Introduction

I guess I should explain why I’m here.

I’m a 22 year old guy currently living in London with my partner of (almost) 4 years, I’ve just finished my BA History degree and I’m starting an MA in medical history in the new term up in Leeds. I’ve always been fascinated with old medicine and how illness effected people, even more so since I’ve been ill. I might post about this sometimes, we’ll see.

I tick most of the inclusion boxes when it comes to filling out forms, I’m chronically ill, have mental health issues, I’m transgender/non-binary, pan-romantic and demisexual.

I’ve had mental health problems from a young age which have culminated in Borderline Personality Disorder and Bulimia (in recovery) and my physical health became a problem when I was 16/17 when I began experiencing chronic migraines (which are now beautifully controlled with medication). When I was younger and sick/low/questioning my gender and sexuality, I turned to blogs (I still do now), reading that other people were experiencing the same things as me made me feel less alone. I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now but never had the time, so now uni’s over, here I am. So I guess that’s what this blog is for; to pass on that kindness and community and show that you’re not alone no matter how isolating chronic/mental illness can be.

A little bit about me: my name is Benjamin and I love plants and nature, looking after something and watching it grow has helped me to look after myself too. After all we are like 90% water, really just cucumbers with anxiety. Because I live in a small London flat I don’t have a garden so every surface is covered with plants (I think I have around 12 right now).

One of my favourite hobbies is knitting, it take my mind of things and I love to watch what I’m creating grow with every stitch. I also love to read, anything on medical history, horror/triller or the paranormal. My favourite colour is green and I’ve dyed my hair that colour so many times I joke that it’s now my natural colour. My favourite animals are sloths, dogs and cats, I fed a sloth once and it’s one of my happiest memories. I love listening to true crime podcasts and my favourite band is The Used, I have a very varied music taste, I love rock, alt, classical and indie (and musicals).

Right now I’m managing my way through multiple chronic illnesses (pretty sure my GP hates me at this point). Joint-Hypermobility Syndrome (AKA Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraine (as I mentioned above its pretty well managed at the moment) and all the co-morbidities which come along which these. Day to day I take a rattling array of meds as well as CBD oil and other non-medical pain reliefs. I also use mobility aids; I have crutches and a stick, I also use a wheelchair for big days such as expo’s and museum trips (if they’re available where I’m visiting).

I want to show that I am more than my illnesses, however they are the ruling factors in my life so I’ve been coming to terms with how this has affected my personality and who I am as a person, my views on some issues has changed dramatically since I became ill. Another thing I (and others) need to remember is that it’s okay to be proud of the person your illness has created, theres a lot of hidden strengths, but that’s for another time.

 

Ben

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