How This Riding Hat Saved My Life!

How This Riding Hat Saved My Life!


yeah I know what you’re thinking! What shade
of lipstick is that? But seriously why am I wearing my riding hat? Well in this
video I’m going to be talking about how this riding hat saved my life, and not in
a way that you might expect. Having a Disability mental disability or even a chronic
illness is extremely hard, believe me I have been there and I continue to
struggle with this sort of vicious circle. I’m going to be talking more
about that later on in this video. Did you know that there are 15 million
people in the UK with a physical disability? Four million of them will at
some point suffer with a mental health problem. 46% of people in the UK with a
mental health problem will have a physical disability. Long term studies
have shown that the initial psychological distress caused by a
long-term disability does gradually fade over time. Now I would like to think that
I am a good example of this. My injury happened when I was 9 and I lived in a
very dark place and suffered a lot with mental health problems for a very long
time- I’m talking years- but I can honestly say that time really does heal,
you sort of become aware of your triggers and you become aware and you
learn how to adapt and there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I hope that
by watching this video you will be able to see that hopefully one day you will
be able to turn the corner and you will be able to put your disability at peace.
So what kind of things can we do to try and keep as Positive
as possible? If you have any sort of tips of how you try and stay positive when
things are so so negative then make sure that you drop them down below I would
love to read them and I’m sure a lot of people reading the comments would also
like to see some tips. Now are you still thinking about the riding hat? well let
me explain. As a lot of you know I am obsessed with horses I have been riding
since the age of four. I suffered my spinal cord injury at the age of nine
and there was just not a shred of doubt, there was just absolutely no question
about it I was going to get back on a horse. I went to a riding for the
disabled riding school and they were absolutely fantastic they have ramps
that go up to the horses back so that you can get on and all sorts of things
to help you. And if you can’t get on a horse they find ways around that as
well. If you’re interested in horse riding then please feel free to look up
the RDA Riding for the Disabled Association to find a riding stables
near you but. I cannot recommend it highly enough it was the one thing that
brought normality back into my life it was the one thing that didn’t make me
feel disabled, thought I managed to get back on my horse I was able to ride and
I was able to have as much fun as I used to have. Getting back on the horse and
being able to do something that I loved to almost the same standard sort of brought back that normality into my life again it also was
something that didn’t make me feel disabled I felt free I was able to sit
on the horse I was able to move and it was just so good mentally and physically
for me, and I have got to say it honestly saved my life
I think if I wasn’t able to ride I would be in a very different place that
now. I highly recommend that you find some sort of sport to do there is a
hospital here in England called Stoke Mandeville where invented the Paralympic
Games for all of the War veterans who had been disabled in the Second World
War, and he found that by getting all of the troops together and to compete in
these games really helped boost them and boost their rehabilitation and I just
honestly I can’t recommend doing something like that highly enough, finding a
Para sport or something that you’re really really interested in can really
really help boost your mood. Exercise has shown to have such a positive effect on
the mental state you know just by doing little short bursts and exercise
throughout the day has proven to be extremely beneficial
they call it exercise snacking, by just doing little short bursts here and there
you can fit it into your day and it’s not like you’re not doing you know a half an
hour of full-on exercise that could Finnish you off for the rest of the day. So
really try and do that. Getting out! get out if you can get out
into the open it’s going to make you feel a hundred
times better sort of feeling that sort of mindfulness taking in your
surroundings turning off any electrical equipment and just breathing it all and
enjoying the time that you have got Ive been trying to have these days where I’m
super positive about everything and I am just a naturally positive person the
glass is always half full, every cloud has a silver lining
lots of my friends and family will know that I say -every clou-d but I really
think that helps to really change your mindset also start the day in a positive
way I know it sounds so cheesy, Oh what a beautiful morning, the birds are singing
the sun is shining… it’s like a Disney movie and all the squirrels and the
dears are running out, but it’s true start the day as you mean to go on it really
really does help! “Today is gonna be a great day” and also just look in the
mirror when you finish brushing your teeth and smile I know that again that
sounds really really cheesy but it really helps it actually sends chemicals
to the brain making you feel happier Concentrating on what you can do and not
what you can’t do again this is you know reprogramming yourself to think in a
positive way if you’re constantly thinking about what you can’t do you’re
never gonna do good things because your concentration on that area of lack, okay
you might not be able to do this certain thing anymore find a way around it
there’s always a way. Where there’s a will there is some sort of way, something
else that I try and do when I feel myself feeling very negative is putting
on positive talks and reading positive books and sort of things that kind of
give you motivation hearing one of this motivation you’re
like yeah yeah yeah that’s true actually and it gives you that motivation to sort
of feel better about yourself and get out there and do things. Try and get
some sort of hobby that way you’ll get out and you’ll start to meet people and
make friends and you know build a really really nice network of people maybe you
know enroll in some sort of course or do some sort of craft evening. Something
that I have found to be really beneficial is to give something back to
society whether that is volunteering I volunteered in the mental health
department at my local hospital for geriatrics I found that to be really
really rewarding and a bit of an eye-opener as well and I sometimes
read at my daughter’s school or get involved with things there and that
really does make me feel a little bit happier and a bit better about myself as
well by giving something back. The last thing that I’m going to talk
about is start to look for your triggers I can sort of start to feel negative
thoughts coming in, feel very down about things and and sometimes I’ll be
scrolling through social media and just be thinking “oh why” so these are really
big triggers in me so I have to shut it up like turn it off and have a break from
it because I’m feeling really really negative about things and I’m putting my
negativity and turning it into their negativity and you’re concentrating
again you’re concentrating on the lack. So I’ve just been talking about how to
stay positive when you have a disability it is hard and if you feel that things
aren’t getting any better and things aren’t improving then please
go and seek some professional advice contact mind they are an amazing charity
that can help you, or contact your GP as well you don’t have to suffer alone and
remember it’s okay not to be okay. Sometimes we do have to have these
negative days we do have to pour our heart out we do have to get things off
our chest. But I hope this video has helped you sort of identify triggers and
try and help you to be as positive as you possibly can be. At the end of the
day there is only one person that can do this, and that is you, no one else is
gonna do it for you you have to go out there and get the world the world is not
going to come and get you. Make sure to share this video with someone who may
need it subscribe if you haven’t already and I look forward to seeing you in my
next one xxx

27 thoughts on “How This Riding Hat Saved My Life!

  1. How to you stay positive?
    Staying positive with a disability is really hard. I know all about it, and I'm sure you do too. There is no easy quick way, and sometimes it takes a bit of effort. But ,with like a lot of things, the effort can pay off. I really hope these tips help.
    x

  2. I think the way I stay positive is
    1. Is reminding myself that I am not lacking ability as the result of my disability, I am differently abled. It's not a matter of I can't do but rather I can do the same things in a different way.

    2. I watch comedy specials. Laughter is good for the soul, and j
    It shows you the flaws of others and helps to shug off your own

  3. I just took the boys for a walk (on a granny basher burgundy scooter arrangement) we have treats, drinks and all sorts of good and bad weather equipment, so we are ready for anything. We walk/scoot to a bench and have snack and a drink then onto the next one. All situated in the countryside. We are so lucky to live here. Sun was out all the leaves are turning, found an ivy bush that I can reach for Christmas decoration ring later in the year. It's all good till you get home and 'Him indoors' is moaning but it was good when it was good. Ha!!!! He talks to this 'Alexa Woman' more than me and she is welcolme to him. I can hear him now getting her to turn volume up and down. Hilarious!!!!!! Love your posts. X

  4. This is related to your video but a little different. I don’t try to stay positive I’m realistic. People used to say to be positive but being realistic about your capabilities and your illness isn’t being negative. Being realistic about my feelings and about my illness has really helped me feel better.

  5. My disability involves only the loss of use in one leg…. I am a monopod, I like to say. I started on a very dark path of depression after my initial injuries. What got me up and out was making my yard into a green haven where I can go and sit and just spend time outdoors. Recently I did find that ONE thing that makes me feel normal. That is riding an adult tricycle. I can’t ride far….YET, but since I feel like a normal person riding my trike I am willing to put in the effort to improve my endurance. Plus the fresh air is so much nicer than sitting in my house with stale used up air. All the points in this video are spot on with my journey down this path. Good job on the advice…

  6. I shut down when people get all "self-help book". I find a healthy dose of cynicism gets me through the day. If I had the physical snd emotional energy, I would go out more often than when absolutely necessary. I don't because haven't. I went out to meet the world half-way, and it didn't want to know. I just don't want to see a doc who'll do nothing other than give me pills that will make me feel ten times worse. I blame the government and their "Crips Are Scroungers" policies.

  7. I really like this, and a lot of these things can help. And on the note of positivity, I think it's worth pointing out that being positive and being pragmatic aren't mutually exclusive. I think that too often people conflate positivity or optimism with being idealistic or naive, which can be a barrier toward healthier ways of thinking and dealing with things like this. In the end obviously it depends on the individual, but if anything I've found that being more positive has also led me to be more realistic, because in being more positive I was able to more accurately gauge my limits, my triggers, and capabilities because they weren't overshadowed by cynicism or anything like that. I've ended up a much happier person for it, even if my circumstances themselves didn't change much.

  8. One of the biggest things that helped me, was to find something little that I could do and celebrate accomplishing it. It could relate to the disability or have nothing to do with it. It could be walking around the block or finishing a book In a week.
    Another big thing was trying new things. It helps you focus on what you can do, and you can't compare yourself to the past you that was able-bodied.

    Another thing is forgiving. Forgive yourself, your body, the other people in your life, and even the person(s) that caused your disability. This is a process and it can take a long time, but it can help your mental health so much.

  9. I loved this video. I have Aspergers Syndrome, and like you I have found my fun with the RDA. I do carriage driving with them and just that one afternoon with the horses is therapeutic for me. Luckily I have been able to increase my time doing this which can only get better for me. I used to ride but with being overweight means that carriage driving is a better alternative for me.

  10. This was a great video Gem, I totally agree with the exercise and to get out in the fresh air. For me that always gives me a bit of a boost and makes everything seem better.
    Another thing I’ve found is that it’s important to get out of bed and get ready in the morning, no matter how much pain you are in, how low your spoon level is, how low and can’t be bothered you feel if you get out of bed get washed/ showered, clean clothes on, bed made etc then it just breaks the cycle of lying in bed. Even if it’s a really bad day and you have to go back to bed, the fact that you are all clean and sorted makes everything seem less bleak.
    One thing that really annoys me is when you are having a bad day/ patch and people tell you “things could be worse”, “at least you’re still alive”, “there are people in a more difficult situation than you” despite being very tolerant I have been known to snap at these comments.

  11. My best way for staying happy and content (I don’t subscribe to the idea that disabled people should have to be positive all the time. We are well rounded people with all of our emotions.) is to stay involved and connected with my disabled community. I went to camp for disabled kids between the ages of 11 and 19. It was amazing. I felt like I was on the same level as all these lovely people. We dated each other, played sports, had dances, watched movies….you know, functioned like average people. Also the same with wheelchair sports. I’ve played wheelchair basketball, wheelchair hockey and some other wheelchair sports that I’m not as good at lol. The pottery clip I was like YES because I was an art major and I love making pottery. Now that I’m kind of an older person, I loom knit things and paint things and make greeting cards to satisfy my creative nature. 🎨

  12. Psalm 118:24 KJV
    "This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Interesting that taking on the day with a positive outlook seems scriptural. Your vLogs brighten my day Gem.

  13. My day start with fighting with stupid people on the bus refusing to move away from the wheelchair spot and walks past me while I'm waiting for the ramp to come down (busses in Sweden have the door open while the ramp is coming out) and stopping the ramp cause they're not suppose to stand on a moving ramp… and that is just the start of the day… yesterday was extra hard.. can't wait to move to London again!

  14. I'm in a really dark place right now. I've tried to find places to go see horses, heck, even muck out stalls, but no one wants a disabled woman around their horses…… guess the USA is different

  15. I'm new here so I subscribed #21911 with the notification bell on and liked #72,
    i enjoy your positivity in your videos and how it inspires others on this platform.
    if you like to, come visit me and leave a comment/join up too, thanks Gem

  16. I surround myself with animals. I have dogs that need walking and other animals (fish, snake, axolotl) that need feeding. It gives me something to get up for, no matter how bad I feel I know I have to go outside to walk my dogs, and I know that there are things that rely on me. And the little things that animals do can cheer you up.

    Although you do need to keep in mind that animals can bring stresses into your life if something goes wrong

  17. Unfortunately I had mental health issues before I became physically ill. Doh! And it's become a lot worse since I'm very limited with what I can do, being bedbound most of the time from M.E. Seeing my weekly therapist is so knackering! As for fun I read a lot, I've gotten into planners, I watch a lot of Netflix, spend time with my animals. I've also got back into gaming. I try to get out and see people now and then and have small daytrips with the other half but it takes such a lot out of me so I have to be sensible and once a week (if I'm ok) is enough. I wish I could do some active things but it's not an option for me. I potter about the house and do some simple stretching exercises. That's all I can manage. Proper exercise is really detrimental to people with M.E.

  18. I’m so, so glad you had a good experience with RDA. I used to ride before my sci. My local RDA mainly catered for kids and adults with learning disabilities and had no equipment to get me on a horse. They suggested carriage driving RDA. I had fun but ultimately it was adults with severe learning difficulties that made up the vast majority. The helpers were incredibly patronising and sang nursery rhymes to me as I needed 3 people with me in the carriage. It wasn’t all bad as I got to personally meet HRH Princess Ann. Sadly I left soon after as I just couldn’t put up with being treated like a 5 year old. They even tried to put my hat on me without asking, push my chair without asking and tell me off for being at the wrong end of the clubhouse because “excuse me wheelchairs must sit over here!” Argh. 😢

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