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"All Bodies are Good Bodies": Zoë's Body Positivity Story

I'm Zoë and I have Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome a genetic disorder, various comorbidities and ME/CFS, which remained mainly undiagnosed until I was 19.  For about 3 years in my mid teens I became very sick and I spent my life between my bed, the children's hospital and school when I could manage it. I hid my body under a uniform of fluffy socks, leggings and a hoodie. On the worst days I often couldn't dress myself, brush my own teeth or shower, at one point I was sleeping for anything from 18 to 20 hours a day.  My faith in my body was shattered,  Hundreds of humiliating, dehumanising medical procedures made me distant from my 'meat suit', I read hundreds of...

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Love Stories: Interabled Couple Advice and Interdependance

Many people are surprised that my husband is not disabled. There is still a lot of stigma that causes people to believe people with disabilities only date other disabled people. I am often asked how I ended up with a typically functioning person. The simplest answer is God. However, I know many of you are looking for a more concrete, practical answer. What did I do? What did I say? I often get these types of questions from women with disabilities who are longing for the companionship I have been blessed with. There are a few things I think many people with disabilities are doing wrong when it comes to finding a partner. Surprisingly to some people, a lot of...

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Where Style meets Chronic Illness

  I spent most of my twenties in pyjamas, leggings, and cosy jumpers. My hair was mostly unwashed, tied up in a bun on the top of my head, and I’d be lucky if I could wash myself properly more than once a week. Before that, I’d always been interested in vintage style and vintage fashion, but I felt so uncomfortable and insecure in my body that a handful of cute dresses were the limit of my ‘personal style’. As I got older, and my chronic illnesses took hold more and more over my life, any sense of fashion (bar a slash of red lipstick whenever I’d go out) went out the window.  It was difficult to see ‘Ill Natasha’...

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Self Love and Facing Adversity

My name is Lolly. I’m 21 years old and I have Crohn’s Disease. Crohn’s Disease is an auto-immune disorder in which the body attacks tissues predominately (although not exclusively) in the bowel. I have spent 5 years dealing with this chronic condition and at the beginning of this year I underwent life changing surgery to form a Colostomy.   Over the years Crohn's disease has had a great impact on the way my body looks and functions, both due to surgical procedures and various medications. This has inevitably had a lasting effect on my self confidence and my relationship with my body.   Until recently, I had spent the majority of my time living with the more severe stages of...

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