. Although it was very disheartening to know I would have to deal with this chronic problem for the rest of my life, I was also happy to have the symptoms validated. TBH I was quite fed up of being told to stop behaving like an old woman and to get on with my life.
Unlike many others, I never did try to hide the fact that I had FM. I was open about it and I talked about it. Some were skeptical while others were curious. Soon, I was being asked by Mental Health Centres and by Rotary Clubs to speak on this topic. I embraced this as an opportunity to educate others. This led to others with FM and CFS, wanting counselling and the focus of all my education and knowledge became FIBROMYALGIA!
I love the fact that every time I learn something from a patient, it is a lesson to for me not just to preach but also to practise. Similarly, every time I find out something from my own journey, I can share and hopefully help others too.
Many interests and dreams I had all those years ago have never been fulfilled but I can happily say, my interests evolved. Today I spend hours in the kitchen not just indulging in my favourite past time of cooking but I get to create and share recipes for a Fibromylagia Diet. My love for organising the home has also helped me and others with Lifestyle Changes, one of the most important coping mechanisms for FM!
And I should add that I am able to live vicariously through my youngest, who qualifies as an Attorney next month (God bless him!). My daughter is my enabler and my shopping buddy. She is an Interior Architect and she has these fantastic ideas she shares with me on home improvements and then there is my older twin, my go-to guy for knowledge – the bio medical student who wants to and will (I hope) find a cure for fibromyalgia!!