Constantly Feeling Like A Faliure…

* DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE EASILY TRIGGERED BY MENTAL ILLNESS*

First of all, I need to apologise for not blogging in ages. My life went from what most people would consider normal, to very abnormal very quickly. But, I’m back and I’m here to share more of my story, so sit back and relax, it’s time to read again!
The last time I wrote to you guys was when I had just got myself a job, well after months of campaignning for my job launch that all went a bit wrong. I only managed about a month with working every weekend and I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden I couldn’t cope, then it all became very clear. All of you who follow my blog will know that I have Cerebral Palsy, but I’ve never let that change who I am, I thought that without a doubt that would be my worst card dealt in life and I would be able to cope with anything else life decides to throw at me… but I was wrong! 

I have struggled with Depression and Anxiety since early last year and it’s got me down but I’ve always been able to stay in control, until now. I have been diagnosed with an Eating Disorder and it’s changed my life forever, I’ve never really been a big eater, but it’s never really been an issue until earlier this year, but especially the last few months. An Eating Disorder is more than just not wanting to eat now and again, an Eating Disorder is a battle and a battle with your own mind. It’s not wanting to eat food because you feel bad for eating, it’s being petrified anytime the idea of getting weighed comes up, it’s feeling like rubbish every single time you do eat, because you feel like you’ve lost control or a few more calories change your next weigh in. 

Everyone knows that when you don’t eat enough during the day, you have no energy to even do a simple task like hold a pen or take notes. So my eating disorder resulted in me having to leave college, because I didn’t have the energy and it also has had a really knock one effect with my depression and anxiety. The thought of leaving the house to go to college got too much to handle because I can’t let people see me like this, then I left work because I felt the same and answering the phone got too much to handle and I couldn’t cope. Still now to this day I can’t cope, someday I feel like I can conquer the world whereas other days I need to stay in bed and sleep the day away, because the world is too much of a scary place! 

I feel like a constant let down to my family, because to them mental illness is like a cold, so you should just “get over it”. I’m the family member who left college twice, I’m the family member who couldn’t keep a job. I know it’s not their fault though, mental illnesses are a nightmare to understand and I’m really appreciative of everything they have done for me through this so far and still are doing. Also, apologies to all my friends that I’ve shut out, I’m just trying to fix myself and not drag you all down with me.

I’m determined to get to a better place though, I’m determined to win this on going battle. Thank you to everyone reading this who have supported me so far, it means so much! If it’s not okay then it’s not the end❤️

Childhood Cancer Awarness Month🎗

I don’t think many of you who actually follow my blog on my website knows this, but I know so many of you who follow me on social media know about the support I give to Cancer Research Relay For Life Bournemouth and East Dorset. I never normally blog twice in one month, but this is something close to my heart after being part of the Relay Family, especially this year onwards. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, here’s my view…

Until I joined the Relay For Life Family I never really understood how much work goes into finding cures, celebrating, remembering and fighting back. Cancer is petrifying for the adults that have to face it, how do children fight back too? The only thing children should be thinking of is if Peppa Pig is going to be on TV when they wake up in the morning, or how their first day at school is going to go, or even in their adolescent years the biggest stress for these young people should be getting the best grades they can in their GCSE’s… Having to fight cancer shouldn’t have to come into this! 

So how can these incredible children stay so strong and start beating cancer? All those treatments, the needles and injections, the Chemo, all the anaesthetic they need for the endless operations they need, the endless overnight stays in hospital and so much more. It can all change overnight, from going to bed healthy and well to wake up feeling the worst they ever have, it’s a whirlwind. But, they are able to understand more than we think, they know what’s going to happen  and they Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally and Socially teach themselves to battle through each day with Cancer. 

Then there’s the parents, they sit in every appointment, are in that anaesthetic room watching their child get put to sleep, they sleep on a tiny camp bed or sometimes even an upright chair whilst their own flesh and blood lay in a hospital bed attached to beeping machines and IV lines. They have to stay strong for their children and act like they’re not worried even when they lay awake and  even when they finally let their guards down without their children having a clue. Let’s face it, they’re heros in themselves and give their children hope to fight the next day. 

So, that’s why at Relay our Survivours are a huge part of the event, we recognise childhood Cancer specifically being as part of our opening ceremony when they walk with a character  like Elsa to give them they congratulations for staying strong. One of our laps is childhood Cancer based, we show this by carrying a teddy bear round a lap with us. Then of course there is our Candle Of Hope ceremony in which we Celebrate, Remember and Fight back to Cancer!

By Relaying for 24 Hours we show that Cancer never sleeps, so thank you to everyone involved in Relay for helping to beat Cancer sooner. Because of you, one day there will be a cure to all of this, if you would like to get involved next year go on our website or remember you can donate as well!

*A HUGE WELL DONE TO ALL OUR CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVORS, WE SALUTE YOU!*💛💛💛 

Celebrations Are In Order… I HAVE A JOB!

Firstly, I apologise that I haven’t blogged in ages. But, I’m back and I have an exciting new story to share with you all…

Following the success with my campaign launch on social media, Mags4Dorset, the Daily Echo and BBC Radio Solent… I HAVE A JOB! The new chapter in my life has started at the Norfolk Royale Hotel in Bournemouth, it’s amazing and I couldn’t be happier!

As most of you would’ve read on my previous blog, I am a whizz at computers. So following this, I am now part of the admin team and I’m currently learning how to book people rooms in the hotel on the computer system. The more I learn the more I realise that for this time in my life, this is the perfect job for me! I enjoy helping people, so by booking people in for their stay it really links in well with that. You would’ve also read that I have grown up in the hotel industry, so apart from the different ways of doing things this is all quite second nature to me anyway!

I finally got the chance to go further than an application form and I got the chance to show what I’m capable of. This time round, people didn’t run away at the first idea of my chair, I got seen for what I could do instead of what I couldn’t do and  that was such a nice feeling. I’m now excited to see what the future brings and I know that people now see me as a person instead of a piece of equipment!

Lastly, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you. Thank you to the people who made my campaign go viral, thank you to the people who contacted me moments after they all found out what was happening. Thank you to the people who wrote the words like “inspirational”, because every little thing meant a lot! Again though, thank you to Mags4dorset, Daily Echo and BBC Radio Solent because without this I’d still be jobless. Last but certainly not least, a massive thank you to the Hotel for employing me and letting me have the normality feeling of having a job as well!

P.S, keep a look out because follow up stories most likely will be out very soon! 

Thank you,

Iesha Manns

Job Hunting Hard Enough As it is? Try Having Added Extras, Transport Not a Problem….

Every teenager wants a job right? Every day any of us try application forms and write an impressive CV. For me though, this is even harder, so sit back, relax and read it from my point of view…
I am 17 years old and I have Spastic Diplegic Cerebral palsy, but what does that mean employment wise? It means like everyone else my age, I’ll sit here just like my peers and apply for jobs. I’ll think to myself ‘this time I’m actually going to get a job’, as I get to the end of an application. I’ll get an email saying I’m being considered, then I’ll get the dreaded question in the next questionnaire… “Do you consider yourself to have a disability?” And of course, as soon as I tick the ‘yes’ box it’s game over, that’s the end of that.
The worst part is I don’t even get a chance to give them an impression of me, you know why? Because my chair scares people away, it’s too much hassle and a health and safety overload! My friends get jobs in shops and as waitresses, but I can’t do that. There’s not space behind the counters in a shop to serve customers and, me and my chair are a risk to work colleagues. Oh, and I obviously can’t be a waitress because people’s food would be all over me, the floor and of course my chair. But we all know there’s so many jobs I can do!                                                                     
Please excuse the unorthodox approach, but I need a job.
I am great with computers.
A natural with people.
I am plucky, hard working and I won’t let you down.
Plus I am used to bussing between Bournemouth, Poole and even Christchurch for College.
And I’ll even bring my own chair!
Stairs are a problem of course.
But I am surprisingly speedy and open to all offers😊
Please email me on Iesha.manns@outlook.com
I’ll be happy to send you my CV and pop along to see you.
Iesha.

The stares, the “no” the lack of control…

One of the things everyone takes for granted is to be able to take steps, to be able to go up and down high curbs instead of dropped ones, to be able to sit on any seat on the bus, to be able to climb stairs, to go down the road without getting stared at the majority of the time, the list goes on. 

But, with a disability you don’t have control, you don’t have the freedom and in a way you don’t have your rights. Unless you’re in a walker, you don’t get to feel what a steps feel like, you don’t feel the floor, the wheels on your wheelchair feel the floor, you have to go further down the road just to find a dropped or lowered curb. You don’t get to choose your own seat on the bus, in fact half the time you have to argue with bus drivers just to let you in the designated wheelchair space instead of letting push chairs stay there. As for the stares, well it’s horrible but it just turns into life and the people that love and care about you notice it more then you do yourself! 

Then there’s jobs, as soon as you put down on an application form that you have a disability you’re straight away put to the bottom of the employment list. (Well it feels that way anyway!). You can’t do the jobs your friends do like waitressing, so you try and apply for the jobs you know yourself you can do. Even then though, the people that employ you don’t give you a chance to express yourself properly, to go in and meet them. They just automatically stereotype you, that’s one of the worst parts.

So now, as I lay here writing to you all I notice how much control I don’t have, but I fight for all the things that I am or can be in control with. Everyone with a disability will agree with me I think when I say that we try to change “every no it’s not possible for you to do that” into a “yes I will watch me prove you wrong!” And as for the stares, we embrace them and know that kids around us are learning about people not so much like them.

“Nothing’s impossible, in fact the word itself says I’m possible”

When a Parent Hears the Word Disability for the First Time… 

Let’s take it back to the beginning and think of that very first moment again. That moment, that us as the children of the exceptional special needs parents won’t remember, but the adults will. However, I’ve heard all the stories as I’ve grown older so I’d love to explain it how I think it is. 

You get told time and time again that there’s nothing wrong, despite how many times you go back to the hospital and doctors and say there is. It’s not just that “the child is a slow developer” it’s something more. Finally, you get listened to and medical tests are undertaken. Even though you have to play the waiting game  the results are back, then it’s the moment of truth. But, it’s not the result you were hoping for, for the first time you hear the words “your child has a disability”. The world just breaks around you, this is your new life!

Then what goes on? You meet different people with names you didn’t even know existed.”Physiotherapist”, “Occupational Therapist”, “Paediatrician”, the list goes on! But, soon these people become like a second family. The hospital also turns into your second home,  it just all turns into life.

The fight is far from over though, it’s only the beginning. The phone calls that get you nowhere, the emails with no reply and those letters that your anxiously waiting to come through the letter box! That waiting game that was once unknown turns into normality.

Parents, we salute you. Parents that have children with disabilities and extra needs, we double salute you! 

Iesha Manns

In This One Moment

It’s funny isn’t it? We’re all sat here now doing different things, sitting here watching TV, relaxing with the family, doing homework and revision. I’m sat in my room writing this blog, in a while you might all be reading it. But, do we ever stop and think that there will never be a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year the same as right now?

For a child who has special needs or some form of disability everyday is a challenge. It does not matter what day it is, the thing we live with isn’t going away. Young children with these needs are confused, but they don’t really understand any different. You then grow up and become older and everything starts to make sense, we accept the fact that no matter how hard we try this ‘thing’ we’ve got isn’t going to go away. We start to realise that we might never walk or talk unaided, we get to grips with the facts that with some disabilities we might not be able to understand the world like everyone else does. Dealing with change for any child can be difficult as well, adding a medical condition on top of it is just out of the question.

For any child, adolescent, young adult or adult with a mental health illness, they feel at their lowest, trust me, I think I’m still in this point but writing these helps me! Change or anything that is out of what we know as our comfort zone will most likely cause severe anxiety. I can tell you that it is like walking down a never ending black tunnel and you’re frantically searching for that light that everyone talk about it. Sometimes, you think you are reaching that light, then you get triggered by anything and go straight back to square one!

But it’s life and that’s just the way it goes, just enjoy this moment and smile even if things are rubbish at the moment. It does get better, for anyone!

Wishing you all a day or night filled with sparkles, never give up.

Iesha💜