MilliOnAir interactive Magazine June 2017 - Page 139


This hasn’t always been the case though. There was a time in my life not too long ago when I didn’t see things this way at all, in fact it was quite the opposite. It was a tough time and I remember feeling pretty sad and things just seemed to just keep getting worse. I ended up thinking my life didn’t have a happy future with anything. I thought that if I was lucky I would be stuck in a flat, on my own just rocking backwards and forwards all day with nothing to do. It all got way too much for me and I remember getting to the point that I just didn’t want to live. My thoughts became dark and I began thinking to myself “what is the point in living, I might as well just not be here” and just when it seemed life couldn’t get any worse, I then started to have some really upsetting things said to me. When you are different, you kind of get used to people looking at you strangely but when people say things like “cerebral palsy and cancer are the same thing because only retards get them” I’m sure you can imagine this really got to me.

At this point I was referred to see someone by my mums Kelly and Helen and my leaning support worker and this someone was Nigel Booth. He took me though this process called Beyond the Mask, and I began to see the world differently, it’s great.

I realise now, that it’s okay if people wish to act like that and say the things they do to me just to get others to laugh, it’s okay. A lot of the time it just goes over my head and the ones that do have an impact on the way I’m thinking and feeling, I now know how to deal with them.

So, what's going through Beyond the Mask taught me, it taught me that no matter what life throws at you, it’s okay, I’m ready. There’s nothing I can do to change the fact that I have cerebral palsy so what's the point in getting down about it? Don’t get me wrong it is totally normal to let yourself feel down about something, it really is. What’s not ok is to not do something about it. I found out whilst going through Beyond the Mask that we have between 50 and 70,000 thoughts a day which is roughly a thought every second. When you consider that we have that many thoughts every day, some of those thoughts are bound to be negative but it is how we deal with these thoughts that is important. I learnt that the way you think and the way you feel, determine the way you act and the way I was acting was not me at all and it certainly wasn’t taking me in the direction I wanted to go.

I didn’t know this when I was having those negative thoughts about not having a happy future and when things became overwhelming for me, it became obvious to people who knew me well that something was not right.

When I was first referred to Beyond the Mask I was a bit hesitant to tell Nigel how I was feeling because I was scared he was going to judge me. As our sessions went on Nigel began to put me at ease and I began to trust him more and more and therefor I began to tell him more. The more I opened up to Nigel the more he was able to help me. He taught me that it was important to trust myself as my thoughts are only my thoughts, no one else’s, just mine and I now know how to change the ones I don’t want to have anymore or the ones that are not good for me. This has really helped me to gain in my confidence.

In one particular session, Nigel showed me a video of a man reciting his poem though Spoken Word and recommended that I should do the same thing as this would help me gain in confidence as well as standing up to the bullies, as ironic as it sounds. I wrote my first poem to stand up for myself and say what I needed to get out. I was amazed at how naturally the words came out and when I had finished it and read it to Nigel, he was blown away. At this point I was very proud of what I had done and I was really excited when Nigel suggested to me that we should get my poem turned into a short film and in a very short space of time, it was all arranged and I was going to be filmed reciting my poem.

When the day of the recording arrived I was really excited, at last I was going to get my words out to the world and tell them my thoughts. We recorded my poem at my school and it was an amazing day. Dan who was the director was very kind and when I first saw my poem in its final edit, I thought he captured me very well.