DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

A Life Of Constant Pain Is Still A Life

Rare Disease & Syndrome

HannahShewanStevens .

Chronic Life

My name is Hannah Stevens. I live in London and I’ve been in constant pain for the past five years. I have a rare autoimmune disease called scleroderma, as well as fibromyalgia, PCOS and IBS. Basically my body just doesn’t work the way that it should. Every single hour of my day is punctuated by pain, exhaustion and a symphony of cracking joints. Sometimes we all feel like we’re being defeated by the things that are happening in our lives, but I fight as hard as I can to resist being consumed by the mental and physical problems that plague my daily life. In an attempt to spite the chronic weirdness going on in my body, I’ve worked tirelessly in an effort to achieve my dreams. I fight every single day just to get out of bed, so everything else has been a bonus. I may not have any choice when it comes to the health issues ravaging my body, but I’ve chosen to chase my dreams anyway. Sure, I had to alter my expectations a bit and I had to let a few dreams die, but I’ve found new ones and I’m throwing everything I can at them. I get to use my voice and my skills to share the stories of other people like me all day at work. Then when I get home, I share my own. I see now that there is immense power in sharing our stories and every single one is worth listening to. And while we may have some weird and wonderful stories to tell about our conditions or disabilities, they don’t define us. We can choose to be anything we want to be. I used to think that I had to overcome my disability in order to lead a successful life but there is no such thing. We don’t get to wake up one day and suddenly never be bothered by our conditions again - the world doesn’t work that way. However, I do know that we all have enough power to live the fullest life that we can, so I plan on checking every single thing off of my bucket list. My body may have limitations but that doesn’t mean my life has to.

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