The amazing thing about working with the Stroke Association is that everyone is in the same position as me, so I feel part of a community which boosts my confidence greatly and I am more confident about talking about my stroke and how far I have come.
In the first five years or so all my friends were going to uni or going on holiday which is so frustrating. I thought, ‘why is this happening to me?’ I heavily relied on my parents to do everything including talking or making bookings etc as my circumstances had changed. I realised that I have to step up and be more forward about college and wanting to do something for me not just pleasing my parents.
I went to college in 2014 and everything changed for the better. I had a lot of support which really helped me complete the 1-year course and I’m so happy to be where I am now. I have my own flat, own car and no benefits.
I appreciate how lucky I am to have friends to share this journey with me. I was so worried that my friends would disown me and I would be left on my own.
I wanted to mark this occasion to give back to the charity who helped me through my darkest days and who have always been at the other end of a phone to talk through my problems when I’m feeling down.
To reflect on this journey I have been on for the last 12 years. I’ve realised that its never going away, but I have realised its part of me and that I shouldn’t shy away from this. I embrace everything and have no regrets about the choices I make which is hard to do but I’m learning all the time.