Before I became ill and to an extent lost my independence I never really worried too much about what was going on around me or about other people.  Oh yes, I sponsored a child in another country and had a direct debit going to Oxfam, belonged to CND and Amnesty International, the usual, but nothing extensive.

Turning first vegetarian and then vegan first began the turn in tide for me when my eyes were opened to the state the world was in and how it was down to each one of us to do our bit to try and improve it and persuade others to do the same.  I hate to see suffering, human or non human and I work hard to try and change things.

I think though it was when I became ill and the world completely changed for me and I had to dig very deep inside myself to survive.  I think it taught me empathy and the seeds of altrusim that were already there came out in abundance.  I don't earn any money, I never made any money from GlamSticks (I kept the prices artificially low so people could afford them) but any money I do have I donate to charity.  I spend my time making jewellery to sell for various animal charities, I just spent today exhausting myself taking photographs for a hen rescue and I deplete my valuable spoons (see spoon theory on how each spoon equates to a unit of energy on google) educating people on the environment, animal cruelty and so on, designing leaflets, making short films, posters, poetry, you name it....

I'm probably not doing myself any good healthwise with any of this but you know what, I will be able to look back on my life when the time comes and know I tried to do good and I tried to make a diffference.

I fear that if I had never become ill, found the strength to fight, turned empathy into love then none of this would have happened and I would have lived my unremarkable life, not really caring about anything or anyone very much.

In many ways I am thankful for my illness and the insights and whole new world view it has given me.

I embrace by disability for the gifts it has given me.

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