Alive


Alive

In the most violent of storms, look towards the lighthouse guiding your way
In the heaviest of showers, find the pot of gold at ends of rainbows
On the cloudiest of days, search for the patch of blue in the sky
When the sun descends into the horizon, remember it will always rise

When knives and needles bite in your arm, stroke your mother’s hand
When boys shove you in school corridors, get up and stand
When fake friends leave you, remember real ones who stayed
When loss and terror scare you, know that things can change                                  

On the darkest of days, when you feel like disappearing
Think of sunshine, starlight, rainbows appearing
Think of snowdrops, laughter, skiing and skydive,
If you do one thing, please, stay alive.


If you do one thing, please, stay alive...Copyright © 2019 Nature Wallpapers HD. All rights reserved. 

Blue Skies


Blue Skies

2018 has been a challenging, frightening, exciting year for me. I had a minor urine infection; had a colonoscopy and an MRI ‘Small Bowel Study’; have recently started the biological treatment, Adalimumab ‘HUMIRA’ in order to treat a stricture of my small bowel due to my Crohn’s disease; have been overwhelmed with anxiety; felt extremely low on difficult days; and have seen the further decline of my dad’s health due to his primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.

However, there were many positives and achievements. Some of the highlights include:
        Passing my driving practical test first time in an automatic car with four driving faults. This led on to getting my own car and driving on the motorway.
        Completing a tandem skydive in aid of Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation. Thanks to your donations, we raised over £2,000.
        Joining a gym to improve my physical and mental health.
        Being a finalist for ‘The President’s Award’ at the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce’s Community Business Awards 2018.
        Doing a bit of travelling.
        Working on writing projects.
        Appearing on Trident Media Radio in association with University of Hertfordshire, Radio Verulam and BBC Three Counties Radio and in The Herts Advertiser.
        Raising awareness of hidden disabilities and mental health conditions.
        Spending time with loved ones, friends and yourself.

I also learnt that is important to be kind to yourself; it is okay not to be okay; and to always believe in yourself. You are amazing.

Resolutions for 2019
It is currently Tuesday 1st January 2019 as I write this article and the year ahead is uncertain. Like always there will be difficult times but there will also be a fun, emotional and lifechanging moments. Like every year I set some possible goals to aim for.

Here are some of mine for 2019:
        Spend time with the people I care about. You are the reason why I am still here.
        Become a published author of children’s and young adult fiction novels.
        Travel the world as there is so many beautiful places to see.
        Raise lots more awareness of hidden disabilities and mental health conditions.
        Ultimately, to be happy.

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I want to say thank you once again. You are the reason I keep writing; keep speaking; keep living. It means so much that I have you. You make the cloudiest of the skies the brightest shade of blue.

Jake Borrett completing his tandem skydive in aid of Crohn's and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation in June 2018...Copyright © 2019- Jake Borrett. All rights reserved.                  

Scars


Scars

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of thirteen in November 2007. This was four years after a doctor branded my regular symptoms of my health condition as ‘imaginary’ and a product of an ‘over-anxious mother’.   

Since being diagnosed I have been on lots of medication; tried various food and liquid diets; had bowel resection surgery in July 2010; and in October 2013 had a flare-up that hospitalised me for nearly a week, during which my potassium levels were dangerously low I could have died. I have also made so many lifelong friends, and completed a tandem skydive for Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Dyspraxia Foundation in June 2018.

One of the many lessons I have learnt living with Crohn’s disease as well as dyspraxia, anxiety and depression, is health conditions, both physical and mental, are very ‘hidden’. If you were to look at me you would see a boy in his twenties. You would not see the hospital visits; the crying in the toilets; the bullying in the school corridors; the caring responsibilities of looking after a dad who has primary-progressive multiple sclerosis.

As we are coming to the end of ‘Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2018’ I wanted to share a poem with you. Scars is inspired by all the experiences mentioned above, especially the ‘hidden’ nature of health conditions. I am thankful that there are many people including yourself who are willing to listen to my story. Thank you for making these ‘hidden’ aspects more visible.

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Scars

When I look at myself I see a scared boy.
I see him crouching over the toilet with brown
Shit dripping down his arm, cursing as the burning
Never stops. I see him being told by his doctor that
He made this nightmare up; that it was ‘imaginary’.
That’s a scar.

When I look at myself I see a vulnerable boy.
I see him being bullied in school for being ‘different’
As he can’t run, can’t write, can’t read, can’t speak.
I see him being teased for needing that little extra help
So he doesn’t become another shadow in the corridor.
That’s a scar.

When I look at myself I see a lonely boy.
I see him without his dad carrying him up high
On his shoulders, standing over the darkness below.
I see him alone in the hallway listening to old voices,
Old memories from the one who slipped into the night.
That’s a scar.

But you don’t see this boy when you look at me.
You don’t see the cursing in hospital.
You don’t see the bullying at school.
You don’t see the mourning at home.
You see a ‘normal boy’ when you look at me.
That’s the deepest scar of all.

That's the deepest scar of all...Copyright © 2018 Rakicevic Nenad. All rights reserved. 

Sepsis


Sepsis

I stand on Lonely Hill and the knots of my lips rise as I watch him kite flying with his son. An emerald glows above our heads through the patient but scorched sky. The dad peaks behind the boy, his nervous hands clutch over his son’s as they grip the string.
I muter the words they share.
‘Up a bit. Down now. A little more powerful, son. No that’s too much; yes that’s better, look at it soar.’
They go about this dance but it always ends. This time a tremor in the sea beyond silences our voice and the grass divides into rusted memories. Piss stings the air as a wave of yellow pollutes Lonely Hill.
The last thing I see is his hands holding onto the broken kite.
‘I’m sorry.’ I shout. ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry...’
But Dad can’t hear me.

But Dad can't hear me...Copyright © 2014 brizzy5000. All rights reserved. 

C#


C#

I was diagnosed with dyspraxia by an educational psychologist at the age of eighteen in March 2013. In five years, I personally believe, the hidden disability has gained more awareness. A large part of this is down to the charity, Dyspraxia Foundation, and its supporters for championing understanding in education, work and health industries.  

Dyspraxia has been discussed in online blogs, newspaper articles, on radio shows and on television programmes; some of which I have been lucky enough to contribute to. Doctor Who returned on Sunday 7th October 2018 and features the character, Ryan Sinclair, who lives with dyspraxia. They have already touched upon the coordination aspects, such as learning to ride a bike, so it will be fascinating to see how showrunner, Chris Chibnall, and the other writers continue to represent the hidden disability on screen.

We are in the middle of ‘Dyspraxia Awareness Week 2018’, so I wanted to share a poem with you. C# is a piece inspired by my experience of being bullied at secondary school; having a dad, who has primary-progressive multiple sclerosis; and living with Crohn’s disease, anxiety, depression and, of course, dyspraxia. The piece uses the symbolism of music throughout. I hope you enjoy reading the poem and get something out of it. Lastly, as ever thank you so much for your support. You mean so much to me.

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C#

You spit ‘failure’, ‘loser’, ‘nerd’ and ‘retard’ across littered corridors.
You punch and kick my inflaming small intestine and twist my trembling fingers.
You mimic my lisp on school bus rides to and from the twilit playground.
You snicker as my dad limps along with a dull walking stick during parents’ evening.
Perhaps worst of all, you grade me a ‘F’ on your musical score of hatred.

You do not realise I am a C# forever rising, forever shining in the shimmering sky.
You do not accept I or my loved ones have hidden disabilities and mental health conditions, but these are only cords on our guitar, strings on our harp. 
You do not believe my name shines in stories, poems, awards and I will keep climbing the instrumental soundtrack of life.

I am not a ‘F’ which you can silence.
I am a C#, forever breathing, forever playing even when the stars turn dark.

                 I am a C#, forever rising, forever shining...Copyright © 2018 gesh. All rights reserved.