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When I was 7 years old I took on a lot of responsibility in a secret environment in my house regarding addiction. This (I think) resulted in 8 years of back pain. Whenever I went to doctors when I was younger they saw no reason to explain the pain. When I was 14 the pain got a lot worse and when I was 15 they decided to operate on my back as they saw a slight curve. A couple of weeks before the operation they found a tumour on my lower back from the scan. They decided to do the initial operation (a spinal fusion) as well as removing the tumour as they were unsure where the pain was coming from. Having had the operation it was successful in removing the tumour but I felt my body shape had changed and instead of feeling pain in my lower back I felt a lot more tension/pressure on my neck/shoulders/upper back. I carried on like nothing was wrong whilst still feeling responsible for my family situation. Around 10 months later I starting having difficulties with my balance to the point where I could not walk; and issues with my eyesight; among various numbers bodily feelings. From scans of my brain they found a lot of scars and subsequently diagnosed me with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was 17. Again, knowing no other different I continued to take responsibility for others and cover up the issues in my family home. When I was 18 I started studying sport science at university (sport being a big passion of mine) and struggled with my mobility and felt a lot of social anxiety around others and eventually put on a care free mask to fit in. As ever I soldiered on to try to fit in and never ever thought of seeking help for how I felt or didn't feel? From this point onwards I felt fairly disconnected from my body and self but always put this down to my MS. I felt very insecure about my body due to these issues and attempted for many years to go to the gym and improve my body but was always unsuccessful. Whilst still carrying on with my studies; achieving a undergraduate in sport science; a masters in sport psychology and finally a graduate diploma when I was 25. I first started going to see a therapist when I was 23 and found very little relief from going for 3 years to the point where I began to feel very hopeless and began to become severely depressed. Having tried pretty much everything in my my mind @25 to feel better about myself and my body (Physio, chiropractor, therapy , gym , personal trainer) I began daily meditation and found incredible relief ; feeling euphoric after 4 days ; feeling like I was connecting to myself and my body; and everything began to feel more real around me (including family members and friends) and felt my thinking improved massively. Now 27 having meditated daily for around 18months using the application Headspace I feel more like myself again; what feels like for the first time in around 12 years. My body posture/walking has improved immensely and my body feels a lot more relaxed ; with my neck/shoulders feeling a lot looser and lower. Also feeling better when lifting weights and more connected to everything. The main thing is feeling like I am able to feel again; crying many times and feeling like im releasing a lot of trauma. Also enabling me to face the issues in my family and revolve them; supporting others to seek the help and seeing them thrive under this. This has led me to this forum ; reading other peoples stories has allowed me to relate and potentially understand maybe why I felt so disconnected from my self and body; now feeling I suffered from Depersonalisation-Derealisation Disorder since maybe my back operation at 15. Not sure this will make much sense to people! But I tried to explain as best as I could in as little words.

Much love and I hope everyone can find relief like I have began to.

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