The Trust doesn't just support people affected by cancer. This year we have been working in partnership with the MS Society, providing Mindfulness classes, which have been very well received.
Jazmin, who attended the class tells us how creating mindful poetry relieves her MS suffering.
"One day as the class drew to an end Liza (the tutor) read a poem, as she finished I felt an impulse to share a poem that I had written. The reaction that I received from Liza and fellow participants was overwhelming.
They were all pleasantly surprised, some being close to tears as they were touched by, in their words, the ‘beautifully and meticulously written’ poem. One participant said “you hit the nail on the head”. I was thrilled with the response and with the encouragement from the group I decided to share it further. Liza wanted to share it through the Sara Lee Trust and members suggested I send it to other MS charities. It has since been published alongside a blog with the MS Society and the MS Trust published it in their monthly newsletter October edition.
I had a bad relapse at twenty-one and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about four months later. My chosen career path was taken away from me because it was too physical, as I was studying to become a PE teacher. This meant I had to leave university as I didn’t have the ability or the health to carry on. Over the course of a year I lost the life I had before in many ways. I had to grieve the life I had before and the abilities that I had before while also trying to recreate myself and work towards something else. I had always been a physical and a constantly busy person. Now I struggle daily with many symptoms that are like hurdles I have to consistently jump over to get through the day.
I started to write poetry as a release from my emotions as I struggled with loss, grief and then depression. The symptoms of MS has been debilitating and it has also contributed to the worsening of my depression. I found that writing has helped me cope with both diseases mentally and emotionally by relieving the pain in a way where thoughts didn’t effect me like they had before.
Mindfulness has been a coping mechanism to me and writing has been like recording the practice. I write from my heart and I put my soul into every poem. I want my work to be educational but to also pull people in emotionally.
This poem in particular was written one night while I was in a kind of meditative state trying to sleep and my mind was just feeding me verses, I couldn’t sleep or settle until I wrote them down. I want to educate people with my poems because there are so many people who are unaware of the impact that chronic illness can have on your life. I wanted people to understand my condition and to think differently about invisible and chronic illness."
By J.E Pearson
“But you don’t look ill” is something I hear all to
With the naivety, I feel my body all but soften.
They don’t realize that they are seeing me at my
Because on my bad days all I can do is put my body
Most days I cannot move because of spasms and pain,
Having negative thoughts that I will never be
Numbness and tingling overtake my body each day,
Trying to live normally but without pacing I know I
Tormented with fatigue, loss of balance and
Trying to ignore dizziness, bad eyesight and the
lack of sensation.
If you think it is all in my head, that is somewhat
My MRI scans believe it or not, say it too
I have lesions on my brain and also my spine,
which causes disturbances in the neurological vine.
Triggers cause the immune system to attack the
MS really is a disease that no one deserves.
It can be an invisible illness for some of the
Not for all but as one we come under scrutiny.
It’s all there on paper, the tests do not lie,
doctors can’t tell us how or even why.
The cause of MS is not truly known,
Only guesses and theories that are suggestively
The Doctors and Nurses are doing everything
The work that they do is absolutely phenomenal.
Whether to make our lives more comfortable or to
find a cure,
finding ways of slowing progression as we mature.
illness is hard physically, emotionally and
Just remember that you don’t have to look it to be
All I ask is for sensitivity and to think before
Replace “but you don’t look ill!” with a kind “you
are looking well”.
Copyright 2019 J.E Pearson
All Rights Reserved.
Reference Number: 7393240619S023