Introduction

If you’ve stumbled upon my blog I suppose the first thing I should do is introduce myself. My name is Amber and I’m 18 years old. Before the pandemic led to school closures I was in year 13 weeks away from taking a levels in psychology and sociology. I am hoping to start a degree in education studies next academic year, with the hope of going onto specialise in special educational needs (SEN) in the future. Outside of sixth form I am completing a British Sign Language (BSL) course, this will hopefully become useful in making my classroom a more accessible place in the future.

Accessibility is something I am really passionate about. Having spent the last 4 years living with a chronic illness my eyes have been opened to just how much accessibility matters and on the flip side just how much damage inaccessibility can do.

After 2 and a half years of worsening symptoms I was finally diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) 18 months ago. Chronic illness has shaped every aspect of my life in many ways: my education, independence and ability to socialise to name a few. M.E. brings with it a multitude of symptoms that overwhelm everyday. Life with chronic illness has meant I’ve missed out on many things, some “big” things and others that may seem “small” or “irrelevant”- the ability to get a good night’s sleep or brush my own hair. Funnily enough it is often the small things that hurt the most. Chronic illness gives you a unique slant on life, something that no one will fully understand unless it happens to them. And that’s where the presence of the chronic illness community online becomes invaluable; being able to connect with people who are going through the same thing is such a gift. Having a space to talk and share experiences with others reminds you that despite how isolating chronic illness can get you don’t walk alone in the struggle.

Writing has always been a massive part of my life, whether it’s reading countless books or writing myself it has always been there. It has been a huge tool in me processing some of the emotions that come with being chronically ill. Now feels like the right time to share some of my ramblings.

I hope that Aspects of Amber becomes a place for me to share different aspects of my life. A way to give healthy people an insight into life with chronic illness. A place where one day someone who is newly diagnosed can come and see that you can be chronically ill and happy despite the way mainstream media paints disability.

Amber

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