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As an AuDHD person growing up in Devon, I have had to be driven by special interests as there really were no other options. My body was not built for labouring or customer service, and office jobs simply didn't interest me. I fell into writing and I've been following that passion ever since.
I joined theatre on a whim after college and discovered the call of playwrighting. After attending an open mic to watch a friend perform, I found a love for poetry. Both gave me an art form to express myself and understand emotions that I otherwise struggled to express.
And so, I stuck with it! Four years later, it's my primary income.
I've broadened my themes since, now exploring neurodivergence; relationships, disability and, yes, I still like to explore some of the big emotions life throws at us.
COVID was, let's face it, a pretty horrific time. It still is - the flaws of society that period brought out, never really slid back under the surface. But, and I assure you this is true, good things did manage to happen. My feel good story of the day is this: How I Found Myself Again Through Wild Swimming. Let's set the scene - It's 2021, I am horrifically burnt out from overworking myself with every project imaginable, and my mental health is holding on by a thread. In summary, ain't doing too great. And then, a good friend of mine and my mothers invited us swimming (this was before it was banned). I took swimming lessons as a child but there is a pretty big difference between a nice heated pool with little risk of drowning and, I don't know, the ocean! It was terrifying and I learnt quickly that I am not a great swimmer. But we were a year into a global pandemic, I was loosing my mind and I thought 'screw it, if I drown, I drown.' Always look on the bright side of life kind of stuff. Good news is, I didn't drown - barely even sunk! I tired myself out pretty quick and did a terrible little doggy paddle back to shore and then watched the other swimmers going about their mornings. It was wonderful, quite frankly. Wonderful enough to bring me back the next day. And then we kept on going. I bought myself a tow float and started swimming with it (scratch that, started clinging on to it for dear life and paddling myself a long with my legs.) My mother bought us each a dry robe for Solstice to help with warming ourselves up after the swim - I got her an amazing recycle swim bag as she would always come with an overflowing bag that would get drenched. As the months went on, I started to feel human again. "It's like I can feel the edges of my body," is how I described it to my Mother. I no longer felt like I was floating through life or so heavy I'd sink through the floor. It was as if the winter water, around 5°C for a good few swims, froze my body back into being. It was glorious. I found it easier to go on walks again, easier to notice when I was hungry, pick up on my emotions, tell when I had worked too much. I'm not a fan of functioning labels but I was finally functioning again! And yes, I got chilblains and my hands froze up so much that I couldn't get myself dressed. And of course, I still had bad days, weeks and months. And yes, when swimming was banned, I did lose myself again. But finding myself that time made it so much easier to find myself every time since. It's been almost 2 years now since I felt truly low and I like to think it was all because of that first swim. Of course, the development of fibromyalgia has almost totally wiped out the possibility of wild swimming and going on nice walks, but I am grateful for the opportunity to have done this during COVID. In a time where everything was so chaotic and scary, I managed to find some semblance of peace.
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