I have suffered from fibromyalgia from a young age. I found that having an illness that stops you from regularly attending school makes you different. Being different causes others to treat you differently. If you don’t have the illness or know someone close then it isn’t likely that you are going to know a lot about it and this often leads to stigma and discrimination. In my case fibromyalgia is known for its pain. This is one of the many symptoms, the worst part for me is the way it affects my mental health. It can make it very difficult to concentrate, it leaves me with no energy and can often leave me feeling very low.
I have found that doing something creative can help lift me back up, giving me something to focus on and helps to relieve stress.
I also have the experiences of my mum and dad. My mum has Functional Disorder, this illness has stopped her from doing many of the activities that she used to do. Making use of her creativity by designing jewellery and making lampwork beads has really helped her cope. My dad was an extremely hard working man who had to stop work because of M.E. After ten years he has now started to do some work at home with wire work silversmithing and web design.
Our creativity has enabled us to work. The creative side of our work gives us something to focus on and helps relieve stress.
Through the social enterprise I would like to help people find ways of using their creativity to relieve stress and help those that have become unemployed due to illness on their road to recovery and paid work. I would also like to help in advancing awareness of mental health issues and work alongside charities such as Beatbullying to help support young people that are being affected by unnecessary stress.
TLC information pack